Luckless Wolves suffered defeat on their first away outing back in the Premier League as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side hit the woodwork three times but were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
City’s two goals both came with a slice of luck, as Matt Doherty’s own goal was added to by a deflected James Maddison effort, creating a mountain too steep to climb for the visitors after the break.
It could have been very different for Nuno’s side had efforts from Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez and Jonny Casto Otto found the back of the net, rather than the woodwork, on a frustrating afternoon in Leicestershire.
Jamie Vardy’s red card for an ill-looking challenge on Doherty failed to hand significant momentum to the visitors, who will learn lessons from their first game away from Molineux in the Premier League since 2012.
If Wolves began nervously on day one, they came racing out of the blocks on day two and should have been ahead after a matter of minutes.
Jimenez’s lively start played a big part in Wolves’ strong opening and his cross eventually found Moutinho, but the midfielder’s sweetly-struck effort came back off Kasper Schmeichel’s crossbar.
A minute later the next big chance fell the way of the visitors. Again, Jimenez’s tenacity created the opening, but when his cross found Doherty, the Irishman couldn’t convert and watched his effort blocked by Ben Chilwell.
A calmness in possession and belief going forward, Wolves were much the better side in the opening 20 minutes and after good running by Otto, Jimenez was inches from giving them the lead when his strike from range cannoned back off the post.
However, for all their hard work, Wolves fell behind through a slice of bad luck. Marc Albrighton’s cross took a nick off the head of Conor Coady, which was enough to unsettle Doherty, whose header flew past Rui Patricio and into his own net.
Lady luck continued to shy away from Wolves for the remainder of the half too, and Leicester’s second goal from Maddison, which was hit from outside of the box, required a significant deflection off Coady on its way past Patricio.
The final chance of the half fell to Wolves, however Helder Costa couldn’t make the most of Diogo Jota’s industry and curled his effort high over the bar.
Half-time: Leicester 2 Wolves 0
Nuno rang the changes at the break in a bid to reignite Wolves, as Adama Traore came on for his debut, alongside Leo Bonatini, with Jota and Costa making way.
Traore began brightly in a Wolves shirt and quickly beat his man to square a cross for Jimenez, but after the Mexican’s shot was blocked, Ruben Neves dragged his effort comfortably wide.
Half chances were aplenty and after Demarai Gray’s shot had swerved off target for the Foxes, Moutinho set up Jimenez to be denied by Schmeichel.
With 25 minutes remaining England striker Vardy lunged in on Doherty and was given a straight red card. Injured from the tackle, Doherty was forced off and replaced by Morgan Gibbs-White.
Wolves should have hauled themselves back into contention soon after as well. More positive, direct running by Traore saw the winger get to the byline and cut back for Bonatini, but the striker couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball and shot over.
The visitors kept knocking on the door and Otto became the third Wolves man to be denied by the woodwork when he slammed an effort against the outside of the post.
Neves was next to take on the responsibility, but his thumping volley was palmed to safety by Schmeichel. Wolves would continue to push forward but the final whistle would call time on a frustrating afternoon at the King Power Stadium.
Full-time: Leicester 2 Wolves 0
Leicester: Schmeichel, Chilwell, Evans, Gray (Silva 80), Vardy, Maddison (Iheanacho 80), Albrighton (Amartey 59), Pereira, Maguire, Mendy, Ndidi.
Unused subs: Morgan, Ward, Fuchs, Ghezzal.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty (Gibbs-White 69), Bennett, Neves, Jimenez, Costa (Traore 46), Boly, Coady, Jota (Bonatini 46), Otto, Moutinho.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Saiss, Vinagre, Hause.