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Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Southampton 0 – Premier League Match Report

Late drama at Molineux saw Wolves take all three points as Southampton failed to capitalise on first-half chances.

A relatively slow first half saw the Saints apply heavy pressure to the home side, mainly dominating possession and seemingly having the game under control. However, capitalisation is key. As both sides walked into the changing room at halftime without a goal, Wolves could have counted themselves as the lucky ones.

Second half substitutions were to be the key factors in this game as Costa and Jotta were replaced by Traore and Cavaleiro respectively.

Nuno Santo has every reason to be ecstatic with his decisions as the 78th minute saw the deadlock smashed. After a prolonged period of pressure from Southampton, Adama Traore made his first large contribution to the game, making a lightning quick break down the right-hand side of the midfield.

After skillfully beating Bertrand he drove a low ball into the box which was perfectly controlled by Jimenez and laid off to Cavaleiro who dispatched a calm finish into a practically empty Southampton net. The excitement was to continue as almost immediately after scoring their first, Alex McCarthy made arguably the save of the season so far to keep the Saints in the game.

After gaining confidence from their breakthrough, Wolves’ confidence was sky high. Southampton could not deal with the pressure as Wolves capitalised through Castro Otto. The right-hand side of the field was again utilised as Doherty, under the watchful eye of Roy Keane in the stands, played a decent ball into the box, which with some help from lacklustre defending from Stuart Armstrong, allowed Otto the space to dispatch the ball past Alex McCarthy.

Wolves’ Vulnerability

Despite their seemingly comfortable win over Southampton, one area in which Santo may look to improve is their vulnerability on the counter-attack. As a manager, attacking enthusiasm is always welcomed into a side, however, the willingness to bust a gut to come back and defend must be reciprocated. A clean sheet was, howeverr, generous for Santo’s side, as on another day against a team with more confidence going forward, they could have been severely punished.

Managerial Masterclass

Santo can go to bed a happy man tonight as his substitutions throughout the second half changed the game massively, evidently due to their contributions towards the goals. Not only does this show that Wolves are a team with quality and depth, but that they have players on the bench are willing to give everything they have in an attempt to gain themselves a start on the first team. Combining competition in the team with the quality, Wolves are set to be a very dangerous side this season and have shown it with their form.

Southampton’s lack of cutting edge

Whether it be the lack of ability or lack of confidence, Southampton jcannot not seem to capitalise on periods of play when they are on top. This was seen last week as they threw away a two goal lead to Brighton, and today as they failed to score when on top in the first half. Mark Hughes claims that the current failures in the team is not down to flaws in the system, but down to individual errors and mistakes. How long can Mark Hughes blame the players before he turns around and looks at himself?

Man of the Match: Adama Traore.

While only being on the pitch for 37 minutes of the game, Man of the Match performance has to go to Adama Traore. His ability to flip the game on its head arguably won all three points for Wolves due to his electric pace and wing play.

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