Wolves put in a big defensive effort yesterday against Aston Villa and claimed three more points to virtually assure Premier League safety.
Toti Gomes’ header put Wolves ahead on nine minutes. It was a superb corner from Ruben Neves, with the Portuguese rising highest to convert.
Wolves would then struggle to really threaten Emi Martinez in the Villa goal.
Villa fashioned a few chances and had most of the ball.
But they could not breach Wolves’ defence.
It was a really big effort from everyone to keep Unai Emery’s side at bay.
The two centre-backs, Craig Dawson and Max Kilman, were particularly solid. And Mario Lemina also put in another outstanding display.
After the 6-0 thumping by Brighton, Wolves fans wanted to see a performance that was full of guts and heart.
A big response was needed, and the players definitely gave one. Thankfully, Wolves were able to show that the performance against Brighton really was just a blip.
Everyone really worked their socks off, which has become a staple thing of Wolves under Julen Lopetegui.
When he arrived, the manager immediately placed emphasis on working with intensity. And there was a moment in the second-half from Pedro Neto that really epitomised what Wolves have become under the Spaniard.
Neto had the ball on the Wolves left, but lost it to John McGinn. McGinn then passed it inside to Ezri Konsa, who found Diego Carlos, who found Martinez, who found Tyrone Mings, who found Alex Moreno.
Neto chased the ball at the way across the pitch, before conceding a throw in and when the ball went out of play, the 23-year-old whipped up the crowd by celebrating his own press.
Pedro Neto moment vs Aston Villa perfectly sums up Wolves under Julen Lopetegui
This moment from Neto was absolutely fantastic to see.
The Portuguese winger was never letting that ball get cleared up the pitch, even if it meant him going all the way across.
Lopetegui will have loved that. The manager is all about intensity and pressing and Neto has always been happy to do that kind of thing.
The way he punched the air when he stopped Moreno’s clearance just sums Wolves up under Lopetegui.
The players now look to be relishing doing the dirty work. And that just didn’t seem to be the case under Bruno Lage.
If everyone in the squad can be like this every single game, then Wolves will be going places.