Wolves are on their best unbeaten run in the top flight since 1972 after seeing off West Ham with strikes from Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone at Molineux.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side is back up to fifth in the Premier League after the Hammers failed to reproduce the kind of display that helped them to a shock win against Chelsea.
It has been quite a turnaround for the Midlands side, who failed to record a win in their first six games but have now not lost any of their past 10, a run that began after their 5-2 home defeat by Chelsea on 14 September.
Spanish winger Adama Traore has played a key role over this period and was excellent again on Wednesday, but the goals came from Dendoncker and substitute Cutrone. The Belgian defender gave Wolves the lead when he poked in from Joao Moutinho’s corner in the 23rd minute, before Cutrone found the corner with a low drive, two minutes after replacing Raul Jimenez.
West Ham’s best chances fell the way of Pablo Fornals and Robert Snodgrass. Fornals forced a good save from Rui Patricio with a curling shot before Snodgrass’ heavy touch allowed the Portuguese keeper to snuff out the danger.
The Wolves supporters were singing Traore’s name within the first 20 minutes of the match. Praised by manager Nuno for his performance in the side’s 2-1 win against Bournemouth last month, he followed that with another excellent run-out against Sheffield United on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the former Barcelona player gave Aaron Cresswell and Fornals a workout right from the first whistle. The 23-year-old has always been lauded for his great pace, but his crossing has improved noticeably this campaign.
He provides two great balls from the right in the opening quarter, one of which needed a headed clearance from Fabian Balbuena to prevent Jimenez from nodding in.
Jimenez, with seven goals in the past nine Wolves games, also produced a bright display. His excellent surge and cross from the right would have resulted in Wolves’ second had Jonny kept his composure with keeper David Martin to beat.
The former Benfica player also should have done better with his strike, from Traore’s through-ball, which was beaten away by the Hammers keeper.
Wolves’ two goals were very different. The first owed a lot to the Hammers’ poor marking, as they allowed Dendoncker space to poke home Moutinho’s dead ball.
And the second was a result of Jonny’s superb lung-busting run which was followed by a pinpoint finish from Cutrone.
West Ham was poor. Striker Sebastien Haller, who joined the club for £45m in the summer and scored three goals in his three games, was once again anonymous having replaced Michail Antonio in the attack.
His one and only effort were an angled dinked shot from eight yards that cleared Patricio’s bar by a few feet.
Team-mate Fornals was far better in the attack. His strike tested the agility of the Wolves keeper before he set up Snodgrass, whose awful the second touch allowed Patricio to make a save.
The former Scotland international was injured in the incident when his stretched leg collided with the goalkeeper and was substituted as a consequence.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side has now only managed one win in their past nine league games.
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Source – BBC