After a hugely positive result against Everton, Wolves were hoping to replicate their performance in the tie against Burnley. Nuno chose a very expansive lineup in order to break down the stubborn Burnley defence. Wolves took the lead late in the second half courtesy of a lovely strike from Jimenez, but were unfortunately pegged back by a 96th minute Burnley penalty.
Another game went by that left Patricio as a bystander, as Wolves were very much the aggressors. I’ve praised Patricio’s commanding of his area and his distribution over previous games, but saw some shakiness, especially as he came to claim a cross and totally misjudged the flight before Wood, fortunately, headed wide and spared his blushes. There was not much he could do about the penalty at the end.
I was intrigued to see how Adama would perform in the right wingback role again and I can say that I was very impressed. He was a dangerous outlet down the right and delivered his pinpoint floated crosses, which were unfortunately not met. He also carried out his defensive duties well. Later in the game, he was pushed forward and created some space by taking several Burnley players out of the game for the Wolves goal.
Boly was very cool on the ball again and showed that the little hiccup he had in the two losses was merely just a blip. He carried the ball out of defence with ease and also combined well with his new partner on the right. Another solid performance from Boly and it will be crucial that he carries this form into the final two games.
At times, Coady’s passing was a bit off and he was almost punished as a result of this, as a misplaced pass led to a Burnley counter, but the skipper managed to make amends and blocked the subsequent shot. Other than that, he did well to deal with the physicality of Wood and Rodriguez and also controlled his defensive line well.
Saiss was in the wars against the Burnley attackers and took one (or more) for the team. He has improved in the way he’s now hastening the attacking buildup, but unfortunately for him, his left-sided partner did not show the same intent. He had a decent headed chance, but I don’t actually think he was expecting it.
Considering we haven’t seen much of Vinagre since the restart, I was truly expecting him to cause problems for the Burnley defence. A player with such raw talent, who is sometimes on the receiving end for some defensive criticism, but I am actually disappointed with his attacking display, other than a surge of pace in the first half, he just tended to slow things down on the left, with one too many stepovers.
Neves continued in fine form and showed that he is not just a ‘fancy midfielder’. He did well in his role and showed as much intent in his defensive role as he often does with the attacking side of his game. He made a crucial block in the second half, as he covered his defenders, in order to stop Burnley from scoring. He tried a speculative Espanyol-Esque volley but did not connect as sweetly.
Moutinho was drafted back into the lineup after his deserved rest against Everton. He looked a lot more composed in midfield, after a series of uncharacteristic displays. He did well with his compatriot Neves, in the middle of the park and was also back to his best with his set-piece deliveries, something which Wolves really should have capitalised on (more of this please Joao).
After such an emphatic display against Everton, it was only right that Podence kept his place in the team. I felt that he was trying too hard to impress at times, with a few too many fancy back heels and flicks which were mopped up by Burnley players. What he is showing though, is his creativity, with a lovely chipped pass over the Burnley defence to Jota who fired wide. Encouraging early signs being shown by our new man.
Jimenez reached 17 league goals for the season and wasn’t it a peach. He showed his killer instinct through a powerful volley that rippled the back of the net. His hard work and determination to succeed is something that all players should emulate. He really has been a key player for Wolves over recent years and we will need him on top form for the next two games (baby-permitting) in order to secure European football for successive seasons.
Another player who impressed against Everton and was deservedly handed a start, but again didn’t really hit the heights we are used to. He should have done a lot better with the chance given to him by Podence but showed some great directness and strength at times to hold off a physical Burnley side.
A bittersweet performance from Doherty. As soon as he came on, he offered an aerial outlet down the right and also came close to scoring a header off a corner. He showed some attacking prowess as he pulled the trigger with a speculative shot which was blocked and fell into Jimenez’s path for the goal. He was then unfortunately judged as handballing the Burnley header across the box for the resulting penalty, he, however, shouldn’t feel too disheartened by it, as he did make a positive impact off the bench.
Neto showed his usual determination and hunger for the ball in his display. He was unlucky to have not started, but this was mainly due to Nuno possibly not wanting to risk any aggravations to the knock he received in the previous game.
Jonny was brought on late in order to try and close the game and add some experience.
Dendoncker was brought on late in order to try and close the game and add some experience.