Wolves 2 Hull 2 – Report and pictures
Danish youngster Oskar Buur Rasmussen salvaged a point on his Wolves league debut as they came from behind to draw 2-2 with Hull at Molineux.
Diogo Jota gave Wolves an early lead when converting from the spot after he was fouled by Michael Hector, but at half time it was 1-1 when struggling Hull equalised through David Meyer's penalty.
The Tigers took a shock lead late on when Ryan Bennett put a cross into his own net but Rasmussen powered home a bullet header from Barry Douglas' cross to earn a point for off-colour Wolves.
Sentences you never thought you'd read this season..."Oskar Buur Rasmussen has salvaged a point for Wolves".
It's a good job the 20-year-old Danish youngster has a Wikipedia page, otherwise 29,000 inside Molineux may not have had a way of finding out who this kid is, writes Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers.
Called upon as a late substitute with Wolves' disjointed system flattering to deceive, the hitherto relatively unknown Rasmussen (he played in the Carabao Cup tie against Bristol Rovers but otherwise had been a regular in the under-23s) emphatically sent a rocket header past helpless goalkeeper Allan McGregor in a manner Steve Bull would have been proud of.
It was his Federico Macheda moment, and while Wolves carelessly dropped two points here it should still be one closer to promotion and the league title.
The latter may rest on Friday's massive trip to face Cardiff City, but either way Nuno Espirito Santo's team could certainly do with avoiding defeat in Wales, first and foremost, after the Fulham juggernaut continued with yet another victory to close the gap to 11 points.
This sluggish display could be attributed partly to fatigue after Friday's draining win at Middlesbrough, partly to a disjointed line up and partly to a tactical change that didn't work when Ivan Cavaleiro switched to right wing back (hence Rasmussen's introduction).
But mostly it looked likely complacency – which Hull very nearly took full advantage of.
There should be none of that on Friday and if Wolves turn up in Cardiff it could be another night to remember.
If not, there's the risk they could make this run-in far harder than they need to, but overall they certainly would have taken four points from games at Middlesbrough away and Hull at home.
Nuno made three changes from the team that so dramatically beat Middlesbrough on Good Friday.
Diogo Jota made an early from an ankle injury to replace Benik Afobe up front, while Roderick Miranda and Alfred N'Diaye came in for the suspended Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves, with Ryan Bennett moving to right wing back.
It was Miranda's first start since October and a big snub to club captain Danny Batth, who was on the bench where he was joined by Danish youngster Oskar Buur Rasmussen as right wing back cover.
There was a familiar name in the Hull line up in the form of Nouha Dicko, who spent three and a half years at Molineux before leaving earlier this season.
Nigel Adkins talked of this game being a 'free hit' for the Tigers and made six changes, not hiding the fact Saturday's game against QPR is bigger for his team.
In the early stages Wolves found it very comfortable against weakened opposition. They could have taken the lead in the second minute when an unmarked Romain Saiss headed too close to keeper Allan McGregor from a typically whipped Barry Douglas free kick.
Hull had their moments though – John Ruddy kicked at thin air after trying to claim a cross and then David Meyler wasted a free 10 yard volley under pressure from Bennett.
However on 18 minutes the hosts took charge and it was the returning Jota who edged them ahead. He was tripped in the box by Michael Hector and got up to stroke home the resulting spot kick for his 15th goal of the campaign.
Thereafter Wolves went back into first gear, aside from when Saiss brilliantly sent Jota through on goal – the forward produced an awful touch and was brought down by McGregor. With the Wolves bench screaming for a penalty in vain Costa's follow-up shot was well saved by the keeper.
Nuno's team were coasting towards half time and were clearly coasting a bit too much as they sloppily gifted Hull a shock equaliser.
Costa's woeful pass into his own box put Miranda in trouble but the defender still had no reason to drag down Meyler for what was a clear penalty, which midfielder Meyler duly despatched to make it 1-1 at the break.
It had been a below par performance from Wolves who certainly missed the sorcery of Neves and the drive of Doherty...Bennett did his best but was largely ignored by his team mates.
Nuno reacted by withdrawing Miranda for Afobe at half time, moving Bennett to centre half and Ivan Cavaleiro to right back wing.
It didn't make an immediate positive impact though. Indeed Hull looked the more likely goalscorers with Dicko showing strength before forcing Ruddy into a low save from close range, before Temitayo Aina drilled menacingly wide from 20 yards.
The home fans tried to lift their team who created a couple of half chances – Afobe skewing wide after good work from Jota being the best – but with 68 minutes on the clock it was a 50/50 game.
Cavaleiro wasn't exactly performing a textbook right wing back role and was promptly moved forward in a reshuffle, with 20-year-old Rasmussen replacing the tiring Jota.
Wolves now had a more balanced look with players in their correct positions and they began to belatedly put pressure on the Hull defence.
Costa flashed one across goal and they appeared to be in the ascendency...until Hull, who had earlier his the post via a Hector header, stunned Molineux yet again when a superb low Grosicki cross into the box was put into his own net by Bennett, with a Hull player waiting for a tap in.
Wolves were heading for a shock defeat – and then the unlikliest of sources drew them level with just seven minutes to go.
The identity of the man who set it up – Barry Douglas with a left wing cross – was very familiar, then the goalscorer wasn't, with Rasmussem powering home an emphatic header from eight yards to send Molineux into raptures.
They huffed and puffed for the final minutes as Hull defended for their lives. Willy Boly unleashed a 30-yard piledriver that would have caused a pitch invasion had McGregor nod tipped it wide, but it wasn't to be for Nuno's men who dropped two points.
2 – Hull keeper Allan McGregor has to tip over when an unmarked Romain Saiss heads an inswinging Barry Douglas free kick goalwards.
18 – GOAL – Wolves are awarded a penalty when DIOGO JOTA is tripped as he cuts inside. The Portuguese forward steps up to send McGregor the wrong way from the spot.
38 – GOAL – Helder Costa plays a dreadful pass into his own box and Roderick Miranda brings down DAVID MEYLER who nets the resulting penalty kick.
65 – Michael Hector heads against the post for Hull.
78 – GOAL – A Grosicki cross is turned into his own net by RYAN BENNETT for an own goal with Campbell lurking.
83 – GOAL – A Douglas ball into the centre is powered home by the head of OSKAR BURR RASMUSSEN.
Wolves (3-4-3): John Ruddy; Miranda (Afobe, 45), Coady (c), Boly; Bennett, N'Diaye (Gibbs-White, 77), Saiss, Douglas; Costa, Jota (Rasmussen, 71), Cavaleiro. Subs: Norris, Batth, Hause, Bonatini.
Goals: Jota (pen, 18)
Hull City (4-1-4-1): McGregor (c); Tomori, Hector, MacDonald, Kingsley (Campbell, 70); Henriksen; Aina, Toral (Irvine, 61), Meyler, Clark; Dicko. Subs: Marshall, Mazuch, Grosicki, Bowen, Stewart.
Goals: Meyler (pen, 38)
Referee: Darren England
1st (86 points from 40 matches)