A second-half double from Raul Jimenez and another from Romain Saiss helped Wolves climb to seventh in the Premier League after a 3-0 win over West Ham.
Saiss’ header from a Joao Moutinho corner kick on the hour mark finally put the dominant hosts in front on a night where they had controlled the game without manufacturing enough clear-cut chances until that point.
The opener relieved any tension among a Wolves side knowing defeat would see West Ham leap-frog them in the table, and instead they grabbed a second when Jimenez turned home Moutinho’s free-kick from wide with ten minutes left.
And, as West Ham pushed up late on, Jimenez doubled his tally on the counter, lifting the ball over Lukasz Fabianski after Diego Jota had played him through to put the seal on the win.
Wolves: Rui Patricio (6), Bennett (7), Coady (7), Saiss (7), Doherty (8), Dendoncker (7), Neves (6), Moutinho (8), Jonny (7), Jimenez (8), Jota (7).
Subs: Gibbs-White (n/a), Cavaleiro (n/a), Vinagre (n/a).
West Ham: Fabianski (7), Zabaleta (5), Diop (5), Ogbonna (6), Masuaku (5), Noble (5), Rice (6), Antonio (6), Snodgrass (5), Anderson (6), Arnautovic (5).
Subs: Carroll (5), Obiang (5), Hernandez (5).
Man of the match: Raul Jimenez
Wolves felt their way into the game as West Ham began hesitantly, and in the final minutes of the opening half they might have gone behind as the hosts’ got into their stride.
First, Leander Dendoncker’s goal was ruled out when Jimenez was marginally offside in the build-up, then Jota saw a long-range effort tipped round the post, and likewise Matt Doherty from a tight angle in injury time.
Wolves made one change from the side that beat Leicester, with fit-again Matt Doherty replacing Ruben Vinagre.
Marko Arnautovic was welcomed straight back into the West Ham fold after the conclusion of his transfer spat, with Arthur Masuaku and Robert Snodgrass also returning.
West Ham briefly appeared to have shaken off their nerves after the break and looked more accomplished without testing Rui Patricio.
But Wolves soon ramped up the pressure again, forcing Fabianski to save from Jota, Saiss and Jonny. The defences could not last forever, and so it proved as Saiss rose unchallenged to head home Moutinho’s corner from the left on the hour mark.
Jimenez then punished West Ham from another dead ball with 10 minutes to go as he shook off Declan Rice to sidefoot another Moutinho dead ball into the far corner from close-range.
With West Ham looking for an unlikely route back into the game in the final minutes, two became three with four minutes to go. Moutinho’s lofted ball forward was perfect for Jota to control, and he played Jimenez through to lift the ball inside the near post and seal Wolves’ biggest win of the season.
- Wolves have completed a league double over West Ham for the very first time in their history – in the 30th different campaign in which the sides have faced.
- Raúl Jiménez has been involved in 13 Premier League goals for Wolverhampton Wanderers this season (eight goals, five assists). The only player to have had more goal involvements in a PL season for Wolves is Steven Fletcher in 2011-12 (14)
- West Ham United have now lost their last three Premier League away games without scoring a single goal – their longest losing run without scoring a goal since December 2006 (a run of seven).
- Wolves’ Diogo Jota has had a hand in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances (5 goals, 2 assists), including a hat-trick against Leicester last time out. He hadn’t scored or assisted a single goal in any of his first 13 appearances this season.
- João Moutinho has assisted two goals in back to back league Premier League games. He only managed two assists in his first 22 games this season.
- Wolverhampton Wanderers attempted nine shots on target in this game against West Ham United, the most they have attempted in a single Premier League match this season.
Man of the match – Raul Jimenez
Jimenez had a couple of contenders for his man of the match gong but his double, taking him into double figures for the season in all competitions, set him clear.
Even without his two goals he was still a nuisance in attack, and provided an inch-perfect cross that Jonny headed just wide before half-time. Wolves will be even more desperate to tie down the Benfica loanee to a permanent deal after this performance.
Wolves travel to Everton on Saturday at 3pm. West Ham are live on Monday Night Football at home to Liverpool on February 4 from 7pm.