Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 AFC Bournemouth: Jimenez's winner keeps pressure on the top four
Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores the opening goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and AFC Bournemouth at Molineux on June 24, 2020 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers take all three points after a closely fought contest with AFC Bournemouth was wrapped up by an unstoppable header courtesy of Raúl Jiménez

The Mexican striker had played the role of a passenger for much of the game, as it had been a match of few chances up until this point. Jimenez's perfectly timed run to meet a cross from Adama Traoré left Bournemouth goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, hapless as the ball shot past him into the roof of the net. 

Up until that point it had been a competitive but frustrating fixture for both teams, as neither took full advantage when openings presented themselves. Following Wolves' goal they preceded to control the game effectively, stifling Bournemouth's determined but fruitless attacks. 

Story of the game

It was a far from vintage display from a Wolves side widely praised for their enthralling counter-attacking displays.  A style that has led to an unexpected charge towards a Champions League spot. 

The first half was largely a non-event as Bournemouth did an excellent job of containing Traoré. Adam Smith, Junior Stanislas, and Philip Billing managed to encircle him every time he received the ball on the right wing.

Wolves finished half time uninspired but for a tactical tweak made by manager Nuno Espírito Santo. Traoré made the move over to the left, which appeared to unsettle Bournemouth's defence. 

By the time the second half had started, the Spaniard had moved back over to the right. Coupled with Billing's injury, Bournemouth were finding it increasingly difficult to track him.

After sending in a teasing cross following the restart, a quick free kick taken by Rúben Neves, switched the play over to the right, enabling Traoré to escape to the byline unmarked. From his advanced position he whipped in an irresistible cross that was willingly met by Jiménez, giving Wolves the lead right on the hour mark.  

In the blistering thirty degree heat, Santo appeared happy to 'shut-up shop' at this point, taking Traoré off for Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker

Wolves reverted to a 5-3-2, taking the sting out of Bournemouth's play and preventing them from having any serious chances to equalise. 

It was substitute Pedro Neto who had the best chance to score in the remainder of the game. The Portguese youngster dragged his chance wide in a wonderful one-on-one opportunity.

It would have capped off a wonderful week for the youngster, as the chance had been manufactured from him dancing past three Bournemouth players.

Bournemouth must find attacking rhythm to resist relegation

Defeat to Wolves now means the Cherries have lost 7 consecutive away league games - a run of form that must be stopped if they are to harbour genuine hopes of playing in the Premier League next season. 

Although the not so secret ingredient to arrest this type of form is typically to resolve defensive lapses, Wolves' goal was potentially preventable.

It's the lack of creativity for Bournemouth in the final third which is most alarming for their manager Eddie Howe.

Initially the signs were promising, an inventive pass from Junior Stanislas had Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patrício scampering, yet for the rest of the game the Portugal goalkeeper was hardly tested. 

With three of their next four games against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City Howe must find a way to inspire his attack to score some goals if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.

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