Wolves earned a point in a 6 goal thriller
After games where the question being asked was whether Wolves score enough goals, and how good it was to see them looking solid defensively, we suddenly had a 6 goal thriller at Molineux which blew a big hole in those theories. It was another entertaining game to watch and it sees them retain their place amongst the promotion candidates and keep a healthy average of two points a game.
There were two changes to the starting line up compared to Saturday with new signing N'Diaye replacing Saiss, and Cavaleiro getting his first league start of the season in place of Marshall;
Batth, Coady, Miranda
Doherty, Neves, N'Diaye, Vinagre
Jota, Bonatini, Cavaleiro
Wolves started brightly with Neves at the centre of most of the good work and he had the first shot of the game which went wide. Wolves then had the ball in the net following a 1-2 between Doherty and Jota but the wing back was offside when he received the return ball. Neves then hit a 25 yard free kick just over the bar. Wolves deservedly took the lead when Cavaleiro sent N'Diaye through on the right of the area. His cross found Jota on the far post who hit it back across goal for Bonatini to turn in.
But the game had become far from one sided with Bristol showing they had a number of talented players of their own and they got level with a really scrappy goal. A corner wasn't properly cleared and Wolves had three chances to get the ball away but it fell to Flint whose deflected shot found the net. Wolves were very close to regaining the lead but Jota's volley is saved and then Bonatini shoots just wide and it was level at the break.
The second half started with Neves bringing a save out of Fielding from another long distance free kick. Then Cavaleiro missed a great chance when he was sent clear through by a superb Vinagre pass. But instead of shooting early he took the ball round the keeper and the angle became too tight. But the second Wolves goal was soon to come with a Cavaleiro corner flicked on by Bonatini and turned in by Jota.
But Bristol were continuing to impress with their build up play and equalised again when a cross from the right hit the outstretched arm of Vinagre and Diedhiou converted the penalty. Then plenty of appeals for a Wolves pen as Batth collided with a defender when challenging for a high ball, but looked to me that Batth was the guilty party. It was turning into a very open game with both teams looking capable of more goals and when Cavaleiro put in a low cross, both Batth and Bonatini were inches away from turning it in. Then excellent hold up play from Bonatini who then lays the ball off to Jota whose shot smashed against the bar. And from a Doherty cross the ball rebounded off Bonatini and Jota before bouncing inches wide.
But it was far from one way traffic and Bristol took the lead for the first time. With the Wolves defending the six yard box zonally from a corner, the ball was played deep to Wright whose header hit the post before being turned in by Reid with only 8 minutes to play. But Wolves were not dead yet and from a corner from sub Marshall, Danny Batth powered in a header. Then in the dying moments Ruddy saved Wolves as he had on Saturday, by tipping over a long range shot.
Ruddy 7 - couldn't be faulted for the goals and made a vital save at the end
Batth 8 - has had two excellent games since being recalled to the team and his goal was his 5th in his last ten starts
Coady 7 - continues to look the part in the defence
Miranda 6 - not really settled to the frantic pace of the English game and may be due a rest
Doherty 8 - non stop running up and down the right flank despite appearing to be carrying a first half injury
Neves 7 - was at the centre of everything Wolves did in the early stages before fading later
N'Diaye 7 - good debut from a player with a real physical presence
Vinagre 8 - good wing back play has been a feature so far this season and the youngster has played his part in that
Jota 7 - closely marked so a quieter game than the weekend but still scored one, set one up, and went close another twice
Bonatini 8 - now up to speed with his fitness and is getting better every game with excellent link up play and his goal took his seasonal tally to 3 in 7
Cavaleiro 8 - his first start of the season and justified his selection by being involved in many of Wolves best attacking moments
Marchall, Saiss and Enobakhare came on as subs with Saiss going into the back line to replace Miranda. This is the role he plays for Morrocco and may prove to be where he fits in the future for Wolves.
After some tight recent games a 6 goal thriller was the last thing expected in this one. But it was a really entertaining affair with Bristol certainly playing their part. Its 14 points from 7 games now for Wolves which puts them 4th in the league and well on track to be a promotion contender. An away trip to Forest follows on Saturday and Wolves have long since sold out of their ticket allocation for that one.