Wolves 1-0 Fulham: Pedro Neto strike extends Cottagers’ losing run

Report and highlights from Molineux as Wolves claim their second Premier League win of the season to leave Fulham still without a point from four games

By Matt Storey

Sunday 4 October 2020 16:41, UK

Fulham’s difficult start to life back in the Premier League continued as Pedro Neto’s low drive handed Wolves a 1-0 victory at Molineux.

Scott Parker’s side produced a vastly-improved defensive display but Neto’s strike in the 57th minute was all that the hosts needed, with Rui Patricio not forced into a save all game.

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While Wolves were not at their best, Alphonse Areola was forced into a stunning double save before half-time and he also denied Raul Jimenez two minutes prior to the only goal of the game.

The result means Fulham are rooted to the bottom of the table with no points from their opening four games, while Wolves move up to 12th after putting defeats to Manchester City and West Ham behind them.

How Wolves extended Fulham’s difficult start

After shocking defensive displays from both sides last week, it was unsurprising the opening stages were tetchy and uneventful.

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Premier League debutant Antonee Robinson’s driving run and weak shot was the main goalmouth action in a nervy opening 20 minutes, which would have left Nuno Espirito Santo frustrated and Parker pleased.

But the visitors nearly undid all their good work shortly before the half-hour mark and were grateful to ‘keeper Areola for his heroics.

Neto pounced on a loose Fulham pass and fired in a low shot from the edge of the box. Areola dived to his left to push it away from the bottom corner, before leaping to his feet immediately and rushing out to close down Nelson Semedo.

The wing-back looked certain to score but Areola managed to get his body in the way and deny the new signing a first Wolves goal. The jubilant reaction on the Fulham bench said all you needed to know about the stop.

After an uneventful end to the first half, Areola was quickly off his line a second time as he denied Jimenez. A simple ball over the top saw Jimenez shrug off Maxime Le Marchand and drive a low effort towards goal which was blocked by the ‘keeper’s feet.

But there was nothing Areola could do when Wolves did take the lead barely two minutes later. Fulham defenders threw themselves in the way of a Leander Dendoncker shot, only to see the ball fall straight to Neto. He took one touch before firing a low drive into the bottom corner with a smart finish.

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