Soccer

Wolves 2-0 West Ham: Nuno Espirito Santo’s side move up to fifth

Wolves produced a dominant performance to beat West Ham 2-0 at Molineux and move up to fifth in the Premier League table.

Leander Dendoncker’s goal gave the home side the lead midway through the first half and substitute Patrick Cutrone put the seal on the victory with a late second.

Player ratings

Wolves: Patricio (7); Dendoncker (7), Coady (7), Saiss (7); Doherty (7), Neves (7), Moutinho (8), Jonny (7); Traore (8), Jimenez (7), Jota (7).

Subs: Neto (7), Cutrone (7), Bennett (N/A)

West Ham: Martin (6); Fredericks (6), Balbuena (6), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (6); Rice (5), Noble (6); Snodgrass (6), Fornals (7), Anderson (6); Haller (5).

Subs: Yarmolenko (6), Holland (6), Ajeti (6)

Man of the Match: Joao Moutinho

That put a fairer reflection on the difference between the teams, extending Wolves’ unbeaten run in the competition to 10 games.

West Ham had some promising moments but, after their impressive win at Chelsea on Saturday, this was a return to the worrying form that has been a feature of their season.

How Wolves won it…

On a chilly evening in Wolverhampton, it was Wolves who looked the more threatening from the outset with Adama Traore providing a real outlet down the right wing.

But the opening goal came from the left with Joao Moutinho curling a corner kick into the box and Dendoncker (23) stabbing the ball beyond West Ham goalkeeper David Martin.

Team news

Wolves made one change from the team that drew with Sheffield United on Sunday, recalling Romain Saiss who missed that game through suspension. Young defender Max Kilman made way.

West Ham’s change was enforced with Michail Antonio not making the squad and he was replaced by Sebastien Haller, who came on for during the second half of the win at Chelsea on Saturday.

Rui Patricio had to be at his best to keep Wolves ahead soon after, pulling off a dramatic save to deny Pablo Fornals, whose curled effort had looked destined for the top corner.

After the interval, the game opened up with Raul Jimenez, Jonny and Romain Saiss all going close to doubling the lead, while Robert Snodgrass might have done better at the other end.

But it was left to Cutrone (86) to take advantage of another good run by Jonny and collect the pass from fellow substitute Pedro Neto before finding the bottom corner of the net.

What the managers said…

Nuno Espirito Santo: “It means a lot to everyone who is here at Molineux. Everyone plays their part in it. We keep going, we have to compete, play and improve.

“We had clear counter-attacks and clear chances. It was very important for us to avoid that last-minute situation.

“I am happy for Patrick. We needed all the help we could get. This is what we want, players who come from the bench and give us solutions. We are a small squad so we need everyone.

“Tomorrow I am giving them a day off after 21 days without one because they deserve it. But they know the main point of the day off is to rest.”

Manuel Pellegrini: “I was happy with the attitude of the team, I thought we dominated most parts of the game, particularly in the second half. It was a very close game, we had one option to draw the game, we missed that opportunity and then we conceded from a counter-attack.

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