Saints leave Wolves with a point

By SFC Media time Sat 19 Oct Wolves v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Sat 19 Oct 3PM
Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jiménez [61']
Ings [53']
Jiménez (29') Coady (45+1') Vallejo (68')
yellow card
Valery (10') Bertrand (90+3')
Referee: Peter Bankes | Venue: Molineux | Attendance: 30,915

Southampton ended their run of three Premier League defeats with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Wolves at Molineux.

In a tightly contested opening 45 minutes, the hosts’ striker Raúl Jiménez cut a frustrated figure as he had two goals ruled out by VAR, leaving the game goalless at the halfway stage.

More than in the fixture in the West Midlands, Danny Ings continued his hot-streak with a sixth of the season, before Jiménez finally found the back of the net in legitimate circumstances to earn a share of the spoils.

Saints will now head home to St Mary’s next Friday to take on Leicester, where they’ll look to build on a battling point in the Black Country.

Whilst the visitors made just one change to the side that took to the field against Chelsea a fortnight ago, Ralph Hasenhüttl made a significant change in formation as Saints began 3-5-2.

Jannik Vestergaard was recalled at the expense of Shane Long to partner Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek in the centre of defence, leaving Ings and Nathan Redmond to lead the line.

Up against a Wolves side brimming with confidence after their win against reigning champions Manchester City prior to the international break, it was no surprise to see Nuno Espírito Santo’s side register the game’s first meaningful attempt on goal.

After neat hold up play from Patrick Cutrone, João Moutinho was afforded the chance to shoot from 20 yards, with his strike flying a yard or two over Angus Gunn’s crossbar.

Responding at the other end, the in-form Ings forced Rui Patrício to smother a low drive from an acute angle, as the in-form striker grew in influence.

Offering Saints a valuable lifeline with his runs into the channel, it was his hard work that won a free-kick off of Willy Boly, from which only good defending stopped Ings himself and Oriol Romeu registering shots on target.

Approaching the half-hour mark with major talking points at a premium, VAR then took centre stage for the first time.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: The big screen showing the decision of a no goal from VAR is seen during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on October 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Wolves were twice denied by VAR in the first half

Wolves thought they’d finally found a way past a compact Southampton side when Jiménez latched onto a lofted through ball, rounded Gunn and tapped into the empty net, only for their celebrations to turn to nerves as referee, Peter Bankes, gestured for a VAR check.

Eyes were divided between the two television screens at either end of Molineux as the review resulted in the game’s opener being ruled out and the Mexican shown a yellow card for a deliberate handball in the process of beating Saints’ keeper.

With their clean sheet confirmed as staying intact, the visitors went about finding the opener themselves with some flowing football.

Nathan Redmond’s run from halfway looked to have lost momentum when he passed backwards to Romeu, but the midfielder’s zipped pass into Bertrand on the left reinstalled a sense of purpose as Ings eventually had a goal bound effort blocked.

In a game which saw the pendulum of momentum swing between both sides, Wolves thought a spell of pressure towards the end of the half had once again resulted in the opening goal.

However, it was to be a sense of déjà vu for the hosts and Jiménez in particular as VAR once again saved the Saints.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers reacts to Match Referee Peter Bankes after scoring his team's first goal which is then disallowed during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on October 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Raúl Jiménez after having a second goal disallowed by VAR

When Cutrone’s shot was saved at full-stretch by Gunn, the striker was perfectly placed to tap in from close range, only for a review to find Mexican offside in the build-up.

The hosts remained unhappy, but it was to be goalless at the break.

No doubt feeling hard done by, Santo’s side almost made a nightmare start to the second 45 by gifting Saints the lead.

Sloppily conceding possession when playing out from the back, Ings was happy to receive a loose ball just 20 yards from goal, but his curling effort was a comfortable save for Patrício down to his left.

The Southampton number nine was continuing to look the most likely and his tireless running was met with a goal on 53 minutes.

Still making the run despite Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s header looking an easy interception for Conor Coady, Ings was rewarded when the Wolves captain completely missed the ball to set the striker in on goal to confidently fire into the bottom corner.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Danny Ings of Southampton celebrates after putting his side 1-0 up during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton FC at Molineux on October 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings celebrates his sixth of the season

Bringing the Saints fans to life, their raucous support was to be silenced just under 10 minutes later.

Substitute Matt Doherty’s weaving run into the box was ended when he was felled by Højbjerg, allowing Jiménez to finally make the score sheet at the third time of asking from the penalty spot.

The equaliser reinvigorated the previously disgruntled home support, and with their backing the hosts went in search of a second. 

Last-ditch defending from the combination of Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek blocked Diogo Jota's shot, before Adama Traoré fired high and wide from the edge of the box.

In a bid to at least secure the point, Kevin Danso and Sofiane Boufal were introduced in place of Yan Valery and Romeu, but it was to be Saints who finished the strongest inside the final 10 minutes.

Keeping Gunn unneeded, James Ward-Prowse came closest to stealing a late winner. His free-kick from 25 yards required every inch of Patrício's frame to tip it around the post, as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils on their return to Premier League action.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Head to Head Stats

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Rui Patrício (GK)
Conor Coady (C) yellow card
Willy Boly
Ryan Bennett
replace Jesús Vallejo (18′) yellow card
Leander Dendoncker
João Moutinho
Adama Traoré
Rúben Neves
replace Matt Doherty (45′)
Patrick Cutrone
replace Diogo Jota (62′)
Raúl Jiménez yellow card goal
Morgan Gibbs-White
Max Kilman
John Ruddy
Diogo Jota
Jesús Vallejo
Matt Doherty
Rúben Vinagre


Angus Gunn (GK)
Maya Yoshida
Jan Bednarek
Jannik Vestergaard
Yan Valery yellow card
replace Sofiane Boufal (76′)
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Oriol Romeu
replace Kevin Danso (82′)
Ryan Bertrand yellow card
Danny Ings goal
Nathan Redmond
James Ward-Prowse
Che Adams
Kevin Danso
Sofiane Boufal
Jack Stephens
Shane Long
Stuart Armstrong
Alex McCarthy
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