The Warm Down: Wolves stifle dominant Leeds to move into top six
Raul Jimenez scored his third goal of the season at Elland Road, but had a hefty Kalvin Phillips deflection to thank. (Photo by Martin Rickett - Pool/Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers earned back-to-back Premier League wins on Monday as they inflicted a first home defeat on Leeds in eight months. 

Raul Jimenez's 70th minute strike looked comfortable for Illan Meslier before a wicked deflection off Kalvin Phillips wrong-footed the Frenchman, who could only watch the ball roll into his net. 

Despite another poor first-half performance, Wolves looked the most dangerous side in the second 45 and had a stunning Romain Saiss volley ruled out by VAR eight minutes after the break. 

Nuno Espirito Santo's side had to survive a multiple onslaughts from the Premier League new boys, but an impressive backline held firm to record Wolves' third consecutive win at Elland Road

  • Defensive stability returns with Kilman

During Wolves' 4-0 defeat to West Ham at the end of September, the back three of Conor Coady, Willy Boly and Saiss came in for particular criticism. 

Despite defensive stability being a trademark of all of Nuno's teams in his eight-year managerial career, fans and pundits alike could sense a susceptibility creeping into his current Wolves side. 

That talk has been subsided with two consecutive clean sheets, both of which have been influenced by the impressive Max Kilman

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The 23-year-old, who was making just his fourth Premier League start in Yorkshire, looked composed in possession throughout and was not fazed by a Leeds attack with nine goals in their first four games. 

With two clean sheets and a man-of-the-match performance under his belt, the left centre-back spot looks to be Kilman's to lose. 

  • Dendoncker's dirty work brings best out of Moutinho

Another issue raised in the defeat at the London Stadium was a lack of cohesion between Wolves' long-term midfield pairing of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho

As with the defensive problems, that looks to have been solved by a tweak of personnel. Leander Dendoncker was brought into the midfield alongside Neves in the win against Fulham and started with Moutinho on Monday.

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In Dendoncker, Nuno has found an unlikely midfield lynchpin. The 25-year-old's hard yards in the middle of the park enables whichever Portuguese he plays alongside to excel, with Moutinho producing a performance that would have been worthy of the man-of-the-match award. 

With Dendoncker cementing himself in midfield with two impressive performances, it will be interesting to see which of Neves and Moutinho Nuno chooses to play alongside him in upcoming games. 

  • Slow starts have to stop if Wolves are to achieve European goal

Despite the positives, one lingering problem has been a trademark of Wolves' play for over a year now.

Since the start of last season, Wanderers have scored just 16 first-half goals in their 43 league matches, and produced one of their slowest starts yet at Elland Road.

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Nuno's side were faced with attack after attack from the men in white and had to wait until first-half stoppage time for their first attempt of any kind, as Daniel Podence's effort was well saved by Meslier. 

Any thought of Nuno's new-look side bursting out of the blocks in games looks to be wishful thinking, with Wolves producing just six attempts on target in the first half of their last four outings. 

While Wolves' second-half showings cannot be criticised, if the men in gold can play front-foot football for 90 minutes they could become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. 

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