With the Premier League season coming to a close, Wolves got back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Molineux. Here are five things we spotted as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men consigned the Eagles to their seventh consecutive top-flight defeat.
1. RECORD BREAKERS
Nuno was rightfully delighted with the progress made by his squad during the season as Wolves earned their 59th point of the Premier League campaign, surpassing their total of 57 from last term, as well as breaking the 50-goal barrier for the first time in the Premier League era. The 59 points tally is also the highest a Wolves side have ever achieved in the Premier League, and – assuming three points for a win – it is also the club’s best return in a top-flight campaign since 1979/80 (66 points when adjusted to three per win).
2. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Daniel Podence’s first goal in gold and black Jonny’s smart finish on the turn means Wolves have now picked up more points at Molineux than they have on the road during the 2019/20 Premier League season. Ahead of Monday night’s clash, Wolves were the only team to have an identical record at both home and away matches having earned 28 points at each. Overcoming Palace also secured back-to-back home league wins for the first time this season, having last done so in May 2019. The last time Wolves achieved this feat without conceding in both victories was September 2018, when Jonny was also on the scoresheet at Molineux – the only times he has netted at home – in a win over Southampton.
3. A PORTUGUESE HAVEN
With his first-half header, Podence became the seventh different Portuguese player to score a Premier League goal for Wolves, more than any other side. Nuno was also looking to add to his Portuguese firepower as the game entered added time, with Bruno Jordao set to make his Premier League debut. But with the ball not going out of play for a long enough period in the final five minutes, the midfielder will have to wait to make his mark in the English top-flight. Another international milestone Wolves created this season was that thanks to Podence’s goal, the old gold have now had 12 different goalscorers in the Premier League, without any being English. Only Arsenal (13 in 2006/07) have ever had more.
Podence off the mark— Wolves (@Wolves) July 21, 2020
4. DANGEROUS DOHERTY
It needed a bit of magic to unlock Palace during a first-half which was lacking in quality, and that came with just five minutes remaining. Joao Moutinho lifted a perfectly weighted pass to the onrushing Matt Doherty, who had made a clever run at the back of the Palace defence, and the Irish wing-back offered Podence an opportunity he could not miss. With that assist, Doc has now been involved in 27 goals in all competitions – 15 goals and 12 assists, since the start of last season. This figure is more than any other Premier League defender in that time with the exception of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
If you’re clever enough to make the right run, then he’s going to put it on a plate for you nine times out of 10. He was able to pick me out and I’ve managed to shank a cross straight into Podence’s path.
5. 365 DAYS AND STILL COUNTING
In what has been an unprecedented season, Monday night’s game celebrated an entire calendar year having passed since the club claimed the Premier League Asia Trophy title with a penalty shooutout win over Manchester City in Shanghai, yet Wolves continue to fight on. What is even more impressive with the team’s efforts this season is that Nuno’s side have achieved record after record whilst also having to contend with European football – the Palace game was Wolves’ 56th of the season – and a three-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has swept the world. With Wolves’ season to continue to at least 6th August when Olympiacos visit Molineux for the Europa League second leg, if Wolves were to go all the way to the competition’s final, they would still be playing 13 months – or 394 days – after their 2019/20 campaign began.