Three points for Wolves but only justBy: DJ | September 16th, 2012
Wolves secured an important three points against Leicester at Molineux on Sunday that took them from 23rd to 10th in the Championship League table. It was a game that Wolves controlled in the first half but it all got a bit close for comfort after the break and it was a narrow success by the time the final whistle blew.
Ronald Zubar lost his place in defence to Richard Stearman and Karl Henry was fit to return to the centre of midfield at Edwards’ expense;
Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Peszko, Henry, Doumbia, Sako
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
Wolves were dominating possession early on but Leicester were causing problems on the break. King and Nugent both had attempts on goal in the early stages before Marshall brought an excellent save out of Ikeme. But Doyle was also looking sharp for Wolves and he brought a top class save from Schmeichel with a curling shot. But it was the deadball delivery of Sako that lead to Wolves taking control of the game. His free kick from 30 yards out found the head of Ebanks Blake who made no mistake with a firm header from 5 yards. And then from a Sako corner Doyle flicked the ball on with his head and Stearman came in unmarked on the far post to turn the ball in.
Wolves had controlled play in the first half and were worthy leaders and in the second half it was again Sako from a free kick that caused the first goalmouth action when he brought a save from Schmeichel, and the keeper again foiled Sako from a tight angle after he got clear on the left. But it was the old guard at Wolves who were mainly responsible for them holding the advantage with Johnson and Berra looking solid in defence. Henry making a fine return to midfield and Doyle always the outlet up front.
Leicester had looked out of sorts in the first half but they came out for the second half with an extra energy about their game and slowly but surely they started to dominate the game. Ikeme had an escape when he failed to come for a cross and was lucky to see the ball bounce to safety off his foot. With 20 minutes to go Leicester got themselves back in the game in spectacular fashion. There seemed little danger when Konchelsky picked up the ball 30 yards out but his left foot drive rocketed into the roof of the net.
Wolves manager Solbakken was looking a frustrated manager as his team continually failed to keep decent possession with sub Edwards twice giving the ball away in dangerous areas. There were narrow escapes for Wolves as a glancing header from Nugent went narrowly wide, and then Waghorn seemed sure to equalise then he got through on the right of Wolves area but his shot came back off the post. Sub Sigurdarsen went close late on for Wolves but after 5 minutes of injury time the home team were delighted to hear the final whistle.
Ikeme – made a couple of excellent saves but got away with not coming for a couple of crosses
Stearman – Had a reasonable return to the team and scored a rare goal
Ward – Got in some good tackles but rarely got forward and like Stearman came under pressure from Leicester attacking with width in the 2nd half
Johnson – looks to have fully put last season’s problems behind him and played well
Berra – also had a good game with some vital blocks
Peszko – had some decent moments but struggling to get heavily involved in the games
Henry – had an excellent return to the team, breaking up a lot of Leicester attacks and prompting Wolves forward
Doumbia – not as influential as in his early season games
Sako – struggled to get into the game in the second half but his delivery from corners and free kicks were a constant threat to the visitors
SEB – took his goal well and worked hard
Doyle – probably Wolves best player on the day with excellent runs down the channels and good hold up play
Edwards – replaced Doumbia for the last quarter of the game but gave the ball away on a number of occasions
Sigurdarsen – replaced SEB late on and made some good runs but also gave the ball away cheaply on occasions
Boukari – replaced Peszko but made no real impact
So a welcome three points and plenty of positives in the first half in particular. But could easily have surrendered a point after the break and must learn the art of retaining possession to see games out from a winning position. The next two games see trips to East Anglia with Ipswich on Wedneday followed by Peterborough on Saturday. Mid table feels about right for Wolves so far and we wait to see if they can make that a more positive as the new look team play more games together.