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Going into Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace, Wolves set a Premier League record after naming an unchanged starting 11 for eight consecutive opening games. Not at their usual best, with Palace managing to keep them at bay for large periods of the match, Wolves had to remain patient to get their reward. Their patience paid off as Matt Doherty’s second-half winner took them to seventh place (above Manchester United) with 15 points heading into the international break, marking Wolves most successful start in the top-flight since 1979.
Wolves Struggle To Bite
Keeping only 33% of the possession, Wolves struggled to create and with Crystal Palace starting out well, they were more contained than usual. Overall, Wolves only had seven shots, two on target, as opposed to Palace who had 11 shots, four on target.
Despite the lack of possession, Wolves didn’t change their game plan. They stuck to their usual style of play and it paid off for them. Defensively, they were brilliant. With Conor Coady calm and collected, and Rui Patricio ready for anything that came at him, Palace couldn’t find their way through. Patricio’s magnificent double save meant that Wolves kept another clean sheet and gained the three points.
Late on, Cavaleiro should have made it two for the Wanderers but his shot rocketed off the bar and meant that Wolves lead was kept at one.
Clinching his first Premier League goal in style, the Irish right-back took a brilliant pass from Raul Jiminez on the 56th-minute and slotted it past ex-Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey to give the boys in gold and black the lead.
Matt Doherty is certainly a favourite amongst the fans, having signed for the club in 2010, he stuck with the club through their fall to League One, their struggle in the Championship and their spectacular rise back to the top-flight. He is a player that has grown massively over the years and with Nuno’s instruction, has proven himself a worthy Premier League player. After an excellent run in the Championship, there were some concerns on whether he would be able to make the step up to the Premier League, but he has more than proven himself. With his creativity going forward and his ability to get stuck in, he is arguably one of Wolves’ most valued players, at the moment.
He really was a vital part of Wolves win at Crystal Palace, making three clearances, three interceptions and winning two out of three tackles, that was just a small part of his input. He, of course, scored the only goal of the match and won 10 out of 16 duels.
A subdued performance from Wolves, but an important one, all the same. While Palace came forward well, they didn’t take their chances in the final third, whereas, Wolves didn’t have as many chances but were able to put theirs away, showing the difference between the two sides. With Wolves now unbeaten in six and sitting pretty in seventh place, this is a season that fans will never forget. Looking forward to after the international break, their next Premier League fixture is at home to Watford and they should be looking to keep up their unbeaten run.