With two new wonderkids from Porto onboard and the long-term future of The Special One finally resolved, there were already plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
Tonight’s performance, against an opponent that proved tricky last term, gave further cause for optimism.
If our improved fortunes against bottom half sides had previously shown that this Wolves team has an aptitude for learning from past mistakes, our quickfire start against the Blades suggested their appetite for improvement hasn’t abated.
Our sluggish performance at Bramall Lane last time out was replaced with a frenetic, swashbuckling start that was underlined by yet another emphatic finish from the sensational Jimenez.
The Mexican couldn’t have been happier with the luscious build-up play engineered by Moutinho and the fleet footed Podence, though the finish was far from straightforward.
Romain Saiss may have Blades new boy Aaron Ramsdale to thank for our second, but the Moroccan should still be lauded for a commanding finish.
In fact, the man whose surname goes hand-in-hand with Vanilla Ice’s one-and-only hit ought to be commended for an outstanding display all round.
United were always likely to improve in the second half and our rear-guard had to dig deep to keep them at bay. Saiss rose to the challenge superbly, as did the rest of his defensive counterparts.
But this was more than just a characteristically dogged Wolves performance. We controlled large parts of the game, transitioning the ball from defence to attack with considerable panache.
Both Podence and Neto were a constant thorn in the opposition’s side, with Moutinho orchestrating the play in typically beautiful fashion.
It’s the sort of assured display that Nuno will want to see become the norm as he begins ‘a new cycle’ of his feted tenure.
And while there’s still room for improvement (Adama is not a right back), it’s hard to disagree with Jamie Carragher’s post-match assertion that we are good enough to challenge for a European place once again.
There’ll be no such talk in the Wolves camp, but the early signs are golden.