Wolves started off their home campaign with a frustrating 0-0 draw to Fulham, in a game where they could have (any maybe should have) scored.
The home side missed key chances with Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Morgan Gibbs-White all missing proverbial sitters before Jose Sa saved a penalty from Aleksandar Mitrovic to spare Wolves’ blushes.
The result means Wolves have one defeat and one draw from their opening two games, only scoring a solitary goal.
Let’s take a look at the player ratings from the first home game of the season:
An all-round solid performance from Sa. Whilst he didn’t have too much to do over the course of the match, he looked comfortable in his shot stopping and much better on the ball. There were some shaky moments when coming to collect crosses but the penalty save more than makes up for it. Won Wolves a point today and that will get him some bonus points.
A decent performance from the Frenchman. Looked okay going forward with some bright runs and certainly offered WOlves a good outlet from the back. He was shaky at times defensively but didn’t get beaten too often to be considered a liability. The challenge for the penalty was yet another rash decision though, and it almost cost Wolves another game through individual errors for the second week in a row. Needs to improve his defensive intelligence if he is to play in a four at the back.
One positive that can be said about this match was the performance of Kilman and Collins. The Englishman looked composed on and off the ball and was excellent at nullifying Fulham’s threats. Produced some marvellous passes out from the back to switch the play and get Wolves going. His intelligence in his tackle selection is second to none and his aerial presence makes the world of difference. Certainly a lot of potential for him in a centre-back pairing.
100% tackles won. 100% ground duels won. 93% pass accuracy. Similarly to his partner at the back, Collins was coolness personified for the entire game. He made difficult challenges and passes look easy and showed why Wolves forked out so much money on him. His build along with his finesse on the ball is a wonderful blend for a centre-back and him and Kilman kept a close eye on Mitrovic and Pereria all game. It is hard to believe he is still only 21 years of age. A very solid foundation to build off.
A very off-colour performance from a usually consistent player. He was beaten almost every time by Neeskans Kebano and for the most part, looked leggy. Was not able to contribute anything of note going forward and was the pathway to most of Fulham’s breaks towards the Wolves goal. The return of Nelson Semedo may be a welcome one if Jonny can return to the left-hand side.
One of Dendoncker’s better performances in a Wolves shirt. Won the ball back consistently and kept Wolves ticking in possession. There were times when he could have been a bit more forward-thinking with his passing, rather than opting to play the ball sideways or back to Kilman or Collins. It was interesting to see him pushing on to join the front four in attack, but he was not able to forge anything in terms of a goalscoring chance. A solid game from the Belgian.
Not vintage Neves by any means, but still a well-rounded performance. His passing range and inventiveness created chances out of nothing at times and he was again intelligent in winning the ball back for the side. Made a very timely block on the line in the first half to keep the score at 0-0. A particular moment for the collectors’ box with a horribly mishit free-kick in the first half.
Played in the 10 role although drifted out wide several times. This was a frustrating performance for Gibbs-White, whilst his off the ball pressing and work rate was impressive, his productivity on the ball was muted. Produced some fantastic turns to get away from the Fulham midfield but tried the flicks and tricks too often for my liking. Needs to improve his decision-making at this level. His afternoon was not helped when he missed an open goal from around 7 yards out. Whilst the cross for the chance was powerful, you would expect a player of his supposed quality to convert the opportunity. Did not happen for him today but he will improve.
A lot of energy shown from Neto in this game but his lack of end product was very telling. Missed a sitter in the first half after a mistake by Fulham goalkeeper Rodak, but was instrumental in all things positive going forward. Was the only winger in the second half looking to create with some fantastic direct running, but ultimately his crossing was unable to produce any tangible results. You could argue a lack of a striker is the cause, but there are no excuses for that first-half miss. Needs to learn to pull the trigger.
A very muted game from the South Korean again. Very similar pattern to his performance at Leeds last week in which he started brightly with some good pace and runs, but then faded out of the game fairly quickly. Had a great chance to score early in the first half but hit his effort straight at Rodak. By the end of the first half, you could be forgiven for forgetting he was on the pitch. Unfortunately for Hwang, this shows why Wolves need a striker.
A poor showing from Podence in this one. Showed glimpses of magic, but was far too individualistic and tried too hard on the ball to create the spectacular. There were moments where a cross should have been put in but he tried to beat his man with some skill instead. Sometimes less is more and he, like others, need to stick to the fundamental basics before trying to walk the ball in.
Brought on from the bench around the 57th minute for his first outing in Wolves colours. Unfortunately for him, Fulham were set on taking the pace out of the game and were constantly hacking down Wolves players anytime they went on a break. He was one of the players targeted and, as such, could not get a foothold in the match. When he was allowed, he showed some great pace and direct play – not too dissimilarly to Pedro Neto. Still plenty of time to show what he can do, this was a tricky scenario to be thrown into.
Was brought on with 15 minutes to go but in that time, the ball was barely in play and he was not able to really get involved. Would feel harsh giving a rating for him, but good to see him back in a Wolves shirt.
Came on at the same time as Adama and had more to do. Looked comfortable defensively and an improvement on Jonny, but again, he did not have the chance to really showcase his talents going forward. When he is fully fit you would imagine he will come in for Jonny at right-back, his improvement under Lage has been impressive and this cameo showed how Wolves miss his energy. Still did enough to be given a special mention but for me, 15 minutes isn’t enough to judge for a match rating.