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Derby 0 Wolves 2 – player ratings

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers rates the players after a deeply impressive 2-0 win at Derby.

Celebrations after Wolves' second goal (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

John Ruddy

So much focus has centred on the many millions Wolves have spent assembling this squad but it's a free transfer that may end up being one of their most important signings. On the few occasions their solid defence was breached, Wolves had Ruddy to rely on to pull off two or three very smart saves. Commands his area like an army general. 8/10

Roderick Miranda

Far more assured than against Boro last week. Again he made a shaky start and didn't look entirely comfortable with the ball at his feet but defensively and positionally he was sound and improved as the game went on. 7/10

Conor Coady

What a revelation this guy has been since the very start of pre-season. Back in June you wouldn't have had many fans objecting if he was sold to Sheffield United but he's very much flavour of the month with the Wolves fanbase now – and surely going nowhere when he's such an integral part of the side. Wolves won this game handsomely but it may have been a different story had a covering Coady not saved them twice before Barry Douglas' opening goal. 8/10

Willy Boly

Talking of integral parts of the side, Willy Boly will soon become exactly that with more performances like this. The man is a beast and he used his physicality to great effect on many occasions here. Can play a bit too – his distribution from the back is simple and smart. Even when he made mistakes he immediately atoned for them with a sliding tackle or an interception. 8/10

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Matt Doherty

A key component of this victory. Defensively he struggled a bit to start with but going forward he was simply excellent. Constantly provided an outlet and sent over a succession of teasing crosses which were crying out for a fox in the box to tap them home. Covered so much ground up and down that right flank...he was a winger for long spells but did his fair share of important defensive work too. Combined well with Enobakhare. Should have scored when he fired into the side netting. 8/10

Ruben Neves

Produced some sublime passes with the minimum of fuss. Sees things half a second before other players do. His partnership with Saiss looks very promising indeed – they look to be on each other's wavelengths. 7/10

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Romain Saiss

Continued his excellent start to the season with another Rolls Royce display in midfield. Fits like a cashmere glove into Nuno's formation and playing style. He, as well as Neves and Coady, pinged a number of perfect crossfield passes but the way he kept the game ticking and restricted Huddlestone's influence was a big factor in Wolves' victory. 8/10

Barry Douglas

Mirrored Doherty's effort levels and influence on Wolves' left flank. The wing backs are so important to this system and Douglas is playing his role to the letter so far. Brilliant energy and enthusiasm and his link-up play with Jota (despite not speaking the same language, as he joked afterwards) was a joy to watch. And he popped up with his first goal for two and a half years. 8/10

Bright Enobakhare

What a huge show of faith from Nuno to keep him in the XI ahead of Ivan Cavaleiro...and Enobakhare rewarded that faith with his best performance in a Wolves shirt. A constant menace down that right hand side but, unlike against Boro, he knew when to release the ball to his team mates and when to try and go it alone. This was illustrated perfectly for the second goal when, with Wolves three on two, Enobakhare released Jota with a perfect pass when his instinct will have been to head for goal himself. This boy is a very special talent and Nuno is starting to get the best from him. Oh and that flick for Doherty's chance was utterly divine. 8/10

Leo Bonatini

Some decent link up play, particularly in the first half before he began to tire. Teed up Jota beautifully with a pass into the box. But when the Portuguese winger hit the post and the ball came back to Bonatini he somehow blazed over with the goal gaping in what will be one of the misses of Wolves' season. Still short of fitness. 6/10

Diogo Jota

Reminiscent of Helder Costa in so many ways. He's direct, lightning quick and the ball sticks to his feet. And some of his trickery was downright filthy. Contrived to miss two sitters – slowing up after being given the freedom of Derby's half and allowing Wisdom to tackle him, then hitting the post from 15 yards when he should have scored. Perhaps wisely he chose to pass to Cavaleiro for the second goal instead of shooting. But his all-round game was very impressive. Must be a nightmare to play against. 8/10

Substitutes

Ivan Cavaleiro (for Bonatini, 65)

Redemption for Cavaleiro after his red card at Pride Park in April. Utilised in a false nine role, which could be an experiment worth pursuing with particularly when Costa returns. Helped stretch the play late on and of course got his goal. 7/10

Connor Ronan (for Enobakhare, 81)

Nothing silly from the Irish youngster as Wolves closed the game out. N/A

Nouha Dicko (for Jota, 86)

Could have scored in injury time but his shot was blocked. N/A

Subs not used: Norris, Bennett, Batth, Price.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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