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Watford 1 Wolves 2 – player ratings

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers rates the players after a 2-1 victory at Watford.

Wolves have won two in a row

Rui Patricio

When joining a newly-promoted club last summer, he surely won't have envisaged having weeks like this. Patricio, in Wolves' last three matches, has had precisely two shots on target to deal with. Both of those have ended up in the back of the net and he hasn't been at fault. Indeed, he did his best to pull off a salvage operation here when denying Deulofeu after Bennett's initial mistake. 7/10

Ryan Bennett

Had a really good first half which included nicking the ball off Deulofeu's toes at a crucial moment in the Wolves box. There's no way of dressing up his error which led to the goal – and no need to crucify him, either. Just a really poor mistake. And you can count on one hand the amount of glaring errors he's made in a Wolves shirt. Recovered well after that and no one on the field made more clearances than his seven. 6/10

Conor Coady

A captain's performance from Coady who, like the team, has had a great week. Three important blocks included a potential goal-saving one to stop Will Hughes' shot. Coady's organisation and leadership helped ensure that dangerous Watford could only muster one shot on target and even that came from a Wolves mistake. 8/10

Willy Boly

Like Bennett and Coady he had a couple of lapses that led to led to half chances, especially when Deulofeu raced in behind him during the first half. Overall though he was was very solid and made some crucial interventions. 8/10

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Matt Doherty

A good attacking outlet throughout the game. Offered an overlap for a couple of good first-half breaks, swung over a great cross which Jota headed over and was still rampaging forward in the dying minutes. Consistently consistent. 7/10

Joao Moutinho

Amid a midfield more frenzied than Ben Foster's Twitter notifications last night it wasn't exactly a game for free-flowing football, plus with the swirling wind to boot.. But Moutinho can do dirty too, don't worry about that. A proper team performance, he got stuck in and played with intelligence and discipline. As usual. 7/10

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Ruben Neves

Talking of Foster, he called Neves' assist for the winner a 'lump' into the box, which is a bit like saying the Venus de Milo is 'a couple of limbs short of being a decent statue'. The 'perfectly-placed piercing pass onto Diogo Jota's left boot' is what I think you meant to say, Ben. That was the highlight of a midfield performance which, like Moutinho's, was about brawn more than beauty, typified when he crunched Deulofeu early on with a firm-but-fair ball-winning tackle that had the Spaniard in pain for some minutes thereafter. Also brilliantly kept the ball alive for the opening goal. 8/10

Leander Dendoncker

Another very functional performance from the Belgian international. Got into the box with purpose and intent on a couple of occasions – crossed for Jimenez for what should have been the opening goal and also just failed to get a free head onto Jota's second half cross. He'll want to up his goals and assists ratios next season, but with some important interceptions and also more headers won (six) than anyone on the field, he's doing what Wolves need from him for now. 7/10

Jonny Castro Otto

Brimming with positive energy, both in attack and defence. Enjoyed a stellar first half, picking up where he left off against Arsenal, winning the ball in the opposition half and running at defenders, or combining nicely with Jota. Wolves' version of Sonic & Tails are alike in physique and style – diminutive but pacey and deceptively strong. Slalomed past a hack from Capoue to win a corner, epitomising his current confidence. 8/10

Raul Jimenez

When he spurned a wonderful opportunity from Dendoncker's cross you wondered if it was going to be his day. But, not to be deterred, he found the space to emphatically nod home Jota's cross for his 17th goal of the campaign (13 in the league making him Wolves' record Premier League goalscorer in a single season). No mask this time but he let the Watford fans know who'd scored, after they'd been giving him some stick. Linked beautifully with Jota at times. The most watchable duo since Arya and the Hound. 8/10

Diogo Jota

It's a team game. There's no 'I' in team. The strength of the wolf is in the pack. But come on, all slogans aside, would Wolves be seventh in the table without the form of Diogo José Teixeira da Silva, aka Diogo Jota? In his past 21 appearances since Nuno switched to 3-5-2 on December 5, Wolves' intrepid No.18 has scored 10 goals and set up a further five. But that doesn't tell half the story. His rambunctious exuberance is so often the inspiration behind galvanising Wolves up-field and that was no different at Vicarage Road where he tormented the home defence with a series of punchy runs from deep. An assist, with a perfect cross to Jimenez. A goal, with a cool finish on the volley. Could have had a couple more assists had his team-mates been more switched on. And how on earth didn't he win a last-minute penalty when he was clean wiped out by Kabasele?! Outstanding, yet again. And he just *loves* teeing up Jimenez. As tweeted by @premierleague, all five of Jota's assists have been for Jimenez, the most-ever assists exclusively for one player by another in a season. 9/10

Substitutes

Ivan Cavaleiro (for Jimenez, 87)

A couple of decent touches and also won a free-kick near the corner flag late on. N/A

Morgan Gibbs-White (for Jota, 90+7)

A last-gasp change to eat up a few seconds N/A

Subs not used: Ruddy, Saiss, Vinagre, Traore, Costa.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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