Report | Wolves 1-0 Southampton

Wolves 1 (Podence 45) Southampton 0

Daniel Podence’s first-half strike earned Wolves their first three points of the season, as Bruno Lage’s side saw off Southampton at Molineux.

The Wolves number 10 converted Matheus Nunes’ brilliant first time cross at the back post, following the move of the game, to end the wait for a victory. In a match of few chances, the hosts dealt with Southampton impressively and were grateful to see Che Adams’ header come back off the crossbar in the second-half, as the old gold got themselves up and running in the Premier League.

The attacking intent couldn’t be questioned in Wolves’ early ventures on Saturday, and a new-look left side of Rayan Ait-Nouri and Podence began well, with the duo linking up, allowing the Frenchman to try his luck at the near post, but Gavin Bazunu was equal to the shot.

If that was a half chance for Ait-Nouri, Wolves’ next fell into the big chance category. Podence’s quick feet in the middle of the park took away two opponents and sent Nunes galloping through the middle and his flick found Pedro Neto, but the wide man, on his favoured left, could only drag wide of the near post.

Set pieces, particularly corners, were aplenty for both sides, but none could force the opening goal. First, Armel Bella-Kotchap headed wide from a James Ward-Prowse delivery, before debutant Sasa Kalajdzic headed wide on the stretch for Wolves, and he couldn’t reach Ait-Nouri’s low delivery, which rolled agonisingly wide soon after.

However, it was with the best move of the game which Wolves took the lead from. The passage of play started with Jonny and Ruben Neves, who fed Neto, and he quickly sent Nunes clear down the left, and the Portuguese’s first time low ball found Podence, who managed to help the ball over a grounded Bazunu, with Kalajdzic for company.

Half-time | Wolves 1-0 Southampton

After the interval, Wolves continued on the front foot, and Neto was a constant menace down the left, without reward. At the other end, Ward-Prowse’s free-kick was held by Jose Sa, before Adams rattled the crossbar from a Stuart Armstrong cross, reminding Wolves that work was still needed.

One player standing out for Wolves after the break was Jonny, and from one of his flurries forward, he tried his luck and fizzed an effort just wide of the top corner. That came in a period of Wolves dominance, when also Maximilian Kilman’s header was cleared from the six-yard box, with Nunes set to pounce.

In search of that first victory, Lage freshened up his entire font three, but the hunt for that second goal continued to remain out of reach. Instead, the hosts had to show their grit and determination, dealing with each question asked of them, particularly from set pieces, as that first Premier League victory was finally chalked up.

Full-time | Wolves 1-0 Southampton

Wolves | Sa, Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Nunes, Neto (Traore 81), Podence (Hwang 82), Kalajdzic (Guedes 46).

Unused subs | Sarkic, Semedo, Bueno, Toti, Ronan, Campbell.

Southampton | Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Salisu, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud (Edozie 73), Elyounoussi (S. Armstrong 56), Aribo (Maitland-Niles 73), Ward-Prowse, Diallo (Djenepo 56), Adams, A. Armstrong (Mara 83).

Unused subs | McCarthy, Lyanco, Larios, Walcott.