Sunday 26 May 2019

Wolves make another statement to compound Burnley's problems

Wolves 1 Burnley 0

Outstanding: Joe Hart. Photo: Getty Images
Outstanding: Joe Hart. Photo: Getty Images

John Percy

The chant that frequently reverberates around Molineux on match days sings out that "Nuno had a dream, to build a football team".

This was Nuno Espirito Santo's vision in high definition as Wolves made another statement with their first Premier League victory at home since December 2011.

Burnley's Jack Cork (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota battle for the ball. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Burnley's Jack Cork (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota battle for the ball. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Raul Jimenez delivered the only goal but do not be fooled by the scoreline: Wolves had a remarkable 30 shots on goal in a pummelling for Burnley as their troubled start to the season continued.

Sean Dyche may be out of the Europa League but those excursions into foreign climes have been a passport from hell for his team.

This was a club-record fourth successive defeat at this level and it should have been far worse as Wolves again underlined how they will be serious players this season.

Wolves were dominant, attacking from all angles with wave after wave of pressure until Jimenez, their loan signing from Benfica, finally made the breakthrough in the 61st minute.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore (left) and Burnley's Ben Mee. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore (left) and Burnley's Ben Mee. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Perhaps the only concern for Santo was that his team converted only one of their numerous chances.

He said: "We have to improve but we deserved to win against a tough team. The most important part is how we controlled the game and stayed organised.

"If there is a 'but' it's that we should be more clinical. It is one of the things that we need to work on and improve. Creating chances is difficult but we produced a lot. We have to work together on finding the final touch."

The last time Wolves won a home game in the top flight was when Mick McCarthy was their manager and this result never looked in doubt.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota (left) and Burnley's Phillip Bardsley battle for the ball. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota (left) and Burnley's Phillip Bardsley battle for the ball. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart was crucial in keeping the score down.

Playing in their familiar 3-4-3 formation, Wolves were relentless. Hart produced his first key save on the half-hour mark to deny Jimenez from close range. The Mexican's header from the rebound was cleared off the line by James Tarkowski.

Willy Boly almost found the corner with a volley from just outside the area, and Dyche was fidgeting in his technical area like a bouncer after last orders.

This was already Burnley's 11th outing of the season and they never looked like breaking Wolves's grip on the game.

Burnley's James Tarkowski (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Burnley's James Tarkowski (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Wolves should have scored 56 seconds into the second half. Phil Bardsley's dreadful back-pass released Diogo Jota and the Portuguese attacker presented Jimenez with a simple chance, with Hart stranded, but he lifted his shot over the crossbar.

But the goal finally came after the hour. Ireland defender Matt Doherty broke into the area and Jiminez flicked the ball across goal and in off the post.

Wolves's £18m record signing Adama Traore was introduced from the bench and forced a fine save from Hart shortly after coming on and Doherty should have killed the game off, only to produce a wayward shot from ten yards out. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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