Defenders earn Wolves 2-1 win over Fulham

March 10, 2024 7:19 am

[Source: Reuters]

Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Fulham 2-1 in the Premier League thanks to a close-range strike from Rayan Ait-Nouri and a deflected own goal from a shot by fellow defender Nelson Semedo.

The result moved Wolves up to eighth in the league on 41 points, still with a chance of qualifying for European football next season, and kept intact their more than four-decade unbeaten streak at home to the Londoners.

The hosts’ first goal came in the 52nd minute when Algerian international Ait-Nouri scooped the ball into the roof of the net after a cutback from a free kick. Portuguese team mate Semedo earned the win 15 minutes later with a shot from just outside the area which hit Fulham’s Tom Cairney on the way in for an own goal.

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Wolves manager Gary O’Neil said fans should be happy their injury-ravaged team were able to triumph against a side in good form.

“An unbelievable win … To find a way to beat a Fulham team that are in a really good moment,” he said.

“Just delighted. 41 points, equalling last season’s tally already. The supporters should be unbelievably proud of the team they saw on the grass today.”

Fulham were the better team in the first half, missing golden chances when Harry Wilson fluffed his shot in a one-on-one with Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and Tosin Adarabioyo smacked the bar with a close-range effort.

Sa prevented a late comeback with two brilliant saves before Alex Iwobi hooked in from close range deep into stoppage time to give Fulham a late consolation goal.

Defeat left the visitors 12th in the table on 35 points. Fulham have now failed to win at Molineux since 1985, spanning 18 league and cup games.

Manager Marco Silva said his side were punished for a sloppy start to the second half even though he had specifically told them to come out playing fast football.

“We had enough chances to come to halftime leading the score,” he told reporters.

“We started to play too slow second half. That created the momentum for them. We got punished. It’s difficult to explain. It’s really strange the way we started the second half.”

The only sour note for Wolves was seeing their best player, Pedro Neto, limp off with an injured hamstring towards the end of the first half.

O’Neil said he wished he had rested Neto, who suffered another hamstring injury earlier in the season.

“I’m just devastated for Pedro really, how hard he’s worked to get back,” he said. “We’re hopeful. Medical don’t think it’s anything like his first one.”