Wolverhampton Wanderers got back to winning ways after defeating Southampton 1-0 in the Premier League today.
Below are five things we learned from today’s victory..
Raul Jimenez is back
A goal and the Premier League man of the match award for a complete striker’s display. Raul Jimenez was sensational. His off-the-ball work was integral to Wolves’ overall play in the first half.
In the second half, his hard work was rewarded with a magnificent solo goal. Jimenez shook off both of Southampton’s centre-backs before showing excellent composure to slot the ball past Alex McCarthy.
Wolves will hope that this is the beginning of the real return of Raul Jimenez, he certainly looked like his old self today.
Jose Sa – Wolves’ secret attacking weapon
The assist for Jimenez’s goal came from the most unlikely of sources, goalkeeper Jose Sa.
However, the long pass from the goalkeeper was no fluke, as his kick in stoppage time almost set the Mexican striker up for a second.
Sa looks to be really shrewd business for Wolves, after arriving for less than £7 million in the summer. In addition to his distribution, his decision-making and shot-stopping was key to keeping his second clean sheet in the Premier League.
Lage’s loyalty paid off
There had been some question marks over some of the Wolves players’ selection for today’s game. In particular, Conor Coady and Romain Saiss.
Both converted centre-backs struggled in the team’s defeat to Brentford last week.
However, despite Willy Boly being on the bench, Lage’s decision to trust both Coady and Saiss was merited after both of them put in commanding defensive performances.
It is likely they will have secured their places for the next game against Newcastle United.
Game management is key
After taking the lead, it was only the second time in the league under Lage that Wolves had scored first in a game.
In both games, they have held on to secure all three points. It is a testament to the manager that they have not buckled under pressure from the opponents.
After taking the lead, Lage managed his substitutions carefully, such as delaying the introduction of Adama Traore. He also brought on Ruben Neves when Wolverhampton looked light in midfield
A great day on the sidelines as well as the football pitch.
Lage’s first-choice wingers now unclear
Until today, the Wolves head coach had opted to deploy both Traore and Francisco Trincao in every league game.
Both were surprisingly dropped for the game at St Mary’s, with Hwang Hee-chan and Daniel Podence coming in.
Hwang and Podence both affected the game but neither enough to assure themselves of a start next week.
The same could be said for Traore when he came off the bench, Trincao did not even appear.