The Warm Down: Late Traore winner earns Wolves first win in six
Adama Traore gives Wolves three points in stoppage time at Craven Cottage. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers picked up their first win since mid-February as a late Adama Traore strike gave them a 1-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage

Nuno Espirito Santo's side had the ball in the net just before half time, but Willian Jose's first Wolves goal was ruled out by VAR for the tightest of offsides against Daniel Podence

With the game destined for a dull 0-0 draw in the 92nd minute, Traore latched onto Fabio Silva's pass to score his first Premier League goal since December 2019 and give Wolves a valuable three points.

The result leaves Wolves on 38 points, 12 points ahead of Fulham in 18th, and almost certainly guarantees their top-flight status for another year. 

  • Traore emphasises importance with crucial late goal

469 days after getting the ball rolling in Wolves' thrilling 3-2 win against Manchester City, Adama Traore finally ended his Premier League goal drought. 

He couldn't have picked a more opportune moment, either. With Wolves looking near certainties to pick up their fourth goalless draw in 2021 alone, Traore was brilliantly put through by Fabio Silva and blasted the ball past Alphonse Areola to spark jubilant scenes on the Wanderers bench. 

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It was fitting that Traore, statistically one of the league's unluckiest players this campaign, should be the one to provide a rare high point in a poor season for Wolves. The Spaniard had to step up in the absence of Pedro Neto, who was withdrawn after 32 minutes with a knee injury, and did so brilliantly to cap a fine individual week after a superb assist for Leander Dendoncker's goal against West Ham United on Monday.

After a season of heavy, and sometimes unjust criticism for Traore, the 25-year-old is looking back to his old self. 

  • Clean sheet provides stark contrast from Monday's defensive woes

After a Sunday League-standard defensive display against West Ham on Monday, many fans were demanding that Nuno should revert to his tried and trusted 3-4-3 formation to give Wolves a greater chance of picking up the point they realistically needed to guarantee survival.

However, the Portuguese stuck with his more entertaining, but extremely vulnerable 4-2-3-1 system, and also stuck with the same 11 players who started in the 3-2 defeat. 

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That changed with Neto's injury, as the 21-year-old was replaced by Joao Moutinho. Obviously unhappy with what he had seen so far, Nuno put Dendoncker into the back three and Wolves were not seriously threatened by their hosts for the rest of the game. 

While there is certainly debate to be had about which system would suit Wolves better going forward, there's no doubt that Nuno's side look much more able to grind out results in a 3-4-3. 

  • Time for risk taking with seven free hits to come

With a gap of 12 points to Fulham in 18th, Wolves' can be certain that Premier League football will be returning to Molineux in 2021/22. 

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Now, all attentions will shift to ensuring that Wolves don't endure another campaign like this one. With four of Wanderers' last seven games coming against sides in the bottom six, Nuno has the perfect opportunity to make a judgement on loanees Vitinha, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Willian Jose, young prospects like Owen Otasowie and Theo Corbeanu, and, most importantly, which system the recruitment team should build around during the summer. 

The handbrake has been left on far too often this season but with a bit of attacking intent, players playing for their future and an unconcerned fanbase, Wolves have the perfect chance to add some much needed gloss to a poor campaign. 

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