Saints beaten by Wolves late show

By SFC Media time Sat 29 Sep Wolves v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Mohamed Elyounoussi
Sat 29 Sep 3PM
Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cavaleiro [79'] Jonny [87']
Jota (51') Jonny (57') Traoré (74')
yellow card
Bertrand (50')
Referee: Stuart Attwell | Venue: Molineux | Attendance: 31,147

Southampton fell to a second consecutive defeat in the Premier League, as they were beaten by a late Wolves charge at Molineux.

In a game where there was often little between the sides, Saints could feel aggrieved not to have earned something from their trip to the Midlands, but they were forced to head home without any points to show for their efforts, due to strikes in the closing stages from substitute Ivan Cavaleiro and Jonny.

Hughes made three changes from the side that lost away to Liverpool a week previously, with Danny Ings eligible again, while Mohamed Elyounoussi returned from injury and Charlie Austin was restored to the line-up.

Matt Targett and Oriol Romeu dropped to the bench, with the injured Shane Long missing out.

Saints had to weather a bit of early pressure from the hosts, with Matt Doherty putting a header wide from Rúben Neves’s free-kick, before João Moutinho sent a sighter over from 30 yards.

Wolves’ best opportunity of the opening period came in the tenth minute, as they worked a nice move down the right, with Doherty’s low ball eventually rolling into the path of Jonny, but his strike back across goal was superbly saved by the diving Alex McCarthy.

Saints’ first effort came in the 15th minute, as Elyounoussi saw a low strike from 25 yards held by Rui Patrício in the home goal, while McCarthy was called into action soon after at the other end, gathering Ryan Bennett’s header from Moutinho’s corner.

If Wolves had enjoyed the best of the game up to that point, it was Hughes’s side who then gained the upper hand.

Austin saw a 27th-minute strike from the right edge of the area take a deflection and spin right across the path of Ings, who wasn’t quite able to divert it goalwards, before Saints then carved out their best chance of the half moments later.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Charlie Austin of Southampton shoots at goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on September 29, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Charlie Austin sends in a shot during the first half at Molineux

Nathan Redmond drove forward in a central position, cutting onto his right foot in a deep area, then curling a beautiful pass down the inside-right for the run of Elyounoussi in behind the defence.

The ball was perfectly-weighted, but Patrício was alive to the situation and got close enough to Elyounoussi to prevent him from being able to lift it over him and into the net.

Saints were looking more threatening at this stage, and Ings saw a deflected shot flash wide of the top corner just after the half-hour mark, as the visitors continued to make inroads into the Wolves half.

Still, the home side posed danger of their own, with Neves pulling a shot wide from 25 yards, before Raúl Jiménez’s first-time effort from Doherty’s pull-back in the 39th minute was fortunately hit straight at McCarthy.

There was time for one more Saints effort ahead of the break, as Elyounoussi again took aim from 25 yards, but, although his low, left-foot strike was well hit, Patrício was well-positioned to make the save.

There was little between the sides again at the start of the second half, with early bookings for Ryan Bertrand and Wolves pair Diogo Jota and Jonny, but nothing in the way of notable opportunities in the opening minutes.

As the half wore on, though, Saints began to grab a bit of control over the game, and they nearly worked a clear-cut chance in the 63rd minute, as Cédric’s low ball picked out Ings in the middle, who spun at close range and went to shoot, only to have the ball bundled behind before he could convert.

Saints then nearly benefited from some good fortune in the 70th minute, as Jannik Vestergaard fired in a free-kick from 35 yards out, which Patrício fumbled, but he was able to pounce on it just before Elyounoussi could get there to poke it in.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Mario Lemina of Southampton during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on September 29, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Mario Lemina on the ball for Southampton

Hughes then made his first change, as Elyounoussi was withdrawn, with the Saints boss sending Stuart Armstrong on in his place.

He almost made a major impact with 15 minutes left, as Cédric did well down the right to get a ball into the area, with Armstrong reacting to it quickest at the near post, before Patrício saved his effort.

Shortly after, Hughes then made his next swap, as Austin was removed in favour of Manolo Gabbiadini.

But it was a Wolves change at the same time that proved key, as Cavaleiro netted within two minutes of being sent on for Jota, to give Wolves the lead.

The goal came courtesy of good work from another substitute, as Adama Traoré, who had replaced Hélder Costa after 53 minutes, burst down the right and sent in a low cross that Jiménez, with his back to goal, controlled on the edge of the six-yard box, before laying it back to his teammate, who fired high into the net.

It was almost 2-0 with seven minutes left, but McCarthy kept Saints in the game with a fine save to his right, acrobatically tipping Jiménez’s header over the bar.

However, McCarthy was indeed beaten four minutes from the end, as Wolves sealed the points.

Doherty got away down the right and picked out Jonny at the near post, who took a touch and fired low past the Saints keeper.

Gabbiadini had a chance to reduce the arrears in the dying stages, only to be denied by Patrício, as the visitors’ day ended in disappointment.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Rui Patrício (GK)
Ryan Bennett
Willy Boly
Conor Coady (C)
Jonny yellow card goal
João Moutinho
Rúben Neves
Matt Doherty
Raúl Jiménez
replace Léo Bonatini (91′)
Diogo Jota yellow card
replace Ivan Cavaleiro (77′) goal
Hélder Costa
replace Adama Traoré (52′) yellow card
Kortney Hause
Ivan Cavaleiro
Rúben Vinagre
Léo Bonatini
John Ruddy
Adama Traoré
Romain Saïss


Alex McCarthy (GK)
Jannik Vestergaard
Cédric Soares
Ryan Bertrand (C) yellow card
Wesley Hoedt
Mohamed Elyounoussi
replace Stuart Armstrong (71′)
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Nathan Redmond
Mario Lemina
Charlie Austin
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (77′)
Danny Ings
Matt Targett
Oriol Romeu
Maya Yoshida
Steven Davis
Manolo Gabbiadini
Angus Gunn
Stuart Armstrong
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