Romain Saiss

Wolves run past off-kilter Man City

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Manchester City just couldn’t catch Adama Traore.

The speedster finished twice on the break off Raul Jimenez assists, as Wolves collected a surprising 2-0 win over Man City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wolves had two fewer days’ rest than their hosts, but flummoxed City with stifling defense and flair on the counter.

City is eight points back of leaders Liverpool, while Wolves are up to 11th with 10 points. This is the first time City has seen Liverpool’s lead stretch beyond the six points they’ll due for later this season.


Three things we learned

1. Furious Pep has no answers: Wolves keeper Rui Patricio had a fine day between the sticks, but City rarely sent true trouble the way of the visitors’ goal. David Silva cranked a free kick off the bar, but City looked like the team on a day’s shorter rest. Visibly angry, Guardiola couldn’t conjure up production without Kevin De Bruyne.

2. Traore does his job after Wolves miss early chance: The visitors were easily the better side in the first 15 minutes, catching City off guard, but Patrick Cutrone and Raul Jimenez each failed in bids to make it 1-0 to Wolves.

Jimenez, however, answered the bell on an 80th minute counter attack with strong dribbling and a pass to Traore, who waited patiently for his chance to poke past Ederson. Traore added another off a slick Jimenez pass, but had a lot more work to do in beating Ederson. Remarkable.

3. Frustrated City lives in the book: The two-time reigning Premier League champions were shown five yellow cards on the day, as Wolves tactics helped the visitors live in the heads of the heavily-favored hosts.

Man of the Match: Traore


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Patrick Cutrone couldn’t chip a fine opportunity on goal as Wolves earned a surprise chance in the first five minutes.

An injury to Romain Saiss caused an early delay and the 13th minute introduction of Ryan Bennett.

Riyad Mahrez made a miserable giveaway from the attacking third, sending Cutrone on a long break toward goal.  But Fernandinho slid to block a first shot then bravely stopped the rebound with his head to keep it 0-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Kyle Walker tried his luck from distance before halftime, and Rui Patricio collected the ball rather than risk it sneak off the post and into the goal.

David Silva curled a free kick off the bar soon after the match entered its final half hour.

Wolves patiently waited for their chance and got it via counter attack, as Mexican star Jimenez did a lot of work to set up patient Traore for a 1-0 lead with just over 10 minutes to go in Manchester.

Jimenez’s outside-of-the-boot pass to spring Traore for the comforting second goal was delightful, and the Spaniard had plenty to do on a 50-yard run toward his brace.

Wolves finally win, add to Watford’s woes

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Wolverhampton Wanderers secured their first victory of the Premier League season as they beat Watford 2-0 at Molineux on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Matt Doherty scored in the first half and his cross was knocked into his own net by Daryl Janmaat in the second half as Watford improved after the break but couldn’t cope with Wolves’ quality in attack.

The win moves Wolves on to seven points for the season, while Watford have just two and sit bottom.


3 things we learned 

1. Wolves back to their fluid best: Their first goal was reminiscent of last season as Wolves were patient and picked their passes and final ball perfectly. Wolves have struggled early in the season but they showed glimpses that their attacking fluidity is finally returning. The Europa League is a distraction, but any relegation fears Wolves fans had for this season will soon evaporate.

2. Defensive woes continue for Watford: The Hornets were their own worst enemies against Wolves as they failed to follow their runners and just couldn’t keep their shape. They are bottom of the table on one two points and have conceded 20 goals in seven games. This is a big, big project for Quique Sanchez Flores.

3. Lift-off for Nuno: He has hit out at his team, especially for their defensive displays, but Nuno Espirito Santo will be happy after this. His team were far from perfect and sat back a lot in the second half, but they got the job done. This feels like Wolves’ new season can finally get going.

Man of the Match: Matt Doherty – A marauding display from right back as he scored one and set up the other. Doherty was back to the form we saw him in last season. A tireless and selfless display.


Wolves were lively early on as Neto broke free and crossed for Jimenez but the Mexican star couldn’t get on the end of the ball.

Neto did provide an assist moments later as his clever run was picked out following a lovely team move, and his ball to the center of the goal was tapped home by Doherty. A wonderful team goal from Wolves.

Watford really struggled to cope with Wolves’ tempo and wide play, as Adama Traore then looked to have his cross blocked by a hand but no penalty kick was given.

After long stoppages as both Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez went down for Wolves, the game lost its way in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Watford improved in the second half and Rui Patricio was forced to save Holebas’ header and then denied Tom Cleverley with the follow up.

Wolves then put the result beyond doubt as another fine move out wide saw Doherty cross and Morgan Gibbs-White flicked the header into Janmatt who directed the ball into his own net.

Danny Welbeck then forced Patricio into a save but the win was fairly routine for Wolves, as they bagged their first victory of the season.

10-man Wolves level late against pitiful Palace defending

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Wolves fought back for a deserved point via a last-second equalizer, as Crystal Palace’s stoppage time silliness allowed a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

A Leander Dendoncker own goal put the Eagles in front, and Palace was up a man when Romain Saiss took his second yellow with 18 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

But danger man Jeff Schlupp was denied in the box by star man Rui Patricio minutes before Diogo Jota capitalized on Palace allowed a silver platter cross to get to his feet.

Wolves are still winless, with four draws through six matches, and sit 19th. Palace’s eighth point has it 12th on the table.


Three things we learned

1. Ward giveth, and taketh away: Joel Ward forced the own goal that gave Palace the lead when his wild drive through traffic turned off Leander Dendoncker to defy Rui Patricio, but his inexplicable stooping, missed intervention on the game winner was stunning. More on that below.

2. Wolves fight to death to find easy winner: Adama Traore, Jonny Otto, and the Wolves attack did not bow their heads after Palace took their fortunate lead nor after Romain Saiss’ second yellow card sent them diown a man, and Nuno Espirito Santo will love how his men fought to the final whistle while making timely interventions at the back (and taking advantage of Palace misfires).

Wilfried Zaha was dispossessed and it took three uncontested passes down the left of the Palace shape for Traore to find himself one-on-one with Patrick Van Aanholt. The Dutch defender played off Traore, who simply swept a cross to the back post. A chest trap, volley or 900 other things from Joel Ward could’ve ended the game, but he tried and missed a diving header that allowed Jota two touches to roof into an empty cage.

3. Silly from Saiss should’ve sealed it: Romain Saiss was sitting on yellow for a foul on Wilfried Zaha when he went out of his way to foul the Ivorian right on the touch line. Both managers saw the clear foul up close and personal, and Nuno Espirito Santo will certainly not like the idea of trusting Saiss again after his automatic ban.

Man of the Match: Vicente Guaita — The Crystal Palace goalkeeper was sensational in the draw, and the only reason Wolves weren’t ahead well before the Dendoncker own goal.


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

An early corner kick led to a James McArthur goal mouth block of Leander Dendoncker’s low drive toward the near post, as Wolves got their first pressure on Palace following an opening 10 minutes that belonged largely to the hosts.

Palace’s Ayew headed a Luka Milivojevic corner into the arms of Rui Patricio in the 26th.

Vicente Guaita made the play of the first half when Raul Jimenez looped a cross over Mamadou Sakho to an unmarked Matt Doherty. The powered header was slapped away by a flying Guaita to keep it scoreless.

The keeper was again called upon when a 1-2 allowed Diogo Jota to lash a shot on goal in the 38th.

Palace took a stunning lead within 40 seconds of halftime, as Ward’s hard drive took a big turn off Dendoncker to spin past Patricio. The sequence began with Jeff Schlupp dribbling Willy Boly, the latter being imperious for most of his season.

By the time Romain Saiss was shown his second yellow for a fouls on Wilfried Zaha, the game felt academic. Would the 10-man Wolves find anything in the final 18 minutes?

The opposite, really, as Schlupp cued up substitute Christian Benteke which looked set for glory until the Belgian took an extra touch and drove into the arms of Patricio.

Everton shoots past Wolves in thriller

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Richarlison scored a pair of goals as Everton overcame a pair of Wolves equalizers in a 3-2 win at Goodison Park on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Alex Iwobi scored Everton’s other goal in a game which saw three goals in the first 12 minutes. Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez scored for Wolves, who fall to 3D-1L on the season.

Everton climbs into fifth, with seven points.


Four things we learned

1. Inspired Richarlison special — Make it three goals in four days for the Brazilian, who netted in a midweek win over Lincoln City. Scoring against Wolves is a bit more difficult, and Richarlison did it in style. His second, a powerful well-timed header, shows the elite caliber of his attributes. He now has five goals in two Augusts with the Toffees.

2. Everton breached, but pleased — Yes, the Toffees can allow goals at home. Multiple! But credit to Marco Silva‘s men for twice rebounding from equalizers in quick fire fashion. Now the Toffees can enter the break with a look at the Top Six spot they crave, albeit far from the 12 of 12 points they envisioned from a straight-forward start to the season.

3. Brave Raul’s status in question for USMNT — Mexican star striker Raul Jimenez put it all on the line in scoring Wolves’ equalizer, taking a boot to the face after heading his second half goal. The 28-year-old has eight goals in 10 matches this season.

4. Defending stars struggle — Willy Boly might’ve had an assist, but he was bad at the back and took a silly stoppage time yellow card to earn a red and suspension; Lucas Digne has been electric for Everton but had a day to forget, turned by Traore on Wolves’ first goal and lucky to escape punishment for his wayward clearing attempt that ended Jimenez’s day… on a play that resulted in a goal anyway.

Man of the Match: Richarlison — On his day, there are few if any better big wingers in the world.


Richarlison’s goal came inside of five minutes, as Rui Patricio panicked after Conor Coady waved him near and then passed it inside the six.

The ball came free to the Brazilian, who bounded a shot into the top of the goal.

The didn’t last long, with Adama Traore turning Lucas Digne and sending the ball through the six for a Saiss tap-in.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sigurdssson and Iwobi restored the hosts’ lead in the 12th minute, the Icelandic playmaker hitting a pinpoint cross and the Nigerian goal scorer rising to plant an ideal header in the back of the net.

Moise Kean worked his way into the dialogue and nearly won a penalty were it not for an immaculately-timed tackle from Ryan Bennett.

Jimenez tied the game but lost his place in it when he headed a Willy Boly flick home just before the boot of Lucas Digne smashed him in the face.

Boly went from joy to anguish within moments, as Richarlison climbed over his French marker to restore Everton’s advantage.

Richarlison forced an incredible save out of Rui Patricio moments later, and the Portuguese backstop did well to slap a Yerry Mina header away in the 87th minute.

Africa Cup of Nations last 16 preview: Salah, Mane on collision course?

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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The group stage of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations has been low-scoring, so we’ll be hoping for some early goals to open up play for the many electric stars of Africa.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen the big names find the score sheet, as Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and host nation Egypt has two goals — as many as anyone in the tournament — the same amount as club teammate Sadio Mane.

[ MORE: JPW’s Round of 16 predictions ]

The Reds may be on a collision course for Cairo on July 19, with Senegal the 22nd ranked team in the world via FIFA and Egypt hosting the tournament.

All five of the nations to qualify for the 2018 World Cup remain alive, with three in the top of the bracket and two in the bottom.

The 32nd edition of the competition could see a rematch of the 31st final in the quarterfinals, but it will require Cameroon emerging from a massive Round of 16 meeting with Nigeria.

Should they do so, and the hosts beat South Africa, the rematch will arrive on Wednesday in Cairo.

The Cameroon-Nigeria match may be topped by one in the upper half of the bracket, as Ghana looks to reassert itself as a power by knocking of Tunisia. The Black Stars missed out on the 2018 World Cup, and the winner is arguably a favorite to reach the final.

Premier League talents on show

Senegal – Mane (Liverpool), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace)

Morocco – Romain Saiss (Wolves)

Democratic Republic of Congo – Arthur Masuaku (West Ham)

Ghana – Christian Atsu (Newcastle), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)

Mali – Moussa Djenepo (Southampton)

Ivory Coast – Serge Aurier (Spurs), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Jonathan Kodija (Aston Villa)

Algeria – Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Islam Slimani (Leicester)

Guinea – Naby Keita (Liverpool)

Nigeria – Leon Balogun (Brighton), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Henry Onyekuru (Everton).

Cameroon – Gaetan Bong (Brighton),

Egypt – Salah (Liverpool), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa)

Round of 16 schedule

Uganda v. Senegal – July 5
Morocco v. Benin – July 5

Madagascar v. Democratic Republic of Congo – July 7
Ghana v. Tunisia – July 8

Mali v. Ivory Coast – July 8
Algeria v. Guinea – July 7

Nigeria v. Cameroon – July 6
Egypt v. South Africa – July 6