THEO WALCOTT bagged the one hundredth Premier League objective of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton reign – a mere 4354 days after his final Saints strike.
Nevertheless Nuno Espirito Santo pulled off a masterstroke when he despatched on Pedro Neto and went for broke – a transfer which paid off when the Portuguese striker struck a deserved equaliser in opposition to Southampton.
Theo Walcott scored as Southampton drew 1-1 at WolvesCredit score: Getty Photographs – Getty
Pedro Neto bagged an equaliser for the hosts within the seventy fifth minuteCredit score: Getty Photographs – Getty
This was a sport each aspect’s desperately wished to win however ultimately they each applauded their rivals off the sector and a draw was a good end result when the mud had settled on a superb battle between two sides determined to be within the shake-up on the prime finish of the desk on the finish of the season.
Wolves suffered a few crippling Covid blows earlier than a ball had been kicked with affirmation that Moroccan defender Romain Saiss had examined constructive for the virus whereas on worldwide responsibility.
That meant the 30-year-old was pressured to self-isolate – in frequent with membership captain Conor Coady – who missed England’s latest internationals after an NHS Take a look at and Hint confirmed he had come into contact with an individual who had examined constructive.
Within the grand scheme of issues that was unlucky reasonably than disastrous for the pair.
But it surely was arduous to not sympathise with Coady who was pressured to overlook a Premier League sport for Wolves for the primary time since main them again to the top-flight, having performed each minute of his aspect’s final 84 fixtures.
The Wolves stalwart had twice examined destructive so it should have been much more irritating for him to be denied the chance to make his a hundred and twentieth consecutive look in all competitions as he closed in on Phil Parkes’ membership report of 127.
Coady was additionally robbed of the prospect to turn out to be the longest ever-present in Premier League historical past as he fell on the eighty fifth hurdle – agonisingly inside touching distance of Leighton Baines (99 consecutive appearances and report holder Wayne Bridge (112).
Nevertheless Coady would have been the primary to level out that his teammate Max Kilman deserved the sympathy and respect of the entire soccer household after bravely enjoying so quickly after the loss of life of his father.
Walcott put Saints forward at Molineux within the 58th minuteCredit score: Getty Photographs – Getty
Neto performed the function of supersub as he got here off the bench to attainCredit score: Eddie Keogh Telegraph Media Group
He fashioned a new-look again 4 as Nuno ditched his favoured back-three.
Southampton weren’t gradual to try to press house any benefit and swept ahead confidently with the swagger of a aspect chasing it’s fourth consecutive Premier League win for the primary time since Might 2016.
Wolves spent the opening minutes on the rack as Ryan Bertrand examined them with a few depraved crosses, forcing Kilman to concede a nook and Neves to go clear from below his personal crossbar below strain from Che Adams.
Nevertheless the house aspect quickly rediscovered their mojo and solely the brilliance of Saints stopper Alex McCarthy prevented them from taking the lead.
Joao Moutinho thumped a free kick into the defensive wall and Nelson Semedo pounced on the rebound to smash in a incredible low drive which McCarthy brilliantly parried out.
Leo Dendoncker appeared sure to bury the rebound when he smashed it goalwards however someway McCarthy produced a surprising reflex save to deflect the ball over together with his proper shoulder.
It was a hard-fought match between two sides trying to break into the highest of the deskCredit score: EPA
Wolves seemed to stars like Joao Moutinho after being hit with coronavirus issuesCredit score: Reuters
To not be outdone, Rui Patricio then acquired down brilliantly to carry a Theo Walcott shot after Stuart Armstrong had despatched him clear within the field.
It was finish to finish stuff from two assured attacking groups with tempo to burn.
Saints had a hopeful penalty declare waved apart by ref Andre Marriner after a Vestergaard header bounced off Semedo’s arm and for as soon as VAR agreed!
Armstrong then handed up the most effective probability of an entertaining first half when Adams despatched him clear with a slide-rule go however the Scotland midfielder’s shot narrowly extensive as he slid in for the kill.
On the different finish McCarthy was starting to bug the house aspect as he produced one other breath-taking save to flip over a flashing Podence header.
Tempers flared as Neves went in late in a 50-50 with Oriel Romeu – which turned out to be a 51-49 within the Spaniard’s favour!
Adama Traore was a risk down the precise as Wolves switched to a again 4Credit score: Reuters
Southampton rued some missed probabilities together with one from Che AdamsCredit score: Reuters
Each benches then exchanged insults after Romeu entered the pitch to interrupt up a Wolves break – seemingly with out permission – earlier than Traore was booked for a foul on Djenepo.
Fortunately the half-time whistle ended hostilities briefly.
Though Wolves have been none too proud of ref Marriner when Saints scored early within the second interval.
They argued play ought to have stopped when Armstrong barged into Rayan Ait-Nouri’s again to go away him pole-axed.
Nevertheless Saints have been inside their rights to play on and though Adams first cross was blocked by Kilman his second try sped throughout the face of Wolves objective the place Theo Walcott was ready to attain with a easy faucet in.
It was the forwards first Saints objective for 5434 days since he scored in opposition to MK Dins within the FA Cup again in January 2006.
It was an evening to recollect for Walcott as he scored after returning to his previous membership in the summertimeCredit score: Reuters
Neto had the ultimate say as either side applauded one another on the whistleCredit score: Getty – Pool
Nevertheless he fluffed the prospect so as to add a second when he raced clear to spring Wolves offside entice – solely to pull his shot extensive with solely Patricio to beat.
Wolves have been changing into pissed off and should have felt it wasn’t to be their night time when Moutinho produced a crafty free kick which left prime scorer Raul Jimenez within the clear. However the Mexican’s first contact let him down.
Nuno despatched on Pedro Neto for Neves and what a distinction it made because the sub earned his aspect some extent with quarter-hour remaining.
Podence and Moutinho carved out a gap for Jimenez whose shot smashed off the bottom of McCarthy’s publish.
However Neto was following as much as slam house the rebound to seize Wolves the purpose they in all probability deserved on the finish of an exciting 90 minutes.