Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Southampton: VAR saves Saints at Molineux
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on October 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

VAR was the difference between the two sides, ruling out two first half Wolverhampton Wanderers goals in this 1-1 draw at Molineux.

Danny Ings capitalised on Conor Coady's mistake to open the scoring, but it was immediately cancelled out after Raúl Jiménez rightfully converted his penalty.

The story of the game

Devoid of class. Bereft of quality. The only ways to describe the first half at Molineux.

The game opened slowly but it was Southampton who had the better chances - especially on the counter.

Andros Townsend broke through the middle in the opening minutes, the winger threaded the ball through to Ryan Bertrand who wonderfully skipped over Adama Traore's sliding challenge to produce a ball into the box that evaded everyone.

Just as the game was beginning to settle, Yan Valery flew into a late challenge on Jonny Otto and was rightfully booked.

Moments later it was Traore attempting to be the catalyst with a ball in from the right wing aimed at Patrick Cutrone. The Italian mustered up an audacious overhead kick that was comfortably held by Angus Gunn.

Despite the lack of cutting edge from either side, Wolves did manage to score two albeit disallowed goals, pushing VAR further and further down Wolves fans' Christmas lists.

The first disallowed goal came after half an hour of play. A long searching ball over the top was messily brought down by Raúl Jiménez just outside the area, but he got the job done by rounding the keeper and slotting the ball into an empty net.

Moments later the celebrations subdued as VAR had begun its check on the goal. Harshly, the Mexican was deemed to have handled the ball and perhaps even more harshly he was then booked in the aftermath.

Just before the stroke of half-time, Raúl found the ball at his feet, turned his defender inside out and laid the ball off to Ruben Neves. As you would expect he picked out Cutrone whose flicked effort was turned out by the keeper and into the path of Neves to slot home.

Yet again, VAR cut short the celebrations to reveal that Cutrone was in fact offside.

A certain repetitive chant coming from the Sir Jack Hayward Stand suggested that Wolves fans didn't agree.

Potentially unjustly the two teams went back into the changing rooms at half-time with the scores level.

Shortly after half-time, Danny Ings created space on the edge of the box but softly passed his shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Having chances began to wake the travelling fans but none more so than when usually reliable captain Coady made a crucial error and allowed Ings through on goal. Of course, a finisher of his calibre slotted the ball between the legs of an onrushing Rui Patricio.

Not even ten minutes later Wolves were back on the prowl towards goal. Full-back Matt Doherty, who had just replaced Neves at half-time, made his way into the box - dancing between the oncoming challenges.

That was until Pierre-Emile Højbjerg left his right foot dangling in his path. Doherty, well within his right, went over the leg and the home side received a penalty and a way back into the game.

Confident number nine Jiménez stepped up, stuttered, and slotted the ball into the back of the net, sending Molineux into rapturous relief that they didn't squander another chance.

The goal gave the hosts all the momentum they needed to have the desire to find the killer blow to Southampton.

Although there was a continuous barrage from the Midlands side - mainly resulting in long-range efforts blazing high and wide - it was the visitors that ended the game on the attack.

A late free-kick struck by James Ward-Prowse was saved by Patricio into the top right corner.

Unfortunately, for both sides that was the final chance of the match.

The takeaways


Wolves lack cutting edge

Although the hosts scored two disallowed goals, their creative influences in and around the box were somewhat disappointing. No-one in the side managed to take hold up the ball and make the difference.

It didn't help the hosts that Neves was removed from the fold at half-time leaving only Joao Moutinho the only naturally creative player on the pitch.

Saints' lucky escape

Yet again Southampton managed to wriggle their way out of a defeat thanks to VAR. Today's game saw two more goals ruled out by VAR.

That now makes it six decisions overturned in favour of the Saints by the new system.

Wolves on the other hand will feel very hard done by at the hands of VAR yet again. It could take a while to get their fans on board now.