Wolves overcame Bournemouth with a 2-0 win at Molineux on Saturday afternoon, as the home side put their highly regimented energy and organisation to good effect once more and extend their winning run to three league games.
Raul Jimenez fired the home side ahead after Charlie Daniels misplaced a sloppy pass across the backline. Diogo Jota stole in and drove through Bournemouth's defence before scuffing a shot across the area, with Jimenez on hand to fire past Asmir Begovic after 12 minutes.
A more low key second half saw Wolves impose their confidence and desire to see the match through with an assured display which provided further evidence of Nuno Espirito Santo's excellent job to inspire Wolves' rapid rise in the Premier League. Ivan Cavaleiro rounded things off with a cool finish following a swift counter attack in stoppage time.
Key Talking Point
Though the two sides set up in relatively similar shapes with three at the back and wing backs in effect, it was Wolves' high intensity in pressing Bournemouth's more lethargic passing out from the back approach which paid off.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side gave the visitors little time on the ball, pressing from the front with high energy epitomised by front man Raul Jimenez, who was duly rewarded with the opening goal of the game. Wolves' intensity proved decisive once more.
The win marks the first time since 1980 that Wolves have won three top flight games in a row.
Starting XI: Rui Patricio (6); Bennett (6), Coady (7), Boly (7); Doherty (6), Moutinho (7), Neves (8), Jonny (7); Gibbs-White (6), Jimenez (8), Jota (7)
Substitutes: Costa (6), Saiss (5), Cavaleiro (6)
STAR MAN - Raul Jimenez's energy and desire from the front set the tone for the rest of his side, as the Mexican worked tirelessly with great work ethic to press Bournemouth from his striking position to give the visitors a troubled afternoon in defence. The forward's efforts paid off as he put Wolves ahead with an opportunistic finish following good work from Diogo Jota.
WORST PLAYER - Whilst the rest of the Wolves set up looked well drilled and established from back to front, promising forward Morgan Gibbs-White produced little impact on the match.
The pace and energy of Jimenez and Jota alongside him in attack were infectious for the rest of the side, but Gibbs-White struggled to mirror their influence from his false nine position. However, there were glimpses of very promising things to come from the young forward.
Key Talking Point
Eddie Howe's side regularly display a well-executed game plan and strong work ethic in nearly every match, but a lack of decisiveness and direction was in evidence from the off on Saturday.
Bournemouth's attempts to play out from the back and pass at their own pace was exploited by a Wolves side who appeared more up to the challenge and thrived off pressing the visitors into trouble. In a rare shortcoming, Eddie Howe's side were off the pace in terms of energy and ideas.
The Cherries switched from their usual 4-4-2 system to a revised 3-4-2-1, and largely missed the energy and threat which Callum Wilson usually offers alongside Josh King up front from the start. The three at the back also struggled to adapt, not helped by Tyrone Mings' early injury.
Starting XI: Begovic (4); Cook (7), Ake (5), Mings (4); Ibe (4), Surman (5), Lerma (6), Daniels (4); Stanislas (6), Fraser (6); King (5)
Substitutes: Rico (6), Wilson (5), Mousset (N/A)
STAR MAN - Bournemouth may have been lethargic in their attempts to play out through a high-pressing Wolves side, but Steve Cook stood firm in his efforts to halt the home side's energetic attacks. The defender showed a great turn of pace to catch up with the onrushing Diogo Jota, who was bearing down on goal, before executing a fine last-minute challenge on the winger to abort danger and ensure that his side did not concede a second just before half time.
WORST PLAYER - Generally a reliable and versatile figure on the left hand side for Bournemouth, Charlie Daniels looked sloppy and out of sorts at left wing back for the Cherries. The veteran wide man was at fault for Wolves' opener and struggled to keep pace with the game when he sought to maraud forward down the flank, appearing less comfortable from a more advanced starting position.
Wolves face a huge test at home to Liverpool in the Premier League next Friday, before travelling to west London to take on Fulham just five days later on Boxing Day.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, face an even tougher schedule as they travel to face Chelsea in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before taking on Brighton next Saturday. A trip to Wembley beckons just four days later, as Eddie Howe's side face Tottenham in the Premier League on Boxing Day.