Bournemouth 1-2 Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo's side up to fifth
Report and highlights as Wolves stretch their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games
Last Updated: 23/11/19 6:52pm
Wolves moved up to fifth in the Premier League after edging past 10-man Bournemouth to seal a 2-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium.
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Nuno Espirito Santo's side led 2-0 at the break as Joao Moutinho curled a stunning free-kick into the top corner (21) before a quick set-piece caught out the hosts and Raul Jimenez (31) tapped in Adama Traore's cross.
Bournemouth's miserable first half was compounded in the 37th minute when captain Simon Francis, making his first Premier League appearance in 11 months, was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The hosts did produce a much-improved second-half performance and they were rewarded when Steve Cook headed home to give them a lifeline in the 59th minute, but Wolves withstood some late pressure to get over the line to secure a valuable three points.
Victory sees Wolves move three points clear of Bournemouth, who drop down to 11th after just one win from their last seven league fixtures.
How Wolves' unbeaten run continued
Wolves started brightly and they exposed Francis' rustiness as early as the 21st minute when the 34-year-old, who suffered a serious knee ligament injury at Tottenham on Boxing Day last year, was booked for hauling down Diogo Jota on the left edge of the penalty area.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (7), Smith (6), Francis (4), S Cook (7), Ake (6), Rico (6), Billing (5), L Cook (6), H Wilson (5), Fraser (7), C Wilson (6).
Subs: Lerma (7), Groeneveld (7), Gosling (6).
Wolves: Patricio (6), Doherty (6), Dendoncker (7), Coady (8), Saiss (7), Jonny (7), Moutinho (8), Neves (7), Jota (7), Traore (7), Jimenez (8).
Subs: Vinagre (n/a).
Man of the match: Joao Moutinho.
From the resultant free-kick, Moutinho produced a moment of magic, curling the ball over Aaron Ramsdale and into the top corner to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Wolves went further ahead 10 minutes later as a quick free-kick released Traore down the right and the winger cut the ball back to leave Jimenez with a simple tap-in for his 14th goal of the campaign in all competitions.
Things then got even worse for Bournemouth as Francis was correctly shown a second yellow card by referee Simon Hooper for dragging back Jota on halfway, leaving the hosts to play out the rest of the afternoon with 10 men.
It prompted Howe into a double half-time substitution as Philip Billing and Harry Wilson made way for Jefferson Lerma and Arnaut Groeneveld, and the changes worked for the hosts.
They produced a much better second-half performance and in the 59th minute, they halved the deficit. Cook rose highest to meet Fraser's left-wing corner at the near post and his header deflected off the back of Traore before finding its way into the bottom corner.
Simon Francis returned for Bournemouth in place of Josh King, who missed out due to a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Jefferson Lerma was back from suspension, but he was named on the bench by Eddie Howe .
Adama Traore recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place in an unchanged Wolves side from their 2-1 win against Aston Villa.
Wolves failed to reproduce their dominant first-half display, however, Jota nearly put the result beyond doubt with a powerful drive which was turned wide by Ramsdale at the end of a swift counter-attack.
It could have proved costly for the visitors as Bournemouth almost grabbed an equaliser, against all the odds, eight minutes from time, but Nathan Ake's volley flew straight at Rui Patricio before substitute Groeneveld sliced wide in the final seconds as Wolves' fine run continued.
What the managers said...
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "We didn't deliver what we wanted to do in the first half, I think that's plainly obvious to everyone in the stadium. We made a couple of mistakes tactically on the pitch, that happens in the game, it's so difficult to change as you're playing at the moment.
"You're hoping that the players can get it right but we didn't deliver it, we were a yard off on our press. We allowed them to play around us, they've got very good technical players and we allowed them to come into the game which, of course, wasn't what we intended. But I have to take responsibility for that, every time you send a team on to the pitch you want to cover all bases for them and make sure you get it right. I felt we didn't and ultimately that's my call."
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: "The first half we played really, really well. I think we achieved well the advantage and then with one man less, until the end of the first half we managed well. In the second half, we knew that Bournemouth is a very good team with very good players and Eddie reacted and created problems.
"We know that the game was dangerous, it was about getting the third goal but at the same time keeping the balance. I think we performed well and I'm happy with the boys. The first half must be our reference for the way we want to proceed and keep on going and improving."
Man of the Match - Joao Moutinho
The Portuguese midfielder pulled the strings for Wolves as they dominated the first half.
He also scored a stunning free-kick for the hosts and was singled out for praise by Wolves boss Nuno.
"When you come back from the international break knowing that all of the players have been all around the world, it's about keeping together and doing your tasks," he said. "Joao is an important player because he has the experience to know what is required in each moment."
Joao Moutinho’s goal was the fourth direct free-kick goal Wolves have scored in the Premier League – with three of these strikes coming in the last two seasons.
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games, their longest run in the top-flight since February 1974.
- Only Liverpool (22) have scored in more consecutive Premier League games than Wolves (12).
- Bournemouth have lost back-to-back Premier League games, having lost just one of their last seven in the competition (W3 D3).
- Eight of Bournemouth's 16 Premier League goals this season have come from set-piece situations (excluding penalties), the highest share in the division (50 per cent). No side have scored more goals from corners in 2019-20 than the Cherries (5).
- Bournemouth have been shown seven red cards in the Premier League since they were promoted in 2015 - four of them have been for Simon Francis.
Bournemouth travel to face Jose Mourinho's Tottenham next Saturday in the Premier League; Kick-off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is at 3pm.
Meanwhile, Wolves travel to Portugal on Thursday to face Sporting Braga in the Europa League; Kick-off at 5.55pm. They then host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday, December 1; Kick-off 2pm.