Wolverhampton Wanderers hosted and beat West Ham United tonight extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to ten straight matches, tying the club’s best run ever in the top-flight of English football.
Story of the game
Unlike the stands, the match started quiet. Both teams struggled to get any sort of meaningful attacking play in the early minutes. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men slowly started losing their constraints and opening up gaps in the Hammers’ defence midway through the first half and the game started to pick up some pace. However, few were expecting Leander Dendocker to be at the end of a João Moutinho corner.
The Belgian midfielder was hungrier than everybody else and extended his leg, hitting it past David Martin who was rooted to the spot as he saw the ball go in. It was Dendocker’s first Premier League goal this season and it was enough to give Wolves the lead at halftime. But the Wanderers must thank Rui Patricio for their lead at the break as the Portuguese keeper produced a brilliant save to a Pablo Fornals' shot that was heading to the top corner.
In the second half, the home team kept pushing for the second goal while the visitors were looking to equalize. Johnny had a good chance after a Raul Jimenez pass but would see Martin block his effort, something that happened minutes later on the other end of the pitch as Patricio saved a one-on-one with Robert Snodgrass to keep it 1-0.
Besides Snodgrass’ chance, West Ham couldn’t pick apart the Wolves defence. And their hopes were laid to rest at the 86th minute when Johnny was faster then Fabián Balbuena and got the ball. The Spaniard then passed it to Pedro Neto and the Portuguese left it to Patrick Cutrone who hit it hard to the bottom-left corner to make it 2-0 and give Wolves their third win in their last five matches.
The Wanderers are now fifth in the Premier League and far are the days of struggle that haunted the team at the beginning of the season.
Takeaways from the match
For the first time since the 6th of October (0-2 win at the Etihad against Manchester City), Wolves was able to keep a clean sheet. Despite the good results in the last ten games, Nuno’s men conceded goals in seven of those games which can be a reason for concern.
10-game unbeaten run
After the early season struggles that the Wanderers endured, they seem to have found the formula to grind out results and so far it has been working wonders.
If the team is able to keep this form, then we may see a few surprises later on in the season.
Man of the match
The Spaniard was everywhere and was essential for this win. Despite ending the match without a goal or an assist, he was a key player for the Wolves’ offence and was an integral part of both goals. With Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore, Johnny keeps making a case for why he deserves to be in the starting 11.