Wolves sealed a brilliant 2-1 win over Everton on Boxing Day – and Garth Crooks as heaped praise on Ruben Neves.
Wanderers lifted off the bottom of the Premier League table with the three points.
Wanderers went behind early on when Yerry Mina powered home a header from a corner.
But Wolves showed good character to get back into the game – Joao Moutinho assisting Daniel Podence from a corner of their own.
In the second-half, Everton applied the pressure and looked the more likely side to find a winner.
But it was Wolves that took all three points with a brilliant counter-attack right at the death.
Maximilian Kilman cleared the danger and Matheus Nunes led the charge. He spread the play to Adama Traore, whose cross found Rayan Ait-Nouri to convert.
The full-back found the net for the second time in a matter of days after scoring against Gillingham in the Carabao Cup.
It was a huge win for Wolves, and Crooks has included Neves in his latest Premier League Team of the Week.
Crooks has previously been scathing about Neves following the midfielder’s comments after the draw with Newcastle United earlier in this season.
But he was much more complimentary this time around.
He said (BBC Sport): “Readers may remember me having a pop at Ruben Neves earlier in the season for digging out Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar in a post-match interview for a tackle he thought worthy of a red card. I’m delighted to see that he was full of praise for his team’s performance against Everton and less scathing about the opposition.
“Neves is a top-class player and played like it at Goodison Park. It was he who kicked the ball off his own goalline prior to his team’s superb counter-attack that won the game.
“Wolves look a different side under Lopetegui, which is just as well. Three months ago, they were flying by the seat of their pants – now they look like a team again.”
Ruben Neves’ great form for Wolves continued against Everton, but he can be even better
It was another solid performance in midfield from Neves against Everton.
The highlight of his display had to be the clearance off the line, another contribution that really helped Wolves to walk away with maximum points.
Neves was good at Goodison Park.
But he has the potential to be even better in the coming games.
He couldn’t be quite as influential as usual due to the frantic nature of the game and Everton’s pressing. It was also his first game back after playing in another team for the past month.
But his defensive work was sound, as it has been all season, and he fought very hard.
In the coming games under Lopetegui, he will surely be key to Wolves being successful.