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Southampton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League.

St. Mary's StadiumAttendance28,002.

Southampton 0

    Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

    • R Jiménez (61st minute)

    Southampton 0-1 Wolves: Raul Jimenez nets first goal since injury return to see off Saints

    Report and free match highlights as Raul Jimenez's second-half strike decides a tight affair; The Wolves striker returned at the start of this season after fracturing his skull in November 2020; Southampton remain winless in the Premier League this season

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves' win against Southampton

    Raul Jimenez scored his first goal since returning from a fractured skull as Wolves beat Southampton 1-0, with the Saints remaining winless in the Premier League.

    The pressure was on for both sides heading into the St Mary's encounter. Southampton had drawn their last four games while Wolves were also struggling for victories under new manager Bruno Lage.

    A quiet first half started with promise as Nelson Semedo went close after 45 seconds, but there was little to choose between the two sides until the hour mark.

    Jimenez had played every minute of the 2021/22 campaign since returning from the serious injury he sustained in November 2020, but was yet to rediscover his scoring touch. However, a wonderful goal kick from Jose Sa and great movement saw Jimenez finish confidently (61) to decide the game.

    "Watch out, Jimenez is back!", said Sky Sports' Don Goodman on co-commentary.

    But once again, Southampton had their chances - registering 18 shots to Wolves' five - but were unable to find the net for a third successive Premier League game, leaving them without a victory this season. Saints drop down into 16th place, while Wolves move up into 13th on six points.

    How Wolves saw off the Saints

    Raul Jimenez celebrates his opener

    Wolves made a fast start at St Mary's, and tested Alex McCarthy inside a minute. After winning the ball back, Jimenez fed Semedo to his right and the wing back drove into the area before forcing a fine save from the goalkeeper.

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    Southampton soon began to see the better of the attacking play, but as so often this season, were unable to fashion too many clear-cut chances. On the half-hour, Che Adams had a weak shot that was easily collected by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa.

    Player ratings

    Southampton: McCarthy (6), Livramento (7), Salisu (5), Bednarek (6), Walker-Peters (6), Romeu (6), Elyounoussi (7), Ward-Prowse (7), Adams (6), Redmond (7), Armstrong (7).

    Subs used: Djenepo (6), Broja (5), Long (n/a).

    Wolves: Sa (7), Kilman (6), Coady (7), Saiss (7), Semedo (7), Marcal (6), Dendoncker (6), Moutinho (7), Hwang (5), Jimenez (8), Podence (6).

    Subs used: Traore (7), Hoever (n/a), Neves (n/a).

    Man of the match: Raul Jimenez.

    Shortly before the break, Southampton had a goal ruled out for offside. Nathan Redmond controlled a Mohamed Elyounoussi pass wonderfully before poking home, but the flag was correctly raised.

    Adam Armstrong then sent a fierce drive goalwards after some poor play from Sa, but the stopper recovered well to make a strong save.

    Sa made two wonderful stops early in the second half, firstly denying the impressive Valentino Livramento before keeping out Elyounoussi's effort from range. Adams tried to poke home the rebound from the second, but the offside flag was raised again.

    Team news

    • There was one enforced change for Southampton after drawing with Man City last weekend with Mohammed Salisu replacing the injured Jack Stephens.
    • Wolves made three changes after defeat to Brentford last weekend. Ruben Neves, Adama Traore and Francisco drop to the bench, with Daniel Podence, Leander Dendoncker and Hee-chan Hwang – making his first Premier League start – coming into the XI.

    Just after the hour, Wolves finally made the breakthrough. Sa's long goal kick picked out Jimenez, who easily pushed past Jan Bednarek and neither Southampton centre-back could stop him weaving his way into the area for a confident finish past McCarthy.

    Nathan Redmond reacts after his goal is ruled out for offside
    Image: Nathan Redmond reacts after his goal is ruled out for offside

    Jimenez could have added a second in six minutes of added time as he sped past Oriel Romeu before facing off against McCarthy, but the goalkeeper made a good stop at his near post.

    Like much of the game, Southampton probed for the equaliser in the final half-hour, but were unable to find a way past Wolves as the visitors registered their second win of the Premier League season.

    Man of the match - Raul Jimenez

    Sky Sports' Don Goodman:

    "I could pick any of the Wolves defenders, but a moment of magic gives Wolves a valuable three points. Welcome back Raul Jimenez, he's been dreaming of that moment."

    What the managers said

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    Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl reflects on a furstrating game where his side fell to defeat against Wolves

    Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: "It was a very tight game without big chances on both sides. The difference was that they had one moment where you saw the quality from Raul.

    "The defending was a little bit naïve, but it's tough to win games when you don't score goals and this is our problem a little bit. You can't always expect clean sheets, but one time of naïve defending and lots of times of not finding the target is the result that you have seen today.

    "I thought we had better chances before they scored the goal. We had so many situations - not 100 per cent goal chances, but shots around the box - but there was always a leg in between or the goalkeeper made a save or whatever.

    "A few inches [are missing] all the time. If you want to score in the Premier League, you have to have something special and at the moment, we are a little bit too easy to read. We are having interesting situations, but the last pass is not there or the last shot or the last lay up is not good enough. Then you get blocked and at the moment, this is what our biggest problem is.

    "We need wins, we need to score again and I think we know how to score but at the moment, it doesn't work in the league and this is what we have to change quickly."

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    Wolves manager Bruno Lage says Raul Jimenez will become more confident after his goal and performance in their win at Southampton

    Wolves manager Bruno Lage: "It was very good to win the three points and these go straight to our fans because we started the game very well in two ways - the chance we created with Semedo and the support from the stands from our fans.

    "The way they are supporting, we feel it from the first day so the three points go straight to them.

    "We came to play against a strong opponent, it is very hard to take points from here. We saw what they did against Man City and Newcastle so they are very hard to play against.

    "We put Daniel [Podence] and Hwang in the game to have more of the ball and I think we did that, especially in the first half, to not let them play the way they want to at home.

    "After we scored, the game changed and they came back with everything. They had two or three chances, then we would also have our chances to score one more goal. We defended well, we protected our goalkeeper and with all the work, we deserved the points.

    "I knew the confidence would come [with Jimenez] and I would be here to support him because I saw his work since the first day. The fans, the board, me as a manager, we want goals for him but also the other parts.

    "The work he does for the team is very important so I'm very happy with him because he's been working hard for this moment.

    "The result and the confidence comes with work and points. I said to the players that these three points are because you believe in our work. We need to continue to believe in the way we work and play because things will change for us and the points will come like they did today."

    Opta stats

    • Wolves have won three consecutive away games in all competitions without conceding for the first time since a run of four between October and December 2017.
    • Southampton have failed to win any of their opening six league games of a season for the first time since 2009-10 in League One, and first time in the Premier League since 1998-99.
    • Since returning to the Premier League in 2018-19, 45 of Wolves' matches have been goalless at half-time - two more than any other club in that time.
    • Southampton defender Valentino Livramento became the first 18-year-old to start his side's first six Premier League games of the season since Phil Jones in 2010-11 for Blackburn Rovers.

    What's next?

    Southampton are back in Premier League action on Saturday, visiting Chelsea; kick-off 3pm. Wolves also play on the same day, welcoming Newcastle to Molineux.

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