A night of pure Molineux Magic saw Wolves knock title contenders Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Monday. Thanks to goals from Raúl Jiminez and Rúben Neves, Wolves ran out 2-1 winners, and have now won five out of their seven FA Cup ties against Liverpool. Let’s take a look at the statistics to see what happened.
Keeping only 39% possession against the title contenders, you may struggle to see how Wolves came out on top. However, it’s not about how much possession you have, it’s about what you do with it.
Liverpool didn’t put out a first string side and their performance as a team was poor. They only had two shots on target, yet six of their eight shots came from inside the box, and John Ruddy only had to make one save.
Wolves, on the other hand, had three shots out of eight on target, two of which they scored. As we can see both teams had the same number of chances, yet Wolves converted theirs and managed to do more even though they had less possession.
Diogo Jota made his return to the team and that definitely had a positive impact. I think the team Nuno chose worked well together and they did a brilliant job.
Defensively, they committed 10 fouls, made 13 tackles, 11 interceptions and 18 clearances (all more than Liverpool), yet didn’t pick up a single card.
Rúben ‘The Rocket’ Neves is back folks. It’s been a while since he has scored one of those wonder goals he has become famous for, but he picked the perfect time to change that.
In the 55th minute, he hit a stunning shot that rocketed into the net, and secured Wolves’ place in the fourth round. Neves has now scored eight of his nine goals for Wolves from outside the box, with the other coming from the penalty spot.
Neves had an incredible 91% passing accuracy and of the 10 long balls he played, nine of those were accurate. We’ve always known that his distribution and passing is sublime, but he really displayed his skills on Monday night.
He not only scored one cracking goal but also made one key pass, one clearance and won one out of two tackles. He played the full 90 minutes and it was great to see him back on good form, as he hasn’t seemed quite like himself recently.
Wolves will now face either Shrewsbury Town or Stoke City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, depending on how the replay plays out on Tuesday.
As for the Premier League, Wolves will face Manchester City on Monday night, and with their recent successes against the typically bigger teams in the league, they’ll be hoping to take some points away from the Etihad.
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