Raul Jimenez scored his 15th goal as Wolves beat Bournemouth. Winger Adama Traore was recalled after coming off the bench to play a part in both goals in Saturday’s win at West Ham. Raul Jimenez scored his 15th Premier League goal of the season to bolster Wolves’ bid for Champions League qualification and deepen Bournemouth’s relegation concerns.
And the Spanish winger produced an almost identical cross to that he delivered for Jimenez’s goal at the weekend, with the Mexican striker again heading in the opener. It was the 10th time Traore and Jimenez have combined for a league goal this season – more than any other pair in the top flight.
That was enough to keep Wolves level with fifth-placed Manchester United – 3-0 winners over Sheffield United on Wednesday – and move to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who host Manchester City on Thursday. Having failed to produce a shot on target at Molineux, Bournemouth remain without a point away from home in 2020 and inside the relegation zone, behind West Ham on goal difference.
Traore steals the show again
Having been man of the match on Saturday despite playing only 26 minutes, Traore was not a surprise inclusion for Wolves’ 50th game of an arduous season. Although the hosts took a while to get going, with neither side managing a shot on target in a disjointed first half, Traore ultimately stole the show. The 24-year-old lit the game up by holding off one man in his own half before going on a blistering run past another three to earn a free-kick 25 yards out.
He also fired narrowly over from the edge of the box, while whipping in teasing crosses either side of the break. But then he found his target, taking Matt Doherty’s ball wide and getting down the right before standing up a cross for Jimenez to power into the roof of the net. After Traore was replaced in the 73rd minutes, substitute Pedro Neto burst forward and dragged a shot wide.
The clean sheet was Wolves’ 10th sheet in the league this season, and sixth in the past seven games.
Cherries with work to do
After resuming their season with a lacklustre home defeat by Crystal Palace, Bournemouth made a bright start, with the returning Philip Billing providing more attacking thrust than usual.
But the midfielder hobbled off early in the second half and the Cherries must find a solution to the absence of winger Ryan Fraser, one of their main attacking threats in recent years, who chose not to sign a short-term contract extension and and will not be available after 30 June.
Despite chasing the game, the only shot Bournemouth managed in the second half was a late effort by Arnaut Groeneveld which curled well wide. There is much work to be done at the back too as Jimenez leapt above Steve Cook and Jack Stacey to head home, meaning Bournemouth have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 league games.
‘We deserved to win’ – what they said
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: “The first half, for both teams it was tough and both teams were not able to play. Defensive organisation was very tight and the space was not there.
“It was a poor first half in terms of football but in the second half we managed to create a couple of chances. We deserved to win. The boys worked very hard and another clean sheet is important for us.
“It’s about building and creating solutions going forward. On Saturday we have such a tough game so now we have to prepare.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: “There was very little goalmouth action from either team and we could easily have picked up a point.
“We were below par on the ball – our organisation was good – but we were more wasteful with the ball as the game went on and that disappoints us as we’re better than that.
“It was a definite improvement from the Crystal Palace game in terms of intensity and defensive organisation. I can’t fault the attitude and commitment of the players so hopefully that will change our fortunes quickly.”
Wolves’ deadly duo – the stats
- Wolves have kept four consecutive home clean sheets in the top flight for the first time since February 1980
- Wolves’ tally of 49 points is their best after 31 games of a Premier League season, beating the 1979-80 campaign (51 when adjusted to three points for a win)
- Wolves have faced Bournemouth more often without losing in the Premier League (W3 D1) than any other opponent
- Bournemouth have lost 10 of their past 11 away league matches, including all of their past seven
Source – BBC News
In other news Boost for Musona as AS Eupen is keen for his services for the next season
Boost for Musona as AS Eupen is keen for his services for the next season. Prevljak, who had been playing with Musona at AS Eupen before the lockdown, is also on loan from Austria Bundesliga giants — Red Bull Salzburg. While AS Eupen would have wanted to have both attackers in the forthcoming season, financial considerations appear to be weighing heavily against the Bosnia-Herzegovina international who is reported to be an expensive option for the club with a current market value of €2m, while Musona is valued at €800 000.
Zimbabwe international soccer icon Knowledge Musona’s hopes to stay in Europe have been boosted further with reports suggesting AS Eupen prefer him over Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Smail Prevljak who had emerged as his main competition for a place in the Pro League side’s squad…continue reading.