Wolves 1 (Jimenez 60) Bournemouth 0
Wolves extended their unbeaten Premier League run to seven games after dispatching relegation-threatened AFC Bournemouth in the first match back at Molineux in three months following the Covid-19 suspension.
The only goal of the game was a similar tale as, in almost identical scenes to the opening goal against West Ham United on Saturday, Adama Traore used his pace down the right to float a cross onto the head of Raul Jimenez to earn the three points for Wolves.
Moments into the opening game back at Molineux following the Premier League restart, and there was a lengthy stoppage in play as Nathan Ake required treatment after feeling the force of Rui Patricio following a coming together between the two from a corner which the Wolves keeper got the better of.
The hosts had their first real chance of the game with just under 15 minutes of the game gone as Jimenez did well to put himself into shooting range, but the ball was then set up for Ruben Neves to show his range from 25-yards out, but the Portuguese could only fire wide right of Aaron Ramsdale’s goal.
In a half of few chances, Wolves continued to try their hardest to break down a stubborn Bournemouth defence, with crosses from the right seemed the hosts best chance to opening the scoring. One of those occasions saw the ball fall to the feet of Willy Boly inside the visitor’s box, but despite showing good touches, the Frenchman was unable to get a shot on goal.
Traore had the first chance to show his own silky footwork moments later when he took on much of the Cherries’ players before being cynically scythed down by David Brooks, 25 yards out from goal. Neves wildly fired over the resulting free-kick.
Steve Cook was next into Michael Oliver’s book when he slid in and took the legs of Diogo Jota as the forward raced through down the left. From an almost identical position to where he scored directly from a free-kick against Bournemouth in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Joao Moutinho could this time only find Matt Doherty, who couldn’t divert his header on target.
As the half-time whistle blew, Wolves had one final chance to take an advantage into the break. Jota did well to get past his markers on the left before Traore took over in the centre, and after making room for himself to shoot, the speedster fired narrowly over Ramsdale’s crossbar.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Bournemouth 0
Wolves had a chance to open the scoring early in the second period as Jonny won a free-kick on the edge of the area. From Moutinho’s dangerous cross, none of the gold and black shirts in the area were able to get a telling touch to the ball, meaning Ramsdale was able to gather the ball cleanly.
The Wolves players were appealing for a penalty just over 10 minutes into the half following a quick break from the hosts. The front three of Jimenez, Jota and Traore were taking on the Bournemouth defence and as the Mexican attempted a pass to Jota, the Portuguese forward went down in the box, however, the referee was unmoved.
Wolves’ pressure finally told on 60 minutes as, in a goal almost exact to the one which opened the scoring against West Ham on Saturday, Jimenez headed his side in front.
Traore finally got the better of Adam Smith before lifting the ball into the centre of the penalty area and the Mexican was able to get up higher than the Bournemouth centre-back pairing to fire a powerful header through the arms of Ramsdale.
Midway through the first-half Bournemouth made a triple substitution as Eddie Howe attempted to reshuffle his pack to get something from the game, but Wolves stood strong and continued to put pressure on the Bournemouth backline.
Wolves were a threat from set-pieces and Boly came close once again to a goal as a Moutinho corner found its way to the defender in the box, but after diverting the ball goalwards, Ramsdale was able to get down quickly to deny the hosts a second.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, as Bournemouth pushed for an equaliser. Substitute Arnaut Danjuma came close with a long-range curling effort which had Patricio scrambling, but the Wolves keeper was able to watch the ball sail behind.
Into the first of four added minutes, substitute Leander Dendoncker came close to scoring a famous goal for Wolves as he tried to lob Ramsdale from the half-way line after the keeper had come out to make a clearance, but unfortunately for the Belgian, the ball floated wide of the post.
With the game in its dying moments, Pedro Neto could have tied a bow onto proceeding as he was played through on goal, and after racing one-on-one with Ramsdale, the forward couldn’t get his low effort on target.
Full-time: Wolves 1 Bournemouth 0
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White 90), Traore (Dendoncker 69), Jota (Neto 62), Jimenez (Podence 90).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Kilman, Buur, Vinagre, Jordao.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Stacey (Kelly 82), S Cook, Ake, Smith, Billing (Gosling 50), L Cook, Lerma (Solanke 66), Brooks (H Wilson 66), Stanislas (Danjuma 66), C Wilson.
Unused subs: Boruc, Rico, Mepham, Surman.
Referee: Michael Oliver