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Wolves’ Jimenez scores game-winner in El Tri comeback victory

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Raul Jimenez may have been a bit jet-lagged from his long trip to Mexico from across the Atlantic Ocean, but he certainly didn’t show it, Thursday evening.

Jimenez scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal, dispatching a penalty kick past Keylor Navas as the Mexican Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica, 3-2, in comeback style in Monterrey. It was the 27-year-old’s 16th goal for El Tri and Jimenez is beginning to cement his role as the main target man, while higher-profile names such as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez don’t get call-ups.

[READ: USMNT player ratings. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly]

It was a back and forth affair in a rare friendly match played within Mexico (in Monterrey) but outside of Mexico City. Former Arsenal striker Joel Campbell’s diving header at the far post put Costa Rica up 1-0 but Victor Guzman equalized on a wonderful volley five minutes later into the upper 90. Costa Rica took the lead again through a Bryan Ruiz penalty kick, only for Club America forward Henry Martin to pull his side level, providing Jimenez the opportunity for his heroics in the 71st minute.

The win breaks a streak of four straight defeats for El Tri, and three straight in friendly matches.

For Jimenez, while it’s a penalty kick goal, it should continue to boost his already sky-high confidence. Jimenez has put in multiple Man of the Match-worthy performances in recent weeks, and he’ll have a chance once he returns to England to make a statement again. Wolverhampton has back-to-back matches in late October/early November against Tottenham and Arsenal.

Wolves not getting ahead of themselves: ‘There are no targets’

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For a long time, Wolverhampton Wanderers were serial Top Four contenders in England’s top flight, only to participate in just five Premier League seasons since 1984.

[ RECAP: Palace 0-1 Wolves ]

This is that fifth campaign, and Wolves look a more like the former than the latter. Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are now seventh on the Premier League table after extending their unbeaten league run to six matches with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Wolves have also drawn both Manchester City and Manchester United this season, a lone loss coming in the second match of the campaign at Leicester City (the side who also handed them a League Cup ouster).

Still, Nuno isn’t trying to get ahead of himself. From the BBC:

“We go game by game – now it is the international break, players can go to their teams, enjoy it and and play some good football. We will work with other aspects of the squad and we go game by game – there are no targets.”

No targets, sure. But the boss gives himself a way a little bit when he talks about the performance of his squad.

“I look at the situation before,” he said. “The base of team was here last season, so everyone knows their tasks. All the squad know their tasks, and with other options for sure the response would be good as well.”

Watford and Brighton are next before a pair of North London opponents in Spurs and Arsenal. A pair of wins before those encounters would surely have Wolves reassessing their targets.

Wolves drive forward with win at Palace

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  • Wolves haven’t lost since Matchday 2
  • Mexico’s Jimenez sets up Doherty goal
  • Patricio makes stunning double save

Matt Doherty‘s second half goal sent Wolves’ unbeaten run to six matches with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

El Tri striker Raul Jimenez combined on a 1-2 with Doherty, as Wolves go seventh with 15 points. Palace is 14th with seven points.

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s dribbling wizardry in the right corner allowed him to produced a fine cross that neither Wilfried Zaha nor his teammates could turn into an effort on goal.

At the other end, a Wolves counter had Raul Jimenez in the driver’s seat for a fine chance, but it was wasted as well.

Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey made an amazing save on Jimenez moments later.

Wolves went ahead through Doherty’s near post smash as the clock struck 56, working a 1-2 with Jimenez.

Max Meyer and Jeffrey Schlupp were stunned at the goal line by a terrific double stop by Rui Patricio.

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Wolves 2-0 Southampton: Championship winners up to 8th

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  • Wolves scored 2 goals in the final 12 minutes
  • Rui Patricio made 6 saves
  • Wolves up to 8th in the Premier League table

Wolverhampton may be newly promoted, but teams already know not to take last year’s Championship winners lightly. It still didn’t matter.

The home side didn’t exactly have the greatest performance, but they held Southampton at bay and made the Saints pay down the stretch as substitute Ivan Cavaleiro scored just two minutes after entering the match, and Jonny earned his first Premier League goal to put the game away late.

It wasn’t pretty at times, but Wolves weathered moments of Southampton pressure to stay the course and earn three more points at Monlineux. Ivan Cavaleiro scored the winner on his Premier League debut having come on just two minutes later.

Wolves proved dangerous early on, as Ruben Neves took a pair of free-kicks in threatening positions inside the opening 10 minutes, and the latter produced an open header for defender Matthew Doherty but he put it harmlessly wide left.

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Again Wolves had a big chance on the 10-minute mark as Helder Costa completely roasted a defender and picked out a run down the left, and while the cross was deflected, it fell right to Jonny who found himself unmarked on the penalty spot, but Alex McCarthy produced a spectacular save to deny the effort.

The home side continued to hound the Southampton midfield, bursting forward on numerous occasions and forcing the Saints defenders to foul them in the attacking third. Finally, Southampton began to build itself into the game past the 25-minute mark, and Joao Moutinho was lucky to get away without a caution after a sliding tackle through the back of Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Elyounoussi beat Jonny on a right-sided run, and was found by Nathan Redmond, but Rui Patricio came off his line to smother the chance. Southampton continued to grow, and Danny Ings just missed the top-right corner with an audacious curler from a good distance out. Neves had a half-chance on the break but put his shot from distance well wide left.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Neither team had another serious effort on net before the half, and after the break, the home side was the first to take the initiative. A Moutinho run drew a yellow card for Ryan Bertrand blocking him off, while Diogo Jota earned himself one seconds later for chopping down Mario Lemina.

Southampton remained the more assertive side after the break, but they wouldn’t produce much on net, and would be made to pay. With 12 minutes remaining, Wolves went in front thanks to the persistence of substitute Adama Traore and the unselfishness of Raul Jiminez. Traore, signed this summer from Middlesborough, burst down the right and beat two defenders in style. He worked space for a cross that found Jiminez on the doorstep, but with his back to net he chose a layoff to substitute Ivan Cavaliero who powered a bullet into the back of the net for a debut goal.

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McCarthy was required to keep the deficit at just one, denying Jiminez a bullet header with a stunning save as he dove to his right with the post bearing down. Unfortunately for the visitors, that second would come to put the game away. Doherty got past Stuart Armstrong all too easy down the right, and from that point he poked to Jonny on the doorstep who slid the ball through the legs of McCarthy for the second. Armstrong’s defending was a mess, leaving Southampton wide open.

That would draw curtains on the match, leaving Wolves with a less than stellar performance but a win nonetheless, pushing the newly promoted club all the way to eighth in the Premier League table with 12 points on the young season. Southampton, meanwhile, moves up one spot to 15th despite the loss thanks to Fulham’s poor showing at Goodison Park.

Wolves, Manchester United equal at Old Trafford

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  • Pogba makes star pass to Fred (video)
  • Moutinho with equally clever goal
  • United sits sixth

Joao Moutinho‘s terrific second half goal helped Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Fred scored United’s goal off a clever Paul Pogba feed, with the Frenchman having a decent day in the stalemate. United had the better of the chances, but could not find a second goal.

United is sixth with 10 points, behind Bournemouth on goal differential, while Wolves are 10th with one less point.

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David De Gea was called upon for a prime 7th minute save when Wolves unlocked the United defense to afford Raul Jimenez a point blank turn-and-fire.

Fred but United ahead in the 18th minute, the Red Devils’ Brazilian addition hitting a low ball past Rui Patricio after a breathtaking touch bass from Paul Pogba.

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Hold on just one minute, though, as Wolves leveled the score with a scintillating strike from Moutinho, who curled a pass from Raul behind a helpless De Gea.

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard posted dangerous chances for United, and an offside Romelu Lukaku missed with a header from a Pogba cross.

De Gea and Patricio traded saves as the final 20 minutes began at Old Trafford, with Marouane Fellaini threatening the latter with a 72nd minute header.