WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1-0 FULHAM
- Goals: Pedro Neto (£5.5m)
- Assists: Leander Dendoncker (£4.9m)
- Bonus: Max Kilman (£4.0m) x3, Romain Saiss (£5.1m), Willy Boly (£5.5m) x2
A dour 1-0 win for Wolves at home to Fulham did very little to repay the faith shown by the net 141,000 managers who brought in Raul Jimenez (£8.6m) for Gameweek 4.
Nuno Espirito Santo summed the game up with three lines in his post-match offering:
Not quite (the performance I wanted). Not so compact in defence and not quite creative in attack. I think we should improve.
Going into more detail, the Wolves boss added:
We started the game well, organised. We had some problems in attack. Fulham were organised.
Second half we were much better, we created and were on the front foot and got the goal. It was important to bounce back from last week but we know it is important to improve.
We made a lot of things better than last week but with our standards I believe we should do better. We should manage the game better after we score.
I want to see what’s missing – we need to be sharper, we need to pass the ball faster, we need to control the ball, combine, turn faster, win duels. There are a lot of things to improve.
Nuno was spot on in his assessment of Wolves’ attack in the first half, though seven chances created in the whole game is indicative of a poor attacking performance across the 90 minutes.
Of Jimenez’s three shots in the game, only the one after 54 minutes was a particularly decent scoring opportunity: a Max Kilman (£4.0m) clearance ended up putting the Mexico striker in a one-on-one situation with Alphonse Areola (£4.5m). Jimenez, fresh from signing a new four-year deal at Molineux, shot straight at the Fulham goalkeeper and Areola then held the ball from Leander Dendoncker‘s (£4.9m) follow-up attempt.
Two minutes later, a blocked Dendoncker effort ended up at the feet of Pedro Neto (£5.5m), who slotted a left-footed effort into the right-hand side of the net.
With Marcal (£4.9m) injured and Ruben Vinagre (£4.4m) on his way out of the club, Romain Saiss (£5.1m) took over at left wing-back. However, it appears likely that the Moroccan will revert to his usual position with Wolves adding further cover at left wing-back.
Saiss was joint-top for clearances, blocks and interceptions (seven) with Kilman, who operated on the left-hand side of Wolves’ central defensive unit and ended up bagging maximum bonus points.
Saiss’ eight-point score was also a bonus for those who invested in Wolves for a sustained run of favourable fixtures from Gameweek 4.
As with Wolves, Fulham fashioned just one ‘big’ opportunity in the tie which fell to Aboubakar Kamara (pictured above with Saiss).
The £5.0m midfielder was unselfishly found in the area by Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.0m), who had been released after excellent play by substitute Ademola Lookman (£5.0m).
Kamara only managed to shoot straight at Rui Patricio (£5.5m), mirroring Jimenez’s failure to make a gilt-edged chance count.
Scott Parker, however, was upbeat about his team’s performance despite a fourth consecutive defeat in four gameweeks.
The Fulham chief said:
I am delighted and proud of the team in what they produced today. They showed every facet of what a team needs to show, it has been well documented defensively in terms of conceding goals.
For large parts we nullified their threat as a counter-attacking team and on the other side of it we defended as best we can. We have been absolutely gutted at some of the goals we have conceded – the players are hurting as much as anyone they are not winning games.
I think we got a performance today. We have had that in other games as well. If you could, you would wave a magic wand or click a finger and everything would be perfect but it is not that easy.
On Lookman, who was part of a more sustained offensive threat from Fulham in the last quarter of the game, Parker added:
You saw the boy’s quality in the time he had on the pitch. There is a directness about him, a willingness to cause problems and that is what we need. He will be a massive asset for us.
Parker set his troops up in a 4-2-3-1 formation at Molineux, with Joe Bryan (£4.9m) and Antonee Robinson (£4.4m) interchangeable on the left flank.
Nelson Semedo (£5.5m) came within inches of scoring in the opening half, with Areola just about managing to deflect the defender’s effort over the bar with a sprawling save.
That opportunity came about after the keeper had spilled a Neto shot into Semedo’s path.
The wing-back came off after 77 minutes with what looked like an injury, though it was downplayed by Nuno after the game.
Wolves XI (3-4-3): Patricio; Kilman, Coady, Boly; Saiss, Neves, Dendoncker, Semedo (Hoever 77′); Neto (Traoré 83′), Jimenez, Podence (Moutinho 70′).
Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Areola; Robinson, Ream, Le Marchand, Aina; Anguissa, Cairney; Bryan (Kamara 67′), De Cordova-Reid (Kebano 81′), Cavaleiro (Lookman 67′); Mitrovic.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 4
- Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace
- Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City
- Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley
- Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United
- Southampton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1-0 Fulham
- Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham Hotspur
- Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool
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