By 90Min
October 19, 2019

Raul Jimenez had two goals disallowed before grabbing the equaliser in Wolverhampton Wanderers' 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Though they began the contest strongest, the hosts' momentum was halted by an injury to Ryan Bennett midway through the first period, his replacement Jesus Vallejo struggling to cope with the pace of Jan Valery, as well as Saints forward pair Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond.

Jimenez thought he'd put Nuno Espirito Santo's side in the lead when he latched onto a delightful clip forward by Boly, nudged the ball past the onrushing Angus Gunn and tucked into a gaping net, only for VAR to intervene as the Mexican's cheeky handball was flagged up.

His disappointment grew deeper when, on the stroke of half time, he once again appeared to have broken the deadlock after pouncing on a loose ball in the box. For the second time in the match, VAR took a look and Wolves took it on the chin.

Patrick Cutrone's stabbed shot had been parried straight into the striker's path by Gunn, yet Jimenez must have thought he was on the wrong end of some cruel joke on learning there had been an offside in the build-up.

Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Southampton rubbed salt into the wounds shortly after the restart as a defensive mix up sent Ings baring down on goal, the speedster giving Rui Patricio no chance as he found the bottom corner.

The Seasiders held onto that advantage for less than ten minutes as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg tripped up Matt Doherty in the area. VAR threatened to deny Wolves for a third time, but the technology found no fault in the referee's original decision and Jimenez slotted home a long-awaited goal.


Wolverhampton Wanderers

Key Talking Point

They may have had to settle for a point at home, but the hosts were terrific for the most part. Free-flowing football was on full display for the Molineux crowd, who watched their side carve through Saints on several occasions, with clinical finishing all that was lacking.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

That should not be of any major concern. If they continue to probe and plug away as they did against Ralph Hasenhuttl's recruits, the Midlands outfit will have plenty of joy versus future opponents. 

It was, all round, an impressive performance that should give Wolves heart heading into their Europa League double-header against Slovan Bratislava.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Patricio (6); Traore (6), Boly (8), Coady (6), Bennett (5), Jonny (6); Dendoncker (8), Neves (7), Moutinho (8*); Jimenez (7), Cutrone (7).

Substitutes: Doherty (7), Vallejo (4), Jota (6).


STAR MAN - Joao Moutinho

Everything Moutinho does just oozes class - it's a privilege to finally see the Portuguese ply his trade in the Premier League. As per usual, he was pitch-perfect with his distribution, finding teammates in solid positions and showing a few cute touches.

Paul Harding/GettyImages

Of course, the midfielder was not the only Wolves player in good nick on Saturday. Boly was a standout figure in Santo's backline, not only for his marvellous array of passing, but also due to his dominant handling of the Saints strikers.


Southampton

Key Talking Point

Concentration needs to be higher from Hasenhuttl's team if they are to make any improvement on their Premier League showing last year. Unfortunately for their German manager, focus is precisely what they lacked in the Midlands.

Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

It's a massively-overused expression, but you really are at your most vulnerable immediately after scoring. And yet, the visitors got ahead of themselves and invited pressure on, before having to survive a strong finish to the game from Wolves. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Gunn (6); Valery (7), Bednarek (6), Yoshida (7), Vestergaard (5), Bertrand (7); Ward-Prowse (5), Romeu (7), Hojbjerg (6); Redmond (7*), Ings (7).

Substitutes: Boufal (6), Danso (6).


STAR MAN - Nathan Redmond

Southampton had numerous chances at Molineux, posing a genuine threat to Wolves throughout the game. That is in large part due to the work of Redmond, whose guile and turn of speed were particularly problematic for Vallejo to cope with.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

The Spaniard looked lost when he entered the field of play, with the Saints' forwards leaving him chasing shadows. Redmond couldn't get the goal his performance deserved, though a point for his team will probably suffice.


Looking Ahead

The Wanderers are in Europe League action on Thursday as they make the journey to Slovakia for a clash with Bratislava, before venturing up to Newcastle the following Sunday.

Southampton have a home Premier League fixture against Leicester City on Friday. After that  encounter, they lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the last 16 of the C Cup.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!

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