Wolves beat Bournemouth at Molineux on Wednesday to take another step towards improving on their 7th place finish last season. It wasn’t a sparkling performance that earned the three points but they had more to offer than a Bournemouth team now anchored in the bottom three and who looked like they wouldn’t have scored if they had played all night.
Writer: DJ Wolves
There was just one change to the starting line up from Saturday’s win against West Ham with the unsurprising choice of Traore instead of Dendoncker after the wingers match winning introduction from the bench in that game.
The match got off to a cagey start with the visitors having more of the ball but creating little with it. Wolves meanwhile had no fluency to their game in the early stages and after two unnecessary fouls conceded Saiss picked up a yellow card. The game was briefly lit up by a brilliant run by Traore who beat four players on a mazy run before being brought down by Brooks who was cautioned. That was the start of a busy time for the referee who booked two more Bournemouth players and Neves in the space of five minutes. The succession of fouls was certainly not helping the flow of the game, and the thirty degree heat was hampering the pace of the game.
As soon as the second half got underway there was more purpose to the Wolves game with wing backs Doherty and Jonny getting further forward to support the attack. And midway through the half they got the breakthrough their superiority deserved. It was a goal that had a lot in common with their opener against West Ham at the weekend with Traore getting to the byeline on the right then crossing to the far post where Jimenez sent in a powerful header. It was a slender advantage that Bournemouth rarely threatened to pull back and at the death there was a clear chance for a second for Wolves when sub Neto got clean through but saw his shot beat the keeper but go beyond the post.
Patricio 6 – had little to do other than collect a few crosses.
Boly 7 – as assured as usual.
Coady 7 – comfortable but rarely under pressure.
Saiss 6 – his tendency to give away unnecessary free kicks, and earn bookings as a result, resurfaced here.
Doherty 6 – quiet game but got forward more after the break.
Neves 6 – his passing and shooting not on song today.
Moutinho 6 – steady game.
Jonny 7 – played well since the restart.
Traore 8 – not as influential as he can be but still produced the games telling moments.
Jimenez 7 – two well taken headed goals since the restart.
Jota 7 – had a few strong runs and was brought down on a number of occasions.
Subs were Neto, Dendoncker, Podence and Gibbs White for Traore, Jimenez, Neves and Moutinho.
Wolves are now four points clear of 7th and only two behind Chelsea in 4th. Next game is away to Villa on Saturday lunchtime and a chance to make further progress towards another European campaign. But will that be Europa or Champions League? Eyes starting to be drawn to a possible showdown on the last day of the season with Wolves visiting Chelsea and Man Utd at Leicester.