Wolves 1 (Jimenez 61) Southampton 1 (Ings 53)
Raul Jimenez’s penalty earned Wolves a point for their efforts against Southampton on an afternoon the Mexican was twice denied by VAR. Wolves’ top scorer had twice pierced the Saints backline in the opening period and was denied on both occasions, but put his frustrations behind him to earn a point from 12 yards.
The visitors had capitalised on some sloppy Wolves defending to go ahead, as Danny Ings slotted past Rui Patricio after racing through. Wolves were quickly level as Matt Doherty was chopped down in the box and Jimenez stepped up to convert.
The hosts pushed on in search of a winner, but couldn’t find the breakthrough, and were grateful to Patricio late on as he kept out James Ward-Prowse’s curling free-kick, as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were forced to settle for a point at Molineux.
Wolves had started with an intensity so often associated with Nuno’s side at Molineux and could have led after just five minutes. Willy Boly’s ball over the top found Patrick Cutrone and the Italian, starting successive Premier League matches, laid off for Joao Moutinho to fire the first warning sign over.
The loss of Ryan Bennett to injury, with the defender replacing the recovering Romain Saiss in the team himself, went some way to disrupting Wolves’ rhythm from there. Bennett was replaced by Jesus Vallejo on the right of the defence and the Spaniard watched on as Jimenez found the back of the net, only for the officials to award a handball the other way, which VAR confirmed.
The Saints were let off the hook for a second time before the break, as VAR ruled against Wolves and Jimenez once more. This time a fine move saw Leander Dendoncker feed Cutrone and, once the Italian had forced Angus Gunn into a save, his strike partner pounced, to spark an angonising wait before the eventual conclusion that Cutrone had been offside in the build-up.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Southampton 0
At the break Nuno opted to change shape and personnel, with Doherty replacing Ruben Neves and Traore moving further forward to link up with Jimenez and Cutrone. However, it was a goal from Wolves’ own making which put them behind not long into the second period.
Neither Vallejo’s pass or Conor Coady’s clearance dealt with the Southampton’s attack, which offered up an opportunity for Ings to run through and slot beyond Patricio.
However, Wolves rallied and quickly hauled themselves level at Doherty charged into the Saints area, fended off a series of pulls and niggles, before being clattered by Oriol Romeu. Not without a check from VAR, Jimenez stepped up and fired beyond Gunn, who guessed the right way.
Instantly, Nuno threw Diogo Jota into the action, with the Portuguese making his return from injury in place of Cutrone. Jota was straight into the action, but couldn’t make an instant impact, instead watched on as Ward-Prowse shot straight at Patricio at the other end.
The Saints midfielder came even closer three minutes from time, as his curling free-kick was turned around the post by Patricio, which signalled the final chance of the game, as Wolves settled for a point at Molineux.
Full-time: Wolves 1 Southampton 1
Wolves: Patricio, Traore, Bennett (Vallejo 18), Coady, Boly, Jonny, Neves (Doherty 46), Dendoncker, Moutinho, Cutrone (Jota 62), Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Vinagre, Kilman, Gibbs-White.
Southampton: Gunn, Valery (Boufal 76), Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Romeu (Danso 82), Hojbjerg, Redmond, Ings.
Unused subs: McCarthy, Stephens, Armstrong, Adams, Long.