Wolves managed to keep in-form Southampton at arm’s length to secure a 3-1 win at Molineux on Saturday.
This victory sees Bruno Lage’s men climb to eighth in the Premier League table, and are now unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions.
The first chance of any note came 26 minutes into the game, with Daniel Podence turning Romain Perraud inside-out, but firing straight into the grateful clutches of Fraser Forster.
Wolves missed a couple of big chances to take the lead just after the half-hour mark following a frenzy in the Southampton box. Raul Jimenez’s shot was blocked at point-blank range by Lyanco, before Rayan Ait-Nouri was beaten to the ball by Jan Bednarek. But after a VAR check, the Poland international was adjudged to have challenged the Frenchman illegally and the hosts were awarded a penalty.
Jimenez stepped up to the spot and sent Forster the wrong way to put Wolves ahead.
Southampton responded brightly to this setback. Jose Sa produced a fine reflex save to deny Mohammed Salisu’s free header before Nathan Tella somehow flicked Perraud’s deflected cross over from mere yards out.
In first half stoppage time, Ait-Nouri fired into the side-netting when released by Jimenez, though replays suggested a goal would have been ruled out for offside.
Ralph Hasenhuttl threw on Che Adams for the second 45, though Wolves had the ball in the net soon after the restart after Conor Coady tapped in from a free-kick – but play had been pulled back for an offside call.
But Coady wasn’t to be denied soon after when Southampton again failed to deal with a set piece. Forster failed to claim Max Kilman’s looping header which rattled the post, and Coady just about snuck it in from close range.
That second strike seemed to knock the wind out of Southampton’s sails, who didn’t threaten again until the 74th minute when substitute Che Adams fired straight at Sa.
And the Saints found a lifeline when James Ward-Prowse fired in a swerving free-kick from 25 yards with ten minutes remaining.
A game that looked to comfortably belong to Wolves had suddenly burst into life, as Perraud’s thumping header crashed against the bar before Adama Traore volleyed over for the hosts.
However, the Spaniard made amends in stoppage time on the counter with a well-taken finish to secure the three points.
Jose Sa (GK) – 8/10 – Made several key stops and commanded his defence with such personality.
Max Kilman (CB) – 7/10 – Won the header which eventually led to Coady’s strike. Otherwise wasn’t really troubled.
Conor Coady (CB) – 8/10 – Led from the back and grabbed a crucial goal.
Toti Gomes (CB) – 7/10 – Didn’t look out of place on his Wolves debut.
Nelson Semedo (RWB) – 6/10 – Largely dealt with the threat of Perraud well, though was robbed of possession in a dangerous position cheaply by Adam Armstrong late on.
Leander Dendoncker (CM) – 5/10 – Wasteful and not on the same wavelength as his teammates. Made a few rash decisions on and off the ball.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 7/10 – Just has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and making the correct decisions.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) – 7/10 – One of Wolves’ most promising attacking outlets but was caught out on occasion defensively.
Francisco Trincao (RW) – 6/10 – Didn’t exactly set the world alight but he didn’t need to.
Raul Jimenez (CF) – 7/10 – After a quiet opening period, the Mexican sparked into life and ended up scoring from the spot.
Daniel Podence (LW) – 8/10 – Anything that Wolves did well came through the magic man.
Adama Traore (RW, 78′ for Trincao) – 7/10 – Missed a sitter, scored a goal.
Fabio Silva (CF, 80′ for Jimenez) – N/A
Luke Cundle (LW, 96′ for Podence) – N/A
Fraser Forster (GK) – 3/10 – Everything was going fine until he decided to try and claim a cross on the very edge of his own area. Terrible decision.
Jan Bednarek (CB) – 4/10 – Always looked a bit ropey so it wasn’t a surprise to see him concede a penalty.
Lyanco (CB) – 5/10 – Put his body on the line time after time but it wasn’t enough.
Mohammed Salisu (CB) – 5/10 – An up and down game which definitely would have been more ‘up’ had he scored his free header in the first half.
Nathan Tella (RWB) – 4/10 – Carried little threat bar his sitter from about two yards out.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 7/10 – Kept things ticking and his deliveries were dangerous. His free-kick was exquisite.
Oriol Romeu (CM) – 5/10 – He tried hard, sure, but that was about it.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) – 5/10 – Didn’t enjoy himself as much as he has in recent weeks. Hooked at half time.
Romain Perraud (LWB) – 6/10 – One of Southampton’s only sources of inspiration but he couldn’t do it alone.
Nathan Redmond (CF) – 3/10 – Anonymous. Every time he did try and get on the ball, he soon enough lost it.
Armando Broja (CF) – 5/10 – Held up the ball and won a lot of his battles, but not enough that were close to the Wolves goal.
Che Adams (CF, 46′ for Diallo) – 5/10 – Didn’t really get into the game until it was too late.
Stuart Armstrong (RWB, 71′ for Tella) – 4/10
Adam Armstrong (CF, 78′ for Broja) – N/A