Wolves 1-1 Southampton: Player Ratings as Hosts Battle Back to Earn Point

Wolves without Conor Coady? Whatever next, Wolves playing with four at the back?


Nuno Espirito Santo was forced to play without his captain in a league match for the first time in 121 fixtures and changed his entire system to do it as Southampton came to town. A back four caught Ralph Hasenhuttl's team off-guard, but the Saints recovered, and led through Theo Walcott's 58th minute strike.

Wolves' setup was unfamiliar, but their mentality wasn't. Predictably, they found their late goal, when substitute Pedro Neto equalised to set up a grand finale.

Ultimately, however, the points were shared - probably a fair conclusion to a tight encounter at Molineux. Never mind all that, eh, let's get into some player ratings.


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Dendoncker replaced the ever-present Conor Coady | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Rui Patricio (GK) - 6/10 - Only had a couple of saves to make but was ready when called upon.

Nelson Semedo (RB) - 5/10 - Head was in his hands after he switched off and lost Walcott for the opener. Defensive positioning is not his strong point and was woefully exposed in a back four.

Willy Boly (CB) - 6/10 - Didn't look comfortable in the new defensive set-up and was caught out once or twice by Che Adams. Otherwise held his own and didn't do much to merit criticism.

Max Kilman (CB) - 6/10 - Barely noticed he was playing in truth which isn't always a bad thing for a centre-back. Defended capably and his distribution was tidy.

Rayan Ait-Nouri (LB) - 7/10 - The best of Wolves' defenders found himself in the wars once or twice but looked more than up for the fight. Got himself up and down the left flank and looked capable whenever the ball came to him.

2. Midfielders

Neves and Dendoncker made up 2/3 of the Wolves midfield | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Joao Moutinho (CM) - 7/10 - Looked the most alive of Wolves' midfielders and the only one even remotely suited to his role in the three. Grew into the game as it wore on and was central to everything his side did in the final half hour.

Ruben Neves (CM) - 6/10
- Seemed wasted sitting between the lines but did the role asked of him with minimal fuss before he was brought off with 20 minutes to go.

Leander Dendoncker (CM) - 5/10 - It was expected he'd fill in at centre-back in the absence of Coady but the change of shape caught almost everyone off-guard. Instead, the Belgian played as one of the more advanced central midfielders, and looked a little out of place.

3. Forwards

Traore was brought in and caused a few problems | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Adama Traore (RW) - 5/10 - Was recalled to bring some dynamism to the Wolves attack and did that at times. Looked frustrated though and was booked for a late challenge on Moussa Djenepo in the first half.

Raul Jimenez (CF) - 6/10 - Was unlucky to rattle the post with his long-range effort but would have been delighted to see Pedro Neto follow in on the rebound. Quiet game for the big Mexican.

Daniel Podence (LW) - 5/10 - Fairly anonymous for the most part, didn't hide but struggled to make anything happen.

4. Substitutes

Neto grabbed Wolves' goal | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Pedro Neto - 6/10 - Was in the right place at the right time to bring Wolves level, and looked generally bright.

Vitinha - 5/10


5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alex McCarthy was busy in the first half | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Alex McCarthy (GK) - 7/10 - Relatively busy day at the office as he denied Nelson Semedo and Daniel Podence in either half but matched everything in another strong performance.

Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) - 6/10 - The former Tottenham man was fine defensively but guilty of overplaying it at times. Was almost caught out with five minutes remaining.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 6/10 - Kept things held together at the back and rarely put a foot wrong, though might have reacted quicker for the equaliser if we're splitting hairs.

Jan Vestergaard (CB) - 7/10 - Won basically everything in the air which is no small feat against Raul Jimenez. Looked steady, composed on the ball, covered his lack of pace with some excellent positional work that even got the better of Traore on one occasion.

Ryan Bertrand (LB) - 6/10 - You could almost hear him groaning from your living room when Bertrand saw he was up against Adama Traore. He coped reasonably well but found himself caught out of position on a couple of occasions.

6. Midfielders

Romeu was tasked with getting stuck in | Pool/Getty Images

Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 7/10 - The perfect counterweight to the dynamic Djenepo on the other side, Armstrong did the legwork and brought some hustle and bustle to the right hand side. Started the move for the opener himself with a driving run inside.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 6/10 - Didn't have many free-kicks to take so was generally quiet, but covered a lot of ground and stuck to Joao Moutinho like glue.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 6/10 - The salt to Ward-Prowse's sugar in midfield, the bruising Romeu broke things up well but his lack of mobility was exposed on occasion. Unclear why he was deployed as the left central midfielder as he didn't have the legs to cover that flank when he had to, which was often.

Moussa Djenepo (LM) - 6/10 - One of his better games in a Southampton shirt, granted that's not a high bar to clear. Did OK and made a nuisance of himself - something to build on.

7. Forwards

Walcott led the line in Danny Ings' absence | Pool/Getty Images

Theo Walcott (CF) - 7/10 - Couldn't believe the space he had for the opening goal, and surprised with his attacking instincts. Looks as if he could prove useful as a deputy striker going forward.

Che Adams (CF) - 8/10 - First class role in the opener as he put the ball on a plate for his strike partner. Should have had a second assist with a brilliant ball over the top. Generally sharp and lively - who needs Danny Ings?

8. Substitutes

Shane Long - 5/10

Ibrahima Diallo - N/A

Source : 90min