Wolves came out victorious over a substandard Burnley side who could have been embarrassed had the home side been more clinical.
The game began fairly slowly with both sides unable to produce any real threat. As time passed, Wolves grew into the game and created the first opportunity. From a short corner, an in-swinging cross from the right produced a brave parry by Joe Hart with Boly’s lunge unable to get significant contact on the ball.
Early on, Wolves looked the more likely to take the lead having possession higher up in the oppositions half compared to the away side but Burnley grew into the half, controlling parts of the game. Both defences were fairly comfortable and any promising attacking moves would break down with a failed final ball.
However, Burnley were put under the cosh when Hart was forced into making a number of good saves and a goal line clearance from Tarkowski in the space of a few seconds. This highlighted Wolves’ frustration, that when they were able to get beyond the organised Burnley defence, they simply couldn’t beat the keeper.
Despite more pressure from the hosts and an off target volley from Boly, the deadlock couldn’t be broken resulting in a lacklustre goalless stalemate in the opening 45 minutes. Wolves looked the more dangerous and the Clarets gave Rui Patricio a relaxing first-half, and despite Burnley soaking up the pressure well, it could be argued Wolves were unlucky not to go in ahead.
Wolves opened the second half with another missed chance and started to utilise the teams pace to get through the Burnley back line. An early change from Sean Dyche saw Barnes replaced by Vydra to provide an outlet to build their attacks from deep.
On the 60th minute, Wolves finally managed to beat the Burnley No.1. A stabbed, fizzed pass after a bursting run down the right found the feet of Raul Jimenez, who precisely placed the ball into the side net of the far post from 12 yards out, giving Hart no chance.
Wolves continued to squander decent chances as Burnley opened up to risk getting an equaliser, who came close from a set piece which found Vydra to drill a volley across the face of the goal. Wolves still looked most likely to get the next goal but were wasting their well-worked opportunities.
Burnley pressed with time running out but failed to work the keeper while Wolves couldn’t convert another one of the thirty attempts they had throughout the game. Not surprisingly, there was no equaliser and Wolves took all three points to make it back-to-back wins.
Are Wolves relegation contenders?
Wolves now have back-to-back wins in the Premier League and have played good quality football in most of their games so far. The first two games saw them fail to beat 10 men but they were able to prove themselves when holding the champions to a draw and then going on to beat West Ham away.
It’s still early days and Wolves have created many goal scoring opportunities already. The only negative is the conversion rate of these chances are fairly low, and to ensure they’re still a Premier League club next year, the players will have to keep their composure in front goal. Other teams have more work to do than Wolves who have seemed relatively comfortable so far with eight points from five games.
Will Burnley survive?
Of late, Sean Dyche has arguably transformed Burnley into an established Premier League side. Their formidable defence and the capability of being able to win games by one goal with a clean sheet has been an area of expertise. This doesn’t seem to be the case this season; their strikers have failed to score in the Premier League this season with their top goalscorer being centre-half Tarkowski.
Their lack of goals could be a sign of things to come and may put them in the frame for a relegation battle. They can take solace in the fact that it is still early days but four straight defeats is a worry and only one point is a serious concern for any team.
Man of the Match – Matt Doherty
Cometh the hour, cometh the breakthrough from Raul, but Doherty provided the assist. He was highly influential in creating many of the chances for Wolves. He could have had a goal of his own but the energy from the wing back was fantastic, making him a key man in both Wolves’ attack and defence.