Wolves 2 (Neves 9, Podence 66) Leicester 1 (Lookman 41)
Wolves secured back-to-back Premier League victories with a goal in each half of an end-to-end battle with Leicester City. Daniel Podence was the matchwinner with a fine strike, his first in the Premier League this season, as Wolves continued to tick along nicely under Bruno Lage.
The latest in a long line of Ruben Neves classics lit the touchpaper for an absorbing encounter, as the Portuguese expertly whipped into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. The Foxes responded before the break however, when Ademola Lookman finished off a flowing team move into an unguarded net.
However, the points would remain in the west side of the Midlands thanks to Podence, whose cleanly-hit effort flew home and secured three more points for Lage’s men, who also enjoyed the return of Pedro Neto on what was another successful Sunday afternoon for the old gold.
A slick surface and lively atmosphere had set things up nicely at Molineux, with both sides starting brightly, and Leicester could have taken the lead through when Youri Tielemans side footed wide when well positioned, which left the door open for Wolves to take the initiative.
Instead, his fellow midfielder Neves set Wolves on their way. The Portuguese’s delightful ball picked out Podence on the left, and his cross eventually fell to Raul Jimenez, who laid off the perfect pass off to Wolves’ number eight, who was lurking on the edge of the box, and with that cultured right foot, Neves bent an effort which nestled into the bottom corner. Lift off for Wolves.
It was the latest addition to the Neves collection and Wolves were close to a second on more than one occasion inside the first half hour. Maximilian Kilman may have felt he should have done better when heading Joao Moutinho’s corner down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel, while Podence’s fine footwork created an opportunity for Rayan Ait-Nouri, who wrapped his foot around the ball but couldn’t find the target.
However, Leicester had also had their moments beyond the early Tielemans effort and deserved their equaliser when it arrived. Marc Albrighton broke the offside trap down the trip, latching on to Tielemans’ pass, and the Foxes were in – he was able to slide across goal for Lookman to tap into an open net.
Half-time | Wolves 1-1 Leicester
Buoyed by that equaliser, the Foxes started the second-half with intent and Lookman had two half chances which needed saving by Sa. Seeing his side lose their attacking intent, Lage acted, bringing on Hee Chan Hwang for Moutinho, who got through 58 minutes on his return from injury.
And that change had desired effect as not long after the host regained the lead. Ait-Nouri’s energy started things off when he ran at the Leicester defence, but it was Leander Dendoncker who slid across for Podence, who picked his spot and drilled a delightful finish into the bottom corner, beyond the desperate dive of Schmeichel.
That was never going to be the end of the drama however, and James Maddison’s free-kick needed a crucial deflection off Romain Saiss to take it over Jose Sa’s crossbar. Leicester’s number ten had another chance soon after but rolled wide, just after Neto’s return had brought an incredible reception from Molineux, with the Portuguese back after ten months on the sidelines.
In the closing stages, naturally, City piled the pressure on and Sa had one more big save up his sleeve to palm away Tielemans’ effort, while in the closing stages, there was almost the perfect ending. With Schmeichel up for a late corner, Neto broke and carried his side up field, but when it came to finding the net from distance, he was out of luck, but Wolves weren’t – the final whistle instantly went and the points were won.
Full-time | Wolves 2-1 Leicester
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri (Marcal 88), Neves, Moutinho (Hwang 58), Dendoncker, Podence (Neto 80), Jimenez.
Unused subs | Ruddy, Jonny, Toti, Cundle, Trincao, Silva.
Leicester | Schmeichel, Pereira, Soyuncu, Amartey, Thomas, Ndidi (Maddison 73), Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Albrighton, Lookman, Daka (Iheanacho 73).
Unused subs | Ward, Jakupovic, Vestergaard, Mendy, Choudhury, Soumare, Perez.