Southampton 2 (Bednarek 15, Long 35) Wolves 3 (Neto 53, Jimenez pen 65, 76)
Wolves produced another stirring comeback from two goals down to ensure a return to winning ways in the Premier League. For the second time in just three weeks, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side fought back from the jaws of defeat, this time winning 3-2 at Southampton.
A disappointing first-half had the Saints in cruise control at St Mary’s, after goals by Jan Bednarek and Shane Long, but Nuno’s words at half-time had the desired effect and, once Pedro Neto fired home, the comeback was alive on the south coast.
Finally, Wolves had a share of the VAR fortune, as the decision for a challenge on Jonny was overturned into a penalty, which Raul Jimenez converted. Then, with 14 minutes left, the men in old gold hit their hosts with a classic counter attack, as Adama Traore set up Jimenez to fire home the winner.
As attention turned back to the Premier League, Wolves were intent of stamping their authority on proceedings early on and Traore’s effort, which took a nick off Cedric Soares, had Alex McCarthy scrambled before the ball dropped wide on 12 minutes.
However, it was the Saints who took the lead with their first sight of goal. James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick took a deflection fortuitously for Bednarek, who was well-placed to steer into the top corner, beyond Rui Patricio at the back post.
From there, Soares and Jimenez exchanged half-chances, without any joy, but when Soares turned provider, the hosts were clinical. The full-back’s cross still gave Long plenty to do, but the Irishman stooped to direct his header beyond Patricio.
Half-time: Southampton 2 Wolves 0
The second-half started in a similar vein, with Southampton on the front foot, and once Nathan Redmond had got beyond Leander Dendoncker, he held up a cross for Long, but the forward was denied his second by the foot of Patricio’s post.
However, seconds on from that near miss, Wolves hauled themselves back into the contest. Jimenez sent Traore on his bike down the right and the Spaniard’s cross fell for Neto, who swivelled and fired home, and Wolves were back in it, despite another VAR check due to a suspicion of offside.
The technology took centre stage once again moments later and played a key role in Wolves’ equaliser. Jonny’s burst forward was halted by a scything challenge by Jack Stephens, yet referee Darren England deemed the tackle clean. Fortunately, VAR decided otherwise, and Jimenez stepped up to roll home.
With 25 minutes remaining, it was well and truly anyone’s game, which was evident as Redmond clipped the crossbar for the Saints and Neto fired over from the edge of the box. However, another twist was just around the corner for Nuno’s side.
Like so often this season, the third goal came through brilliant work from Traore and Jimenez. The Spaniard’s hold-up play introduced the Mexican, who quickly sent the wide man flying down the right, then it was down to the right pass, which Traore produced, setting up Jimenez to thump home his second.
The goal capped an incredible turnaround for Wolves and Maximilian Kilman came on for Neto in the closing stages to help see out the win, which was helped when Stephens headed wide late on and Wolves could celebrate three big points on the road.
Full-time: Southampton 2 Wolves 3
Southampton: McCarthy, Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Hojberg, Armstrong (Djenepo 71), Redmond (Boufal 78), Long (Adams 71), Ings.
Unused subs: Gunn, Vestergaard, Romeu, Obafemi.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss (Kilman 86), Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Traore, Neto, Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Buur, Giles, Jordao, Gibbs-White, Ashley-Seal.