Wolves 2 (Doherty 18’, Janmaat OG 61’) Watford 0
Wolves ended their wait for a Premier League victory with a goal in each half against Watford at Molineux. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side returned to form from the second Matt Doherty put them ahead against the division’s bottom side.
The Irishman got on the end of Pedro Neto’s teasing cross to score his first Premier League goal of the season and settled any nerves for Wolves, who went on to enjoy their afternoon. Matters were also made easier when Daryl Janmaat found the back of his own net on the hour-mark to kill off the Hornets.
The victory fired Wolves into 13th in the Premier League and brought about Rui Patricio’s first clean sheet since the opening day, with the goalkeeper impressing between the sticks to deny Jose Holebas and Tom Cleverley with the game on a knife edge, before Wolves went on to claim a deserved three points.
After six winless games, the hosts started quickly in a bid to alter that statistic and, after latching on to Willy Boly’s clever pass, Raul Jimenez slammed the first shot into the side netting. Then, following a swift counter attack led by Neto, the Mexican failed to turn in at the back post, thanks in part to Abdoulaye Doucoure’s presence.
While Jimenez couldn’t take his opportunities, Doherty wasn’t messing around. Joao Moutinho and Jonny Otto combined to send Neto free down the left, and the Portuguese’s rolled cross was perfect for the Doherty to convert, putting Wolves ahead in the Premier League for the first time in 2019/20.
The momentum was with the hosts and Adama Traore was causing havoc down the right without reward. Wolves did feel hard done by with the break approaching however, as Traore’s cross caught Craig Cathcart on the hand, but VAR opted against awarding Nuno’s side a penalty.
Half-time: Wolves 1 Watford 0
The game took a different complexion after the break momentarily, with Watford brighter and more adventurous. They were almost level within ten minutes too, as substitute Roberto Pereyra turned Doherty and crossed for Holebas, whose header was kept out by Patricio, before the goalkeeper threw himself in the way of Cleverley’s rebound.
That scare sparked Wolves into life and Neto shot straight at Ben Foster soon after. That proved to be the youngster’s final contribution and he was replaced by Morgan Gibbs-White soon after, and the Wolves Academy graduate was involved in the crucial second.
Wolves’ right-hand side pair combined for the goal, with Traore playing in Doherty. The Irishman’s cross was nodded on by Gibbs-White and wrong-footed Janmaat, who watched his header beat Foster and drop into his own net.
At the other end Patricio continued to look solid and flew across his goal to deny Danny Welbeck, before Jonny put Traore’s cross wide at the back post for Wolves. Soon after Patrick Cutrone took to the pitch in place of Jimenez, who’d worked tirelessly for the team.
Ruben Neves was Wolves’ third and final substitution, replacing Traore, and the midfielder was able to help Wolves control the final moments of the game, seeing Wolves finish on top to end the wait for a victory.
Full-time: Wolves 2 Watford 0
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Traore (Neves 87), Neto (Gibbs-White 57), Jimenez (Cutrone 79).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Bennett, Kilman, Vinagre.
Watford: Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Dawson, Holebas, Sarr (Gray 71), Capue, Doucoure, Cleverly, Deulofeu (Pereyra 46), Welbeck.
Unused subs: Gomes, Femenia, Kabasele, Quina, Chalobah.