With the sun shining down brightly on St Mary’s, there was a vibrant and lively atmosphere as Southampton took on a Wolves side short of confidence.
After a disappointing start to the season, there was an air of optimism in both camps as the opportunity presented itself to pick up a valuable three points.
For those who have watched both sides this season, there has been no lack of industry from either club, nor indeed, any reluctance to play attractive football. However, it is fair to say there has been a distinct absence of quality in the opposition’s box and this trend continued into the first half, where neither side really looked like troubling the scoresheet.
The Southampton full backs, Livramento and Walker-Peters, were willing runners as Saints sought to sling low crosses into the front duo of Adams and Adam Armstrong. That said, Saints were devoid of any real end product and Wolves were happy to patiently soak up pressure.
The visitors were quick on the counter attack with Jiminez, Podence and Chan quick to exploit any misplaced passes. Jiminez looked a handful throughout and after the break, he punished some weak defending by showing great strength and determination to power past Bednarek, before slotting past a helpless McCarthy.
It was the only moment of genuine quality in the 90 minutes but the Mexican striker deserves credit for his composure and perseverance. Until that point, Saints had looked fairly comfortable defensively but the goal changed the momentum of the game as the football descended into a frantic and scrappy affair.
Saints threw on substitutes and for a while, it looked like Moussa Djenepo would be the most likely to create something. However, Wolves remained willing to absorb the onslaught towards the end and with some cynical time wasting, they were able to hold on until full time for a valuable three points.
Here were the three key players for Southampton: