Now that Wolves are the only West Midlands team in the Premier League, Leicester have become our closest rivals and only derby match of the season. The boys from the East Midlands travelled to Molineux on Saturday for the league’s early kick-off, and neither team failed to entertain. In what turned out to be a seven-goal thriller, full of drama, Wolves managed to edge their way on top, beating Leicester 4-3.
Wolves only had 45% of the possession and had fewer shots than Leicester, yet they were able to make the most of their possession and chances. Leicester didn’t show up at the start of the match and left themselves a mountain to climb. While they managed to claw their way back, it just wasn’t enough in the end and Wolves came out victorious.
Saiss had to step in for Boly and after playing midfield all season, I think he stepped up well. There was room for improvement but he did well. He made five clearances, blocked one shot, made one interception and won two out of two tackles. He also played 10 long balls, five of which were accurate.
Wolves’ midfield trio of Moutinho, Neves and Dendoncker, was an absolute steal. Today their worth was proved, with Moutinho setting up two goals in the first 12 minutes, and Neves creating some excellent long passes to set up the final two.
Let’s start with Moutinho, who became the first Wolves player to provide two assists in a Premier League game since Kevin Doyle who provided two assists against Swansea in April 2012. That wasn’t all he did. He had 85% passing accuracy, won eight out of 15 duels, made three clearances and one interception.
Moving on to Neves, who made four key passes, played 12 long balls (seven of which were accurate), had one cracking shot on target, made one clearance and two interceptions. He looked completely back to his normal self on Saturday and his passing was just outstanding.
Finally, let’s take a look at Dendoncker. He was superb defensively and I think he gave Neves and Moutinho the opportunity to get creative. He won seven out of 17 duels, made five clearances, one interception, blocked one shot and committed two fouls, without picking up any cards.
Jota makes history
On Saturday, Diogo became the first Wolves player to score a Premier League hat-trick. Alongside this, he was actually the first Wolves player to score a top flight hat-trick at all since John Richards in 1977, which was also against Leicester. Incredible right? Well, it gets even better than that, because he also joins the ranks of Cristiano Ronaldo! He and Ronaldo are the only two Portuguese players to score Premier League hat-tricks, both at the age of 22. Boom. What a day for Diogo Jota!
Alongside scoring three goals, the winning one in the last minute of the match which saw Nuno on the pitch and getting sent to the stands, he did much more. He also had another shot on target, made one key pass, won six out of 17 duels, made one clearance and one interception. He really is on top form at the moment, and for all those who said he wasn’t good enough for the prem? I think he’s proved he definitely is.
On the face of things, letting in three goals is quite disappointing, but the match was so entertaining, and with Wolves coming out on top in the end, I think that can be forgiven. Whenever they fell behind, they fought their way back and that’s what it’s all about.
Next up, Wolves will face Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Saturday. We will get to see some old faces again in the form of Dave Edwards and Sam Ricketts. Edwards who now plays for them and Ricketts who manages them. Hopefully, Wolves can put on another fantastic display to continue their cup run.