Wolves got their pre-season underway with a 1-0 loss at Crewe. Here is a look at how it happened…
Wolves started the game in a 4-4-2, with Rayan Ait-Nouri on the left hand side of midfield.
They were on top for the first 20 minutes, without making any really clear chances.
After that, Crewe came back into the game, and forced John Ruddy into a smart save at his back post midway through the first half.
Raul Jimenez came closest to scoring for Wolves, when his free-kick was deflected onto the bar just past the half-hour mark.
Shortly afterward, Jimenez was replaced by Patrick Cutrone, in what was clearly a pre-planned change to limit the Mexican’s gametime as he returns to action slowly.
Wolves ended the half as the more likely team to score, with debutant Francisco Trincao at the centre of most good things they did but it was goalless at half-time.
It was all change at half time as the team which emerged had a less familiar look.
Cutrone had a clear opening minutes after half time after smart work by Chem Campbell but it was blocked superbly.
In the 53rd minute, Crewe took the lead through Chris Long, who was unmarked in the box after a well-worked short corner routine.
It was poor defending from Wolves, but it was understandable given the lack of familiarity between the players on the field.
Renat Dadashov had a chance to make something happen not long after and launch and instant response but he was far too slack and dinked his cross harmlessly out of play. He had a shot minutes later but it was blocked.
Romain Saiss replaced at centre-half Max Kilman on 66 minutes.
Wolves had a lucky escape on 73 minutes when Owen Otasowie lost the ball deep in his own half. Crewe should have scored but Jack Scott threw his body in the way to block.
Cutrone had Wolves’ best chance of the whole game with just four minutes remaining, but Will Jaaskelainen made a very sharp save down to his left.
Cutrone went off not long after that, replaced by Austin Samuels for the closing stages. Samuels didn’t take long to get involved as the ball fell to him after some smart pressing by Hugo Bueno but he fired his shot way wide.
Dadashov missed Wolves’ last chance of the game as they finally raised the tempo with seconds remaining, shooting when he should have played the ball out wide to his left.
An afternoon which was about fitness ended in defeat.
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