On a sweltering summer’s evening in Wolverhampton, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men continued their fine form in the league with a cool 1-0 win over Bournemouth. There was a very similar approach to the previous game and funnily enough, the winning goal was a carbon-copy of the first goal at the London Stadium. Compared to last season, Wolves seem to have found a recipe for success when playing relegation battling teams. There is a serious case for Wolves (who do not appear to be over-exerting themselves), to push on and continue to move in an upwards trajectory in the league.
I continue to be impressed with Patricio’s commanding of his area and his distribution, there’s no doubting his ability, but since the restart, I feel we’ve seen some improvements in his game. What really impressed me was his calmness on the ball too, at one point I saw him come out to near the corner flag and chip pass it over a Bournemouth player to Doherty. He showed good awareness to thwart a Billing opportunity early on as the Wolves defence were split open. Back to back clean sheets. Solid.
Doherty is continuing to impress me in an attacking and defending sense. He is developing a good understanding with Boly and aerially, both players rarely get beaten. His partnership with Traore down the right is something that we all know about and the pair linked up again as Doherty provided the pass before the Traore cross for the goal. His elite natural fitness is something that Wolves will need in order to continue with their fight.
When Boly is in the team, Wolves look so much more rigid in their defensive displays. He makes football look so easy. Another fine display of the art of modern defending. He carried the ball out of defence confidently and looked to build attacks. Unlucky to not score in the second half. With rumours that he is in talks to sign a new long-term contract, which will be vital for Wolves.
Another commanding performance from the skipper on his stomping ground, he never seems to get his angles wrong in his switches, especially at Molineux. He did very well to control the defence and also offer cover where necessary. A strong display from such a vital piece of the Wolves puzzle.
Similar to the West Ham performance, I feel Saiss started slowly in the first half and looked a bit rusty, along with picking up a booking for a needless challenge, something which he’ll have to be wary about vs Aston Villa as he is currently on 9 yellows for the season. He grew into the game and shows signs of returning to the quality we all know he possesses.
Mature defensive display from Jonny and showed why he is so vital for Wolves again. He faced two different wingers in Brooks and Wilson and dealt with the task well, he did get caught out at one point but did not act rashly in the penalty area. Another player who seems to have improved elements of his game, as I saw glimpses of good attacking build-up.
Arguably a quieter game from Neves, in comparison to the West Ham game, but he still performed well in the midfield with his compatriot, who both had to deal with a 3 man midfield of Bournemouth, in tough conditions. Neves defended well and looked to move the ball quickly. A few wayward shots, but we just know the next addition to his list of classics is coming.
At age 33, Moutinho does not appear to be showing any signs of slowing down, it’s ridiculous how easy he makes it look. Again with Neves, they controlled the flow of midfield, considering they were outnumbered. A few precise set pieces on another day may have led to a goal. Another strong display from Moutinho who showed his experience when protecting the lead by keeping things simple.
Traore has often been described as a cheat code and the moment in the first half when he glided past 4 Bournemouth players like they weren’t there, was a thing of beauty before Bournemouth played their own ‘cheat code’ by cynically fouling him. Traore linked up well with Doherty down the right flank and his partnership with Jimenez is something that continues to blossom, another perfectly floated cross to meet Jimenez’s head. An absolute menace to oppositions.
Jimenez is the complete Centre Forward and showed it again. He tirelessly helps the team through all aspects of the game. He causes problems with the ball at his feet and is a real danger in the air. This link up with Traore is one of the deadliest in the Premier League and is a vital aspect that has helped Wolves perform so well this season. He rose superbly to punish Bournemouth with a bullet header. With 24 goals in all competitions, there’s something that the Wolves want you to know.
Struggled to penetrate the Bournemouth defence, but another player who is slowly finding his feet again after the long break. Found himself in a few good attacking positions, but wasn’t able to punish the Bournemouth backline. Nuno’s persistence with Jota has often been paid off in the past and I back him to create problems vs Villa. It’s only a matter of time.
I was quite impressed with Dendoncker’s contribution. He was brought on to solidify the midfield and he did exactly that. He provided good energy and broke up play well. A very versatile player that has a key role to play whether that’s from the start or off the bench.
Another impressive case from Neto for a starting-berth. He brings bags of energy and like Traore, broke through the Bournemouth defence as if they weren’t there. Unlucky to not keep his composure but shows signs of what a true talent he is shaping up to be.
Cameo performance, nothing to note down for the winger.
Cameo performance, nothing to note down for the midfielder.
What do you think of our ratings? Which players stood out for you? There was certainly a drop in ratings compared to the West Ham fixture but a win is a win. Let us know in the comments!