A first three points rewarded Wolves for their efforts against Watford on Saturday. Here are five things spotted as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side returned to form at Molineux.
1. DOHERTY BACK WITH A BANG
One of Wolves’ most potent threats last season was Matt Doherty, whose attacking forays forward regularly resulted in goals and assists for the ever-present Irishman. The right wing-back was directly involved in 18 goals in all competitions but found his start to the new campaign disrupted by injury. A solitary Europa League goal at FC Pyunik was Doherty’s only strike to date, after being dipped in and out of the team until recent matches. However, he looked back to his best on Saturday and was typically well-placed to convert Pedro Neto’s cross and set Wolves on their way to victory. Only Joao Moutinho made more passes during the game and his four interceptions were the most of anyone on the pitch, as Doherty returned to form with Wolves.
2. VITAL CLEAN SHEET
Nuno places great emphasis on keeping clean sheets so will have been happy to see his side claim their first since the opening day. Wolves had conceded in each of their five matches following the goalless draw at Leicester City, until the Hornets arrived in town. Rui Patricio’s double save to deny Jose Holebas and Tom Cleverley proved the decisive moment in keeping a clean sheet, but the shape and defensive organisation will have pleased Nuno too.
3. CHANGE IN FORTUNES
During the opening six matches of the Premier League season, it’s fair to say lady luck was not with Wolves, but Daryl Janmaat’s own goal signaled a much-needed change in fortunes. A week previous Joel Ward’s shot, which was heading wide of goal, cannoned off Leander Dendoncker and flew in against Crystal Palace, to sum up Wolves’ luck. However, this time Nuno’s side were the benefiters of a lucky touch, as Janmaat turned Morgan Gibbs-White’s header into his own net to seal the victory.
4. NETO TAKES HIS CHANCE
Diogo Jota’s absence from the team sheet will have wielded disappointment among Wolves supporters, but up stepped Pedro Neto, who shone on his full Premier League debut. The Portuguese was lively and involved in much of Wolves’ positive play in the opening period. His finest contribution came in the form of a fantastic low cross which was converted by Doherty for the opening goal. Having shown glimpses of what he’s capable of, this was arguably Neto’s best game yet and he looks a promising player.
5. ROCKING MOLINEUX
Molineux was a cauldron of noise on Saturday, with supporters doing their bit to see Wolves pick up a first three points of the season. The impressive Neto was sampling a Premier League atmosphere from the start for the first time and enjoyed playing in front of a packed and lively Molineux.