Wolves’ dominant victory over West Ham at Molineux and Raul Jimenez’s neatly-placed winner were just some of the topics discussed on the latest episode of Matchday Live Extra.
Joining Mikey Burrows was co-commentator and Wolves Hall of Fame full-back Andy Thompson, as well as former old gold midfielder Dave Edwards they analysed the 1-0 win over the Irons, which saw Wolves get back to winning ways and push up to sixth in the Premier League season.
The trio also spoke about the newly-released Raul Jimenez: Code Red documentary which charts the Mexican’s recovery from his life-threatening fractured skull and Bruno Lage’s decision to stick with a midfield pairing of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho for the visit of West Ham.
On Jimenez’s recovery documented in ‘Code Red’
Edwards said: “You’re looking in the last few weeks and the last month, in particular, and he’s looking back to his best. It’s different when you’re coming back from a broken leg or a torn ACL because what Raul suffered is a real life-changing injury.
“To show the courage and determination and show straight away that he wants to play football again, and then to do what he’s done, the recovery and then get back to form, he deserves a lot of credit for that.
“Looking from the outside in, I remember hearing about it and it sounded horrific. I watched it on Match of the Day and it was one of those horrible moments. We’re just lucky that here at this football club that we have a wonderful medical team.
“Dr Matt Perry obviously plays a bit part in the documentary, and if you ever want someone with you in that situation, it’s him. Anyone who has ever been in his presence knows what a fantastic person and doctor he is. But the main amount of praise has to go to Raul himself.”
On needing more from the midfield
Edwards said: “Dendoncker was a possibility, but I think it will be a different game [to Crystal Palace] at Molineux. I expect Wolves to dominate the ball today, because they’ll be playing higher up the pitch with a lot of the ball in West Ham’s half, while West Ham are more of a counter-attacking team.
“Wolves have got to be wary of that turnover of possession, because that’s where West Ham will hurt you, but I think it’s the right game for Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to play together.
“In hindsight, Dendoncker probably should have started at Crystal Palace because we got physically dominated, but we’re going to have a lot of the ball today and they’re our two best ball players, so it’s best that we try to get them on the ball as much as we can.”
This guy... 🤩 pic.twitter.com/WGReYMiVJJ— Wolves (@Wolves) November 20, 2021
On ending West Ham’s winning run
Thompson said: “It was a great win. We spoke about West Ham before the game and the quality they have, and the ability they’ve got within their squad, but I just thought we were up for the fight, we were up for the battle and we took the game to West Ham.
“We made it difficult for West Ham, especially in that first-half where we made it difficult for them to get the ball, and we were winning it higher up the pitch which played into our hands.
“But they did really well in the game and deserve it for me. It was a great goal and they deserve the win. We look at performances and we look at results, and I think they’ve done both today.”
On Jimenez’s winning strike
Thompson said: “We’re just watching a replay of the goal again and it’s a great finish. It’s a goalscorer’s goal how he just placed it into the corner.”
Edwards added: “It was a brilliant goal. The composure to start off with by Max Kilman and Ruben Neves, a little one-two in the middle of the pitch which set free Semedo, he played it in to Jimenez, who slides it out wide to Daniel Podence, and what they did for the first time in the game is take a touch to deliver.
“Like they did all game, West Ham got numbers back, four defenders, three midfielders, but Raul just held out and it was a lovely pull-back ball from Podence and what a finish by Jimenez. He didn’t blast it, but was composed, let the pace of the ball do the work and just guide it into the bottom corner, right in front of the South Bank who just went mad.”
𝗪𝗪𝗪— Wolves (@Wolves) November 21, 2021
Newcastle, Everton and West Ham. That's three consecutive wins at Molineux 🙌
On dominating West Ham
Edwards said: “Wolves started well, but West Ham really got on top after the first few minutes. There were a couple of occasions where Wolves played their way out of trouble and that made West Ham retreat deeper.
“Once they did that, Wolves could dominate possession higher up the pitch, like we predicted before the game, we knew that was how the game was going to go. They had a lot of the ball and chances in the first-half, without really testing the keeper, but that first 20 minutes of the second-half, they were magnificent.
“It was maybe the best 20 minutes of the season. They came out of the blocks quick and the goal was just brilliant. But Wolves really deserved it. I was super impressed with the way they played.”
You can watch Matchday Live Extra 30 minutes before every Wolves kick-off this season, on Twitter and on Wolves TV, before heading over to the Wolves App following full-time for all the post-match reaction.