Wolverhampton Wanderers looked very accomplished, as their first half performance was enough to blow Crystal Palace out of the water and secure the three points for the Midlands club.
Debutant Rayan Aït-Nouri got his career in old gold off the mark in the best way possible as he gave Wolves the lead inside 20 minutes with a stunning finish into the bottom corner, which was quickly followed up by another from Daniel Podence, as he found himself on the end of a cross from Pedro Neto just nine minutes later.
Luka Milivojevič was given his marching orders later in the games, which knocked the wind out of Palace and allowed Wolves to breeze over the line and ensure that all three of the points stayed in Wolverhampton.
Sensational start for the wonderkid
Rayan Aït-Nouri gave Wolves the lead in the game, with a goal on his Premier League debut from left back, but this isn’t the only notable impact on the match that he had. The 19 year old kept Palace danger man Wilfred Zaha “in his back pocket” all night, frustrating him and disrupting the Eagle’s creativity in the attacking areas.
Aït-Nouri won 100% of aerial duels, whilst also having 100% dribbles completed and 91% pass accuracy. It was a debut to remember for the young Frenchman, and one that has got a lot of Wolves fans excited about his future at the Molineux.
With Ruben Vinagre out of the club now after moving to Olympiacos towards the end of the window, and senior left back Jonny Otto out injured for the majority of the season, Rayan Aït-Nouri has big boots to fill, but if this game is anything to go by he will fill those boots excellently.
Wolves face Leicester City next away at the King Power Stadium, which will be a fierce test for Aït-Nouri, but if the way he dealt with Wilfred Zaha is anything to go by, Jamie Vardy and the attack of Leicester might be the worried ones coming into this game.
Goals from elsewhere in the side
One of Wolves’ main criticisms this season is that they do not have enough goal scorers and that they are too reliant on Raul Jimenez to score all of their goals.
Well, yesterday was a different story all together as Raul Jimenez was not on the score sheet. Instead Daniel Podence stepped up to the plate and scored the goal that sealed the game for Wolves.
The wide-men of Wolves have been promising this season, but have lacked end product when it really counted. Before coming into this game, Wolves had only scored six goals in six games, with their main man, the Mexican sensation Raul Jimenez getting four of them and Neto and Saiss getting the other two.
In this game however, Neto and Podence were Wolves’ main threat and showed how good they can be when they are on their game. Podence and Neto both picked up their second assist of the season with brilliant crosses to Aït-Nouri and Podence respectively.
A happy boss
Nuno Espirito Santo has seen his Wolves side have their best ever start to a Premier League season, as they currently sit third in the table after the first seven games.
Usually Wolves start slowly and grow into games, with the majority of their goals coming in the second half of matches. However today was the opposite as Wolves’ two goals were inside the first half an hour of the game. It was important for Wolves to break the duck of not scoring many goals in the first half, and they did this, which left boss Nuno Espirito Santo happy.
“We started really well. It proves no game is the same. The best spells of the game can happen at the beginning, the middle, the end, the idea is to try and do it because we played against a very good team.
“We started better than Palace, the end of the first-half Palace started creating problems, we had issues there. In the second-half I think we started slow. We allowed Palace to have the ball and were not comfortable. The moment we adjusted, we started playing better and had good chances to score again.”
Nuno will be hoping that his team can have “good spells” in games more often as the season goes on, especially at the start of matches as it gives Wolves an advantage to hold on to which they have proved they are very good at under defensive mastermind Nuno Espirito Santo.