Goals from Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss saw Wolves kick-off their Premier League campaign in perfect fashion
Wolverhampton Wanderers made a flying start to the new Premier League season with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.
Raul Jimenez netted his and Wolves’ first goal of the season at Bramall Lane with a superb finish into the top corner after excellent work from Daniel Podence.
The Mexican scored 27 goals across all competitions last season and he only needed 140 seconds of football to bring up his first of the 2020/21 campaign.
Romain Saiss made it 2-0 before the clock had reached six minutes as he headed Pedro Neto’s corner past Aaron Ramsdale.
Nuno Espirito Santo hinted at a more attack-minded Wolves this season but even by his standards, this was a bit of a surprise.
The Blades offered very little in response with Rui Patricio’s only piece of work in the first half coming when he tipped over a cross-cum-shot from George Baldock.
Baldock posed a bigger threat after the break and would have reduced the arrears had Conor Coady not been well positioned on the line to clear his goal-bound effort. Just before Baldock’s effort, Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck had struck the foot of the post with a fierce strike.
But Wolves, as they have done so successfully in the past under Nuno, managed to shut up shop. They defended deep and reverted to their more familiar counter-attacking style.
Wolves had the chance to kill the game as Jimenez fed Saiss, whose strike was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Ramsdale before Jimenez diverted the rebound wide.
But it didn’t matter and Wolves were able to thwart United’s advances to collect three points on the opening weekend.
The hosts worried Wolves in the second half but they didnât test Patricio all too often.
Portugalâs number one had a relatively quiet nightâs work and kept his first clean sheet of the season.
There were a few occasions where United managed to get in between Traore and Boly but, fortunately, those moments didnât result in a goal.
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Gareth Southgate was at Bramall Lane to watch Wolvesâ captain and he didnât disappoint. Englandâs newest centre-back was his usual, bossy self at the heart of defence.
He made a few very important contributions – blocking superbly on the line from Baldock in the second half – and managed to nullify the threat of Oli McBurnie.
Not only was Saiss outstanding at the back, he was also one of Wolvesâ biggest attacking threats.
He buried Ramsdale to make it 2-0 with a well-placed header and could have bagged a second late on had it not been for an excellent save by the Sheffield United goalkeeper.
Nuno Espirito Santo has praised his âamazingâ players after they defeated Sheffield United on the back of a four-day pre-season.
Two goals in the opening six minutes from Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss clinched a 2-0 win for Wolves at Bramall Lane on the opening weekend of the season.
The victory is all the more impressive considering Nuno had just four training sessions with his full first team squad before their Premier League opener.
Five of Wolvesâ starting XI were away on international duty last week, while Brazilian defender Marcal – who started at left wing-back – only signed for the club seven days ago.
âIt was a tough game,â said Nuno. âWe knew that. It was always the question: how is the response going to be? We know it was a quick turnaround without friendly matches, players on national teams.
âThe players were amazing in the way they worked. They prepared themselves very well. I think we were effective when we arrived in the box.
âWe started aggressively. We really went for the game in those moments. We were effective and made a difference.
Marcal – a Â£1.8million arrival from French club Lyon – enjoyed an excellent debut after being signed to replace the injured Jonny Castro Otto.
âMarcal is an experienced player,â added Nuno. âHe integrated very well. He was already competing so this gave him the edge in this match. Iâm really pleased.â
@OllieGlanvill: Dominant performance from #Wolves without #EuropaLeague this season they should be really pushing towards the top 6/4 this season…
@subwayarmy39: Solid performance clean sheet! Coady like a rock at the back and Jimenez pure class!! Great start WolvesAyWe
@kevtheman10: A 2-0 win and the first 3 points on the board. What a great start to the season. Well done Wolves
@newbridge_wolf: Thatâll do. Some great individual performances, Saiss MOTM. Would have liked to see a bit more attacking second half, but canât moan, would have been happy with a draw beforehand.
Gary Neville hailed a « brilliant start » to the new season for Wolves after they saw off Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
âBrilliant start to the season, » Sky Sports pundit Neville said on Monday Night Football.
« We (Neville and Jamie Carragher ) were asked the question before the game, who would finish higher out of these two teams – we both said Wolves.
« No Europa League, theyâve re-signed their manager, kept the players they needed to keep, Conor Coady now in the England side, brimming with confidence.
« Theyâve always been difficult to play against, well-organised, and efficient. A really good start to the season. »
Jamie Carragher reckons Wolves can mount a serious challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
The Sky Sports pundit was speaking after Nuno Espirito Santo’s men kicked off their 2020-21 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Early goals from Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss put the visitors in control and that was the way it stayed.
Wolves finished seventh in the league table last season – and Carragher thinks they could well improve on that, potentially causing problems for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
« I think Wolves are a real worry for some of the teams even in the top four, » the former Liverpool defender said on Monday Night Football.
« We keep talking about maybe Arsenal and Tottenham trying to really push for top four this season. I think they (Wolves) are right there. »
Porto have lowered their asking price for Wolves and Manchester United target Alex Telles to Â£18.5m, according to reports coming out of Portugal.
With the Portuguese giants continuing to have financial issues, it is anticipated that more sales will be required in the final weeks of the transfer window. Theyâve already sold Fabio Silva and loaned Vitinha to Wolves this window.
Wanderers, without Jonny Otto for the foreseeable future because of injury and following the sale of Matt Doherty, are still intent on strengthening their wing-back areas and Telles would appear to fit the bill.
As well as United, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain have been credited with an interest in Telles, whose lower price-tag could spark more interest from around Europe.
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Sheffield United F.C., Premier League, Nuno Espírito Santo, Raúl Jiménez
Actu monde – GB – Jimenez and Saiss star as Wolves and Man Utd given transfer boost