Wolves player ratings gallery v Fulham: One earns 9/10 and five get 8s, but three 6s in 1-1 draw
Player ratings from Fulham 1-1 Wolves in the Premier League, as one player scores 9/10, five get 8s, but one handed a 6.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were left frustrated for a second week running as they played with a swagger but were unable to beat Europa League chasers Fulham at Craven Cottage on Friday evening. Despite creating plenty of opportunities and dominating proceedings for two-thirds of the game, Pablo Sarabia’s first goal for Wanderers was canceled out by a fine Manor Solomon strike in the second half. The visitors claimed another point to boost their survival hopes but it will feel like a defeat having played the Cottagers out of the park for much of the evening.
Wolves very much set the tone from the beginning as they controlled possession and frustrated the home support, who were very aware of how important three points could be for their European hopes. Some half chances began to form after plenty of patient build-up play, with attacking midfielder Sarabia registering the first shot on target of the night. Nelson Semedo charged down the right-hand side into the penalty area and cut the ball back to the Spaniard, but he was unable to find enough power with his left foot as Leno saved comfortably.
The former Paris Saint-Germain ace had another bite of the cherry soon after, though, and this time he was far more clinical to give Wanderers the lead. Matheus Nunes played a wonderful, looping cross to the far post and Raul Jimenez did brilliantly to cushion a header down into Sarabia’s path. The winter signing took an uncomfortable touch but was able to meet a bouncing ball to convert, powering through the legs of Tim Ream and into the far corner.
Fulham carved out their first big opportunity of the game toward the end of the first half as Bobby Decordova-Reid swung a cross in with pace from the right flank and found Carlos Vinicius around 10 yards from goal. The former Tottenham Hotspur man got enough power and direction on his header but Jose Sa got behind it well, collecting the ball after an initial fumble. Fulham midfielder Andreas Pereira hit a threatening long-range free-kick with the final act of the first half, but Sa was positioned well to cover as the ball flicked off the top of the crossbar.
The visitors continued their fine work at the start of the second period and surprise starter Jimenez so nearly handed his side a two-goal advantage. Meeting a well-weighted Sarabia cross, the Mexican leaped highest but he was unable to convert his header as the ball went just wide of the left post. Wanderers were dealt a hammer blow just before the hour mark as Matheus Cunha, who had been showing a real improvement from games gone by, fell under a challenge and was taken off the field by a stretcher.
The injury sucked a little bit of life out of Wolves for only a few moments but that was enough for the hosts to pounce as substitute Manor Solomon, who netted for Fulham last week in a snatch-and-grab win at Brighton, scored a brilliant goal to equalise. Cutting in from the left and using Lemina for guidance, the Israeli curled the ball into the far side-netting. Much to the disappointment of the traveling support, Wolves’ life was then well and truly zapped out of them after the equaliser as Fulham pushed on and looked like the more likely team to win in the closing stages. Vinicius went closest for Marco Silva’s side with a header at the far post in added time but Sa did really well to react, diving across to clear away the danger.
Despite a late effort from Fulham, it simply has to go down as a missed opportunity for Wolves, who quite easily could have wrapped up the game by half time, let alone when Solomon equalised. Plenty of fans will be understandably frustrated after that one, but it was a marvelous performance nonetheless. With that in mind, here are our Wolves player ratings – including one 9/10 and five 8s.