WOLVERHAMPTON, England (REUTERS) - Wolverhampton Wanderers continued their surge in form by beating Bournemouth 2-0 with goals from Raul Jimenez and Ivan Cavaleiro at Molineux to record a third successive top-flight win for the first time since 1980.
The contrast in form between the two sides could not have been more marked, with Bournemouth suffering a sixth defeat in seven Premier League games.
Manager Eddie Howe had stressed the need to quickly forget the 4-0 thumping by Liverpool last time out but the visitors soon fell behind to a calamitous chain of events when Charlie Daniels misplaced a pass straight to Diogo Jota, whose mis-hit shot fell for Raul to tap home at the far post for his fifth goal of the season.
Raul turned provider for Jota with a superb through ball but Steve Cook was alert to the danger and bounced the winger off the ball, a challenge that injured the Portuguese and led to his halftime substitution.
Jota’s replacement Helder Costa sliced his shot when put through by Morgan Gibbs-White as Wolves pushed for the goal that would have put them out of sight.
Bournemouth introduced top scorer Callum Wilson from the bench but his best chance was deflected for a corner and the victory was sealed by Cavaleiro with a cool finish in injury time.
The game was the first ever top-flight clash between the clubs and there is no doubt which of them is currently looking more comfortable at this level.
Wolves’ previous top-flight campaign in 2011-12 ended with just 25 points and relegation. Now they are seventh, one point behind Manchester United.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was predictably delighted with his team on a bitterly cold day.
“In this weather, with the wind, cold and rain and against Bournemouth – I’m very proud. We did a fantastic job,” he said.
“Before we were in a bad moment. Now we’re in a good moment. It’s important to realise why. The boys’ character, the way they commit to the work on a daily basis, well done to them.”