Raul Jimenez

Getty Images

‘I’m very happy for this’: Jimenez becomes Wolves all-time leading PL goalscorer

Leave a comment

Raul Jimenez has carved his name in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ history books.

“I want to say thank you to all my teammates, to the staff, to the coach, because without all of them, I can’t achieve this goal,” Jimenez said following Wolves’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Southampton on Saturday.

Just minutes earlier, in front of a fervent stand of Wolves supporters at St. Mary’s Stadium, Jimenez scored his 23rd Premier League goal for Midlands side, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League era. The Mexican surpasses Steven Fletcher‘s record of 22 goals, which stood since 2012.

“I’m very happy for this, and I want to keep scoring,” he added.

With Wolves disputing Europa League qualifying matches in August, the 28-year-old began to build early on what is now a monstrous campaign – 19 goals and 9 assist in throughout all competitions. Half a year down the road, there are no signs of Jimenez’s magic running out. In fact, his brace against the Saints is clearest indicator of why that’s the case.

With his divine hold up play, well-calculated pressing and hunger for redemption, Jimenez emotionally inspired Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side comeback. And in the 65th minute, his trademark penalty overturned a two-goal deficit, turning emotional to physical inspiration.

“[Coming back] was very important for us after a very bad first half,” he told Wolves reporters following the match.

Jimenez was full of praise for his team’s collective grit. He lauded his team’s “fantastic” second half – full of pressing and chances created. The tactic alterations implemented by Nuno Espirito Santo influenced Adama Traore’s run that led to Jimenez’s third and winning goal.

“In the end, we know that it depends on us – what we want to do, what we want to achieve. So, we need to keep going until the last minute. Keep trying to score, keep going with our football that makes us Wolves.”

We now know that Jimenez is Wolves’ all-time Premier League goalscorer, too.

Newcastle takes point from Wolves through Almiron, Dubravka

Leave a comment

Miguel Almiron turned in a Man of the Match performance as Newcastle United took a surprise point from the Molineux in a 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leander Dendoncker scored off a set piece for Wolves, who fall eight points off the Top Four.

Newcastle moves onto 26 points, five off seventh place and six away from the Bottom Three.


Three things we learned

1. Traore, Almiron should compete in the decathalon: For 90 minutes, Newcastle’s Almiron and Wolves winger Adama Traore drove each other nuts on the flank. Matching each other for pace as if the points would be awarded to the victor, there were no better field players to be found at the Molineux.

2. Dubravka continues to deliver: Newcastle’s xG luck will again be off the charts. Midfielder Matty Longstaff had one of three goal line clearances for the Magpies, but goalkeeper Martin Dubrvka denied a pair of strong chances from Wolves with highlight reel stuff. The Slovakian No. 1 is one of Newcastle’s heroes.

3. Almiron finding his stride: Forget the three goals in five matches, Almiron is delivering an all-around game to back up the support he received during his 27-match goal drought. The former Atlanta United man completed five of five dribbles, won 10 of 13 challenges, and was credited with five tackles and two interceptions. He was the easy Man of the Match, and his goal was a beauty, too.


Miguel Almiron dribbled 40-plus yards to cut a shot toward goal, but a diving Rui Patricio saw it sail wide of the frame.

He got his goal two minutes later, Jetro Willems and Dwight Gayle working the ball down the left before the latter poked a ball onto the Paraguayan’s path for a fine finish.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Paul Dummett added to Newcastle’s injury woes when he left after a dozen minutes for Florian Lejeune.

Wolves answered moments later, Dendoncker losing Federico Fernandez for a set piece goal with minimal defending at best.

Gayle then also left with an injury, Newcastle’s fifth first half injury change in 73 first half minutes across two matches.

The Magpies got another shining save from goalkeeper Martin Dubravka when Adama Traore picked out Raul Jimenez for a back post header.

Matty Longstaff provided another goal line clearance when Matt Doherty threatened goal in the 47th, and Dubravka denied Pedro Neto with a point blank save late on.

Transfer rumor roundup: Giroud set for Chelsea exit; Man United after Jimenez and Neves?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Sunday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League outfits.

[ MORE: Premier League January transfer needs ]

Frank Lampard confirmed reports about Olivier Giroud departing Stamford Bridge this winter on Sunday, saying it’s possible that he will leave soon.

“There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him,” Lampard said. “If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen.

“But only when all of those bases are covered,” he added. “So we’ll see if we’re there.”

Giroud, 33, is under contract with the Blues until the summer, but has only featured twice this season. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham, and now Newcastle are linked to the Frenchman.

In January of 2018, Giroud joined Chelsea from rivals Arsenal for a reported $23-million fee.


Wolves’ Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves are in “early stage” talks with Manchester United via their representatives, according to Goal. On Saturday, managers Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke on the rumors following the scoreless draw between Wolves and Manchester United, with Solskjaer unforthcoming about the possibilities of the Mexican’s chances of playing at Old Trafford.


Carlo Ancelotti has given Everton’s board the green light to try and lure Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez to Goodison Park on a loan.


Jerome Boateng’s link to Arsenal continues to thicken as the clock ticks. The north London club have inquired about a potential transfer fee, the pleyer’s wages and whether the German defender would be available via loan, given that the Gunners shelled close to $200 million over the summer.


Youngsters Max Aaron from Norwich and West Brom’s Nathan Ferguson are targets for Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho.


Despite only featuring eight times for Everton this season, Crystal Palace are interested in Cenk Tosun. The 28-year-old striker was linked to a move to Selhurst Park before he joined the Toffees in January 2018.

‘Anything can happen’: Nuno, Solskjaer respond to Jimenez’s links with Man United

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Shortly after Wolves and Manchester United scoreless draw in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed the rumors involving Wanderers’ marquee striker Raul Jimenez and Manchester United.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Just before the first whistle, reports surfaced linking the 28-year-old striker to the Red Devils, who recently missed out on landing their reported top target Erling Braut Haaland, who instead signed for Borussia Dortmund.

The transfer links were news to the Portuguese manager, who all but confirmed that Jimenez is for sale.

“It’s the first-time I heard it,” he said. “Ole didn’t mention anything about that. But the transfer window is open. When it is open, anything can happen. [But] we are delighted to have Raul.”

Jimenez took the field in the second half at Molineux Stadium against Manchester United but failed to widen his goal count which stands at 17 this season.

Last year, Jimenez was named Wolves’ Player of the Season after recording 17 goals and eight assists, aiding them to their first European competition in 40 years. This season, the Club America product has matched last year’s goal count and has nine assists to go with it, proving that he’s indispensable for the Premier League outfit.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have yet to replace Romelu Lukaku – a forward with a similar profile to Jimenez’s – since his departure to Inter Milan on transfer deadline day in August. Solskjaer and company are looking to bolster their attack that currently features the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

Solskjaer, too, was asked about Jimenez’s probabilities of arriving at Old Trafford, but the Norwegian’s tone was equivocal, claiming that many great players are linked to his club.

“[He’s] another good player we’ve been linked with,” he said. “He came on and did well [but] I cannot comment on these situations.”

In July, Jimenez signed with Wolves from Benfica for a club-record $43 million.

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v. Wolves

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wolverhampton Wanderers look preserve their good form – most recently showcased against Manchester City – when they visit Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday (Watch Live at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Sunday’s bout will see both clubs meet for the first time this season.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

With an instant-classic, 3-2 comeback win against City on Thursday, Wolves sit fifth on the table, while Liverpool – as we all know – are unbeaten and on pace to break the all-time most points record (100) set in 2018.

With four games in two days, are either side set to make drastic changes to their side? With the chance to leapfrog Chelsea with a win, it’s unlikely Wolves will, although it’s likelier Liverpool will elect to make a change or two.


Injuries/suspensions

Liverpool: OUT —  Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Fabinho (hamstring), Joel Matip (knee), Nathaniel Clyne (ACL), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (ankle)

Wolves: OUT — Willy Boly (ankle), Morgan Gibbs-White (back)


Probable lineups

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Lallana, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Wolves: Rui Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Vinagre; Traore, Jimenez, Jota.


What they’re saying 

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp on how dangerous Wolves will be: “Very – very, unfortunately. I really think the job Nuno is doing there is incredible with all the Europa League stress. I think at the beginning of the season they realized a little bit, ‘Oh, that’s different’. But now they are settled completely there, they are there again, Jimenez and Jota are scoring again. They had to change a little bit the last line to last year; Bennett and Boly are not playing consistently so they had to change that, but they have good options there. Traore finally found his manager, who found a position for him – he started as a wing-back and now he can even play in the front three. An exceptional player, as a kid he was already exceptional when he played for Barca I think, probably the quickest player in the league. So, a lot of really good things there and that makes it really difficult to play against them, of course. But it should be difficult against us as well, that’s the plan.”

Traore on Wolves’ thrilling comeback against Manchester City: “This team is amazing. We fight until the end, whatever the situation. That’s what we did today and I’m so happy for the team. Every one of us has worked so hard, we believed we could get this result.”

“Liverpool are a great team and are many points in front. We will fight to give our best.”


Prediction

13 points clear of Leicester City and with a jam-packed schedule ahead, it’s expected for Klopp and company to go into Sunday’s game with bit of a free-and-easy attitude. That said, an inspired Wolves will still remain outweighed by the Reds’ chemistry and excessive firepower, but the bout should still be an authentic showdown. Liverpool, 2-1.