Wolverhampton Wanderers Home Lost 0 – 1
Saints had lost the last two home encounters with Wolves despites holding deserved leads, but that was against Nuno’s expansive Wolverhampton, and under Bruno Lage they are much less easy on the eye; Ralph included Walker-Peters at left back, presumably to counter the threat of Traoré, but he sat out most of the game on the bench. Jiménez tested McCarthy in the very first minute, but the visitors were mostly content to watch Adams and Adam Armstrong run around as they used to do in the Championship, but it doesn’t cut it at Premier League level. Redmond had the ball in the net with a good finish, but from an offside position, and otherwise problems for Wolves at the back were largely of their own making. Broja’s performance at Sheffield hadn’t done him any favours, but the fans recognise class when they see it, and his absence for the first hour of this match was hard to explain. The dynamic of the game changed in the 61st minute thanks to Wolves’ own class player, Jiménez, who made fools of Bednarek and Salisu when breaking away after a goalkeeping clearance and his extensive delight was probably for more than just a fine goal. On came Broja and Djnepo for Adams and Redmond, but now the task was much harder; the visitors had seen a three minute goal celebration pass without a word of admonishment and every opportunity to run the clock down by fair means or foul was taken – it was reminiscent of Don Revie’s Leeds United, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. This was a rare game without any cautions and six minutes added time doesn’t make up for the disjointed nature of the play, but there was also a feeling that Saints would have had to have been out there an awful lot longer to break a Premier League scoring drought, while Jiménez should have scored a second in the closing minutes. There were a few moments of action around goalkeeper Sá, who had saved from Livramento with his foot at 0-0, but our team aren’t good enough at the sharp end to make their own luck; the introduction of Long as a third attacking sub rather summed up the situation.
LSSC Man of the Match: Tino Livramento. He’s come close a few times, but there weren’t a lot of outstanding performances around in this one.
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