King Power Stadium

Leicester 1-0 Wolves – Player Ratings

Bruno Lage suffered defeat in his first game in charge of Wolves after a first half Jamie Vardy goal gave Leicester all three points at the King Power Stadium. It was an impressive performance from Wolves and the noisy travelling support showed their appreciation at full time ahead of a full return to Molineux next week. With five senior players unavailable, and new signings expected in the coming weeks, Wolves’ opening day performance was certainly something to build on as the new era gets underway.

 

Jose Sa

A Premier League debut for the new Wolves number one who put in a confident display. He dealt with everything that came his way with good shot stopping and aerial ability but could do little with Jamie Vardy’s clever flick which led to the winning goal. Wolves’ fans saw glimpses of what he can do with his feet too, with the Portuguese looking like a solid replacement for Rui Patricio. 7/10

 

Max Kilman

A very impressive defensive display from Max Kilman who limited Leicester’s threat down the left flank. Kilman was impressive on the ball and looked to link play with the midfield which meant he found himself in advanced positions frequently in the second half. He had one shot blocked at close range and has done himself no harm at all in staking a claim to be a first team regular under Bruno Lage. 8/10

 

Conor Coady

A poor display from the Wolves captain following his return from the England Euro 2020 camp. He was partly at fault for the goal, failing to move towards the cross and clear despite having an obvious special advantage on Jamie Vardy. Vardy caused problems all afternoon with Coady’s lack of pace a concern. He did redeem himself on more than one occasion with a last-ditch tackle, but his performance will have to improve if Wolves are to persist with a higher defensive line. 5/10

 

Romain Saiss

Like Coady, Saiss struggled with the pace of the Leicester forward line and was often found slacking in the higher defensive line which Lage wants to implement. He was strong in the air when defending set pieces, but his struggles have highlighted the need for defensive reinforcements before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. 6/10

 

Ki-Jana Hoever

Given his chance from the off with Nelson Semedo having missed a week’s training due to COVID-19 isolation and Hoever certainly did not do himself any harm with an impressive performance. Hoever was strong in the challenge and defended well in partnership with Kilman. He looked far more comfortable on the ball in comparison to last season and looked to link with Trincao down the right-hand side. If he improves his final ball Hoever could become an excellent option at right wing back this season. 7/10

 

Joao Moutinho

Was widely tipped to leave Molineux this summer but Moutinho looks set to stay for a fourth season in the West Midlands. He produced a solid display on the ball with an obvious increased intensity in comparison to last season. His pass through for Traore to create the chance of the first half was sublime, but his set pieces were poor and led to him giving up duties to Trincao in the second half. 6/10

 

Ruben Neves

Like Moutinho, Ruben Neves was solid in the midfield and didn’t really put a foot wrong. He will have wanted to have a greater impact on the game in the final third as he plays in a slightly more advanced role under new Head Coach Bruno Lage. 6/10

 

Marcal

The forgotten man from last season had an excellent pre-season and continued this form into the league. He looked comfortable at left wing-back and looked to contribute to attacks where possible. He will perhaps be disappointed to have let Ricardo put the cross in for the goal but otherwise had an impressive afternoon and could be a very useful option if he can remain fit this season. 7/10

 

Francisco Trincao

Wolves’ second Premier League debutant showed glimpses of quality and technical ability without having a real impact on the game. He had one good chance cutting in on his left foot in the penalty area, but his shot was blocked. He also showed to be a competent set piece taker which will be a welcome sight to many fans after causing much frustration last season. 6/10

 

Raul Jimenez

A very welcome sight to see Wolves’ number nine back out in competitive action again in front his adoring fans. Jimenez did not get into the game as he would have wished, but still showed glimpses of his old self in his hold up play and aerial presence in the penalty area. Hand any of Traore’s glaring chances fell to the Mexican Wolves would almost certainly have walked away from the King Power with something to show for it. 6/10

 

Adama Traore

The main talking point of the afternoon was most definitely Adama Traore. Used his pace to great effect all afternoon and terrorised the Leicester defence who quite simply could not cope with him. Quite how he didn’t score one of his three glorious chances only he could answer, and he will no doubt feel responsible for Wolves not taking at least a share of the spoils. There is no hiding it, Traore should be scoring the chances that he created. 5/10

 

Subs:

Leander Dendoncker

Came on to add more physicality to the midfield as Wolves pushed more men forward in the second half. Did his job well without having any real impact on Wolves going forward in their search for an equaliser. 6/10

 

Morgan Gibbs-White

His fresh legs injected great energy into Wolves just as they started to tire, and he was at the heart of the late spell of pressure from the away side. Unfortunately, none of the half chances that he created resulted in the equaliser Wolves so desperately wanted. 6/10

 

Fabio Silva

Played the final five minutes meaning he had little chance to get into the game. Would have perhaps been better to bring him on earlier and try to stretch the Leicester back line more. N/A

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

1024px-View_of_North_Stand_in_Tottenham_Hotspur_Stadium

Spurs 2-0 Wolves Player Ratings

Wolves fell to a disappointing defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with goals either side of half time from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg giving the home side all three points. Wolve defended resolutely in the first half, spearheaded by captain Conor Coady, but conceded two poor and avoidable goals which put the game beyond them. Adama Traore was threatening on the break but often cut an isolate figure as Wolves failed to assert a spell of sustained pressure on the Spurs goal. 

 

Rui Patricio

Following a week of speculation surrounding his future, Patricio turned in a performance of quality against Tottenham, keeping the score at a respectable two. He turned Harry Kane efforts onto the post on two occasions and commanded his area well as Wolves improved in their defending of set pieces. 7/10

 

Ki-Jana Hoever

Kept his place in the side following a solid display against Brighton last week. Hoever struggled up against Reguilon and Bale and lacks a general defensive presence when the ball is put into the box. He had little impact going forwards on the break on a disappointing afternoon but an important learning curve for the nineteen-year-old.  5/10

 

Conor Coady

A rare occasion where a defender on the losing side was given man of the match, which speaks volumes about the overall Wolves performance. Coady was excellent defensively, particularly in the first half where he cleared just about everything that came his way. He was also dominant in the air against Harry Kane from set pieces. He will however be disappointed to have let Kane through for the opening goal, but the poor defensive line which ultimately played him onside certainly didn’t help. 8/10

 

Romain Saiss

Reinstated back into the side and put in a solid if not spectacular display. He made few mistakes and was an aerial presence in the box. The Moroccon captain’s distribution left a lot to be desired at times, and he certainly looks more at home in a back three. 6/10

Nelson Semedo

Playing out of position on the left-hand side essentially nullified his main strength of bringing the ball forwards down the flank. He struggled defensively and was once again caught out of line playing Kane onside which led to the opening goal of the game. 5/10

 

Leander Dendoncker

Won the ball back in the centre of the park to break down Tottenham attacks but was relatively ineffective going forwards, with his passing failing to stick to the three playing ahead of him. 6/10

 

Joao Moutinho

Passive and ineffective as the Spurs midfield bypassed him on almost every occasion. He tried to get the ball to Traore whenever possible, but Wolves’ attack building was far too predictable, causing little problems. 5/10

 

Adama Traore

Wolves’ main attacking outlet, looking to get on the front foot at every opportunity and was at the heart of every half chance Nuno’s side had. He came closest to goal in the second half cutting inside on his left foot but firing just past the near post. He was often isolated with little support in the box and cut a frustrated figure at full time. 7/10

 

Vitinha

A disappointing game for Vitinha who failed to live up to the hype of his previous two performances. He was outmuscled on numerous occasions and had very little impact with the ball at his feet. 5/10

 

Morgan Gibbs-White

Gibbs-White was not afraid to get involved and showed for the ball at every opportunity, but it was not midfielders’ day. He like Vitinha, struggled physically and had next to no impact in the penalty area. 6/10

 

Fabio Silva

Often isolated on his own up front seeing very little of the ball. He had a couple of half chances created by Traore on breakaways, one of which won a corner but in truth he never really threatened Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal. 6/10

 

Subs:

Willian Jose

Came on in the second half and brought his usual strength of hold up play which meant Wolves could keep the ball higher up the field. However, he posed no goal threat at all which added to the frustration as Traore got into a number of good crossing positions in the second period. 5/10

 

Ruben Neves

Added some much-needed energy into the midfield but it was too little too late for Wolves. It was a surprise to see Neves dropped from the starting eleven and the performances of Dendoncker and Moutinho certainly didn’t justify it. 6/10

 

Theo Corbeanu

Introduced for his long-awaited senior debut and played predominantly on the left-hand side. He provided a new-found energy but saw little of the ball in his ten minutes on the field. 6/10

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

Steve Bull Stand

Wolves 2-1 Brighton Player Ratings

Wolves earned their first win in three weeks as they came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 at Molineux. After Lewis Dunk gave Brighton the lead from a corner after 13 minutes, the Seagulls’ captain then swung the game in Wolves’ favour when he was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity early in the second half. Substitute Adama Traore drew Wolves level with a quarter of an hour left, before Morgan Gibbs-White’s first league goal for the club earned Nuno’s side three points in the last minute of normal time. 

 

Rui Patricio

Had very little to do besides picking the ball out of his net and didn’t face a single attempt of any kind in the second half. Could have relieved Wolves of some first half set-piece pressure by coming off his line, but that just isn’t his style. 6/10.

 

Ki-Jana Hoever

Not his finest performance in a Wolves shirt. Coped well enough defensively but his attacking output was almost always ineffective. His crosses from open play or the simply horrendous short corners always either flew into the empty stand or hit the first man. His time will come. 5/10. 

 

Conor Coady

Did well. Failed to keep out Dunk’s header in front of the far post but was otherwise pretty much unchallenged by Welbeck or Maupay, but did get a yellow card for clumsily taking down Zeqiri off the pitch. His distribution was solid. 6/10. 

 

Max Kilman

Enjoyed his first league start in three months and two days and did well. Wolves’ defence looked hugely improved when compared to their last outing at Molineux against Burnley, and Kilman was a big part of that. Was relatively untroubled except for set-pieces, which he and Wolves finally got a grip of after Dunk’s dismissal. 7/10. 

 

Rayan Ait-Nouri

A second straight impressive performance for Ait-Nouri, who has done his chances of a permanent move to Molineux no harm. Was constantly up and down the left-hand side and had no problem with Jahanbakhsh and later Moder. 7/10. 

 

Ruben Neves

Not his best performance.  Wasn’t able to dictate play in the way he’d have liked following Dunk’s goal, with Wolves being hugely ineffective while the Seagulls were a goal up in the first half. Not a surprise to see him withdrawn as Nuno looked to attack following Dunk’s red card. 5/10. 

 

Joao Moutinho 

Clearly wasn’t at full fitness following his two-game absence. Was run ragged by Brighton prior to the dismissal, while his insistence to play the ball short to Hoever at corners was questionable to say the least. Nevertheless, Moutinho should have had an assist after his through ball was woefully mis-controlled by Jose at 0-1. 5/10. 

 

Morgan Gibbs-White

His best game in a Wolves shirt by far. Was given just his second league start since returning from Swansea in January and was clearly determined to make an impression. The 21-year-old was popping up here, there and everywhere trying to win the ball back and deservedly picked up his first league goal for Wolves at a crucial time. Thankfully, that meant we can gloss over his shocking open goal miss just five minutes earlier. 8/10. 

 

Vitinha

Wasn’t as influential as he was in the Black Country derby on Monday, but still offered Wolves a link from midfield to attack that they lacked so badly in February and March. Wolves’ gameplan seemed to go through Gibbs-White this time rather than Vitinha, as Nuno tries to see what all his young players can do ahead of a big summer. Was still surprising to see him withdrawn for Dendoncker after Traore’s equaliser. 6/10. 

 

Daniel Podence

Hasn’t had a good few weeks, and that continued against Brighton. Minus one good turn from a short corner early on Podence was completely ineffective again. He seemed more intent on trying to argue with Ben White than provide a goal or assist, which is becoming a running theme. Withdrawn for Willian Jose midway through the second half. 5/10

 

Fabio Silva

Had another good game. Looked threatening in the second half, broke free down Brighton’s left-hand side on a couple of occasions and provided a brilliant assist in a tight space for Traore’s equaliser. After some struggles in the winter months, Silva is beginning to show glimpses of why Wolves spent £35m on him. 7/10. 

 

Adama Traore

Played just 30 minutes, but was Wolves’ man of the match. Everything went through Traore and he was asked to almost single-handedly break down a stubborn Brighton side, which he did so with ease. His equaliser was built up, and taken, superbly, while he was a constant threat as Wolves pushed for a winner. With rumours of contract talks ongoing, Jeff Shi needs to present Traore with a blank piece of paper and let him write whatever numbers he wants on it. He is crucial to this team. 9/10. 

 

Willian Jose

Was fairly anonymous minus his poor touch when put through by Moutinho. Wolves would be mad to pay £20m for his services in the summer. 5/10.

 

Leander Dendoncker

Did nothing of note as Wolves pushed for a winner and then looked to hold onto their three points. N/A. 

 

James Wynn is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

Hawthorns shithole

West Brom 1-1 Wolves Player Ratings

Wolves avoided the embarrassment of defeat against West Brom at the Hawthorns but will have been disappointed not to come away with all three points. Fabio Silva’s fortuitous opener put Wolves ahead at the break after an impressive first half display, but poor defending led to Diagne equalising for the hosts mid-way through the second half. Both sides had chances to win it, but it was Wolves who ended the stronger side without threatening Sam Johnstone in the Albion goal. Despite their pending relegation, Albion will no doubt be delighted to have taken four points off Wolves this season.

 

Rui Patricio 

Kept Wolves in it with two superb saves after the break, both from close range. The Portuguese shot stopper had a relatively quiet first half but dealt well in tough conditions, looking confident coming for the ball in a crowded and physical penalty area. 8/10

 

Nelson Semedo

Contributed well going forwards looking to link and support both Otasowie and Vitinha on the right-hand side. However, as often happens when Semedo plays in a back four, he should have closed the cross down far quicker which ultimately led to the equaliser. 6/10

 

Conor Coady

Recovered well from last weekend’s humiliating performance against Burnley, certainly looking up for the Black Country derby. Coady organised the back four well and was not afraid to play balls in behind, hoping to take advantage of the poor conditions. 6/10

 

Romain Saiss 

Will be extremely disappointed to have lost Diagne for the Albion goal. Prior to the cross coming in Saiss seemed to have his man under control, but one lapse in concentration meant Wolves’ lead was wiped out. Besides the mistake he was relatively comfortable and proved an important aerial presence in the box. 5/10

 

Rayan Ait-Nouri

An impressive all round performance form Ait-Nouri who is benefitting greatly from a consistent run in the side. He was assured defensively and contributed well going forwards, being more direct in his running and causing the Albion defence problems. 7/10

 

Leander Dendoncker

A difficult game for the midfield which in truth, neither side could dominate. Dendoncker certainly covered a lot of ground as we have come to expect and was not afraid to do the dirty work and break up play. He was unable to have any meaningful impact on the game going forward. 6/10

 

Ruben Neves

Like Dendoncker, Neves certainly relished the derby game and the poor conditions, launching himself into numerous tackles and winning the ball back on almost every occasion. He had several long-range shots on goal, all of which were frustratingly wasted. 6/10

 

Owen Otasowie

Justified his place in the side and was seen in yet another position as he played to the right of Vitinha in the three behind Silva. Was confident on the ball and wanted to get involved at every opportunity. He did waste possession on occasions but his willingness to get on the ball and play is something that should not be discouraged. 7/10

 

Vitinha

An excellent performance form Vitinha which has Wolves fans wondering why we have not seen more of the youngster. He was direct and wanted to create a chance at every opportunity, including a long-range effort which was well saved by Johnstone. His link up play with Silva was impressive and certainly something to build on, but the moment of the match was his neat flick into the path of Semedo which ultimately led to the goal. 8/10

 

Adama Traore

 A frustrating night for Traore who will have been disappointed not to have exerted a greater influence on the game. It certainly wasn’t for the want of trying, but the conditions were against him and Albion had clearly planned to crowd him out of the game at every opportunity. 6/10

 

Fabio Silva

A rare start for the Portuguese wonderkid and a second goal in a black country derby. There was a huge slice of goof fortune in the deflection back off Silva which ultimately led to the goal, but it was the bit of luck that both Wolves and Silva deserved. His link up play was impressive and he has surely done enough to warrant a start against Brighton on Sunday. 7/10

 

Subs: 

Daniel Podence

Came on for Otasowie mid-way through the second half and struggled to gain any kind of foothold in the game. His passing was poor, wasting good opportunities to counterattack. He was brushed off the ball on two occasions and hasn’t really seemed himself since his injury. 5/10

 

Morgan Gibbs-White

Followed on from his impressive cameo against Fulham to exert more enthusiasm into the game. The Stafford born midfielder will know exactly what the game means to the fans, and certainly didn’t disappoint in his short time on the pitch, flying into tackles and looking to get forward whenever possible. 6/10

 

Max Kilman

A short stint at left back from Kilman following Ait-Nouri’s injury. He had a faultless ten minutes, defending well and trying to keep the ball as Wolves looked to put pressure on Albion as the game drew to its conclusion. 6/10

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

Steve Bull Stand

Wolves 0-4 Burnley Player Ratings

Wolves put in one of their worst performances in recent years as they lost 4-0 to Burnley at Molineux. A first Premier League hat-trick for Chris Wood put the game beyond Nuno’s side in the first half, before Ashley Westwood’s brilliant late strike put the icing on the cake. It was a disastrous display by Wolves, who looked hopeless in all aspects of the game. 

 

Rui Patricio

A difficult afternoon for the Wolves keeper, but he would have done well to stop any of Burnley’s goals. Made one very good save from Lowton in the second half, as well as a couple more routine stops from Wood either side of the break. 5/10. 

 

Romain Saiss

Part of a back three who were battered from pillar to post by Wood and Vydra. Was responsible for Westwood’s brilliant fourth after giving the ball away to Rodriguez outside his own box, but prior to that Saiss had a more backseat role in Wolves’ demise when compared to his partners. Still undoubtedly one of his worst performances in his four-and-a-half years at Wolves. 3/10. 

 

Conor Coady

The worst possible performance for Wolves’ captain in front of a national audience, which it’s safe to assume included Gareth Southgate. If people wanted an example of how not to play against Chris Wood or the Premier League’s other target men, they should look at Coady’s performance; he was turned inside out for the first goal by the New Zealand international, who repeated the trick for a chance in the second half. The defensive aspect of Wolves’ game was a complete shambles, which ultimately falls into Coady’s leadership domain. 2/10. 

 

Willy Boly

Started as he meant to go on when his attempted backpass was woefully short and put Vydra through on goal. Boly’s brilliant last-ditch tackle on the Czech international delayed Burnley taking the lead by just 90 seconds, as another one of his mistakes allowed Wood to score as a long ball sailed over the Ivorian’s head. Certainly Boly’s worst performance in a Wolves shirt. 2/10. 

 

Nelson Semedo

Semedo has looked much improved in recent weeks and months, but he was back to his early season form against Burnley. Taylor and McNeil were untroubled on the left-hand side in the first half, while on one occasion Matej Vydra was given the freedom of Wolverhampton on Semedo’s side and was only stopped by Patricio. Withdrawn for Silva on 57 minutes. 3/10. 

 

Leander Dendoncker

Completely and utterly anonymous throughout the first half to the extent that most watching probably didn’t realise he was playing. Dendoncker was completely bypassed for most of the game, and in the moments when he did make a contribution, it was almost never positive. Before signing a contract extension in the autumn, Dendoncker was one of Wolves’ most important players. Now, they look better without him. 2/10.

 

Ruben Neves

Was a welcome addition to Wolves’ starting lineup after missing the visit of Sheffield United through COVID, but clearly wasn’t up to speed. Like his midfield partner Neves was bypassed for most of the game, and his long shots and free kicks left a lot to be desired. Not the return to action he’d have been hoping for. 3/10. 

 

Rayan Ait-Nouri

Probably Wolves’ best outfield player, but that’s mainly because the use of Josh Brownhill as an inverted winger left him without a one-on-one challenge for the 90 minutes. Still won’t have convinced many that he is a £20m wing back ahead of the summer. 4/10. 

 

Adama Traore

A really bad performance after looking like he’d turned his season around. Was responsible for the second goal after a lazy pass to Semedo was intercepted by McNeil on the edge of Wolves’ box, and his attacking play was similarly woeful. A disaster from Traore, who will be hoping this is just a one off. 2/10. 

 

Willian Jose

Back to his usual anonymous self after two good performances against Fulham and Sheffield United. Was no match for the formidable pairing of Mee and Tarkowski which led to the Brazilian drifting wide, where he was just as ineffective, and the addition of Fabio Silva to form a strike partnership showed no improvements either. Most fans have been calling for Silva to start over Jose for months now, but with five meaningless games coming up the 18-year-old has to play over a man Wolves would be mad to sign in the summer. 3/10.

 

Daniel Podence

Amid fierce competition, Podence’s performance was probably the worst of the lot. The Portuguese almost always broke up any attacking moves Wolves somehow managed to muster, spent more time on the floor than he did on his feet and the handbags following an embarrassing dive in the first half could have led to Wolves being reduced to 10 men. Should have been replaced prior to his eventual substitution on 69 minutes. Needs to bring back his performances of the winter, quickly. 1/10. 

 

Fabio Silva

Replaced Semedo after 57 minutes. Put himself about and disappointingly let a good cross fly through his legs in the box. 4/10.

 

Morgan Gibbs-White

Wolves’ attacking urgency had reduced to near zero when Gibbs-White came on, did nothing of note. N/A. 

 

Vitinha

As above. N/A.

 

James Wynn is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.