Wolves beat Southampton in a tight, tense clash at Molineux, as Bruno Lage’s side grabbed their first win of the season and ended their run of 12 games without a Premier League victory.
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Daniel Podence bobbled an effort home right on half time with the only goal of the game, as Wolves were dangerous on the counter but Southampton should have grabbed at least a point.
Che Adams had a goal ruled out for an explicable handball as he missed a header from a yard out and moments later he hit the bar with a header too.
The win moves Lage’s side to six points for the season, while Southampton remain on seven points.
What we learned from Wolves vs Southampton
Sasa Kalajdzic ruled out; Raul Jimenez injured in warm-up: Worrying news for El Tri fans as Raul Jimenez was not only left out of Wolves’ starting lineup but he was then injured in the warm-up and pulled out of the squad altogether. That meant he was in the stands watching on as his replacement (and new signing from Stuttgart) Sasa Kalajdzic suffered a knee injury in the first half and was replaced at half time. Wolves don’t score a lot of goals (just three this season) and having their two main strikers out injured is far from ideal.
Little bit of luck finally arrives ahead of tough run for Wolves: They have deserved to win a few games this season but luck has not been with them. It was with them on Saturday. From Podence’s scuffed shot to Che Adams’ incredible error, Wolves dug deep and worked as hard as ever and they had the rub of the green. They now face Manchester City and Liverpool and some of the pressure is off Lage after their first win in 13 Premier League games. Given their performances, there is no way they should have been on that run but my word, are they glad it is over.
Wasteful Saints a little sluggish: Given the incredible energy levels they used to beat Chelsea on Tuesday, it was a surprise that Ralph Hasenhuttl only made one change to his starting lineup. Saints were decent in the first half but were just a little sluggish and left themselves too exposed on the counter, which Wolves made the most of. However, Saints deserved a point here. Che Adams will score that chance 99 times out of 100 and had Saints made it 1-1 with 30 minutes to go, surely another comeback win was on the cards. Southampton’s young side are very talented but there will be a few ups and downs this season, as they miss now make the most out of games against Brentford, Aston Villa and Everton to build on their strong start.
Bruno Lage gives update on Jimenez, Kalajdzic
Wolves’ medical team gave the following update, as new signing Kalajdzic suffered an ACL injury on his debut which will see him out for several months.
“Sasa felt a pain in his knee late in the first-half against Southampton. Unfortunately, scans reveal an anterior cruciate injury and he will see a knee specialist tomorrow. We now need to support Sasa in his recovery and further updates will follow.”
As for Raul Jimenez, he was left out of the starting lineup as a precaution but felt some discomfort in his groin and pulled out of the squad.
“Raul’s pre-season was interrupted by a knee injury which means that he is still building his resilience and his ability to recover quickly during periods of match congestion. It was felt that his body needed a few more days to recover after he felt a pain in his groin during the warm up and we did not want to put him at increased risk of injury.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Ralph Hasenhuttl bemoans missed chances but happy with performance
The boss was proud of his players and #SaintsFC's performance, even in defeat at #Wolves:
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) September 3, 2022
Stars of the show
Armel Bella-Kotchap: Once again dominant defensively and had a few chances at the other end too. What a talent the young Southampton center back is.
Ruben Neves: Snapped into tackles and the skipper dug deep to drag his side over the line. So important to Wolves. Matheus Nunes also produced a lovely assist and caused Saints plenty of problems with his clever runs and passing.
Wolves head to Liverpool on Saturday, Sept. 10, while Southampton host Brentford on the same day.
How to watch Wolves vs Saints live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
There is a lot of negativity swirling around Wolves as Lage’s side dominate possession in games but just can’t put away chances and it appears to be more of a mental block that anything else. They drew 0-0 at Bournemouth on Wednesday and the frustration of their players and manager was clear to see. They need a win against Southampton. Big time.
As for Southampton, they’re full of confidence heading into this one and they’ve navigated a tough start to the season extremely well. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have seven points from their opening five games and three of those games were against Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea. They now begin a run of more ‘winnable’ games and these were the type of games they struggled in last season. Let’s see if Saints can now make the most of their unexpected fast start to the campaign.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Wolves’ Ruben Neves continues to pull the strings in midfield and the skipper is everywhere, while Jose Sa continues to stand tall in goal.
Southampton’s new young core have impressed massively with Armel Bella-Kotchap (20) at center back and Romeo Lavia (18) in central midfield excellent in the win against Chelsea, with the former shutting down Chelsea’s attack and the latter scoring his first Premier League goal in style. Watch out for Che Adams, who has been leading the line superbly.
Wolves team news, injuries, lineup
Chiquinho is out and remains Wolves’ only injury concern. For the starting lineup, Lage has dropped Raul Jimenez and brings in new striker Sasa Kalajdzic, while Daniel Podence also comes in. However, Kalajdzic was injured on his Wolves debut and came off at half time, while Jimenez was also injured in the warm-up and had to be withdrawn from the squad.
🆕 Kalajdzic set for debut
🔙 Podence and Ait-Nouri start
📋 Here's how we line up for #WOLSOU pic.twitter.com/J8ow8dOpYj
— Wolves (@Wolves) September 3, 2022
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
Tino Livramento is still out with a long-term knee injury, while Romeo Lavia picked up a knock against Chelsea and is expected to be out for up to six weeks so Joe Aribo comes in for him in Saints’ only change.
One change for #SaintsFC 😇
Here is today's team, as @J_Aribo19 comes into the side for the trip to #Wolves: pic.twitter.com/H4eJZU83xE
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) September 3, 2022