Wolves 2 Watford 0 – What the stats reveal
Wolves picked up a sweet victory at the weekend, beating Watford 2-0 to grab their first triumph of the Premier League season.
They deserved the win, although the stats from whoscored.com – specialists in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data – show they did not dominate in all areas.
Possession isn't everything
Having the lion's share of the ball is all well and good, but only if you have the end product to go with it.
Watford had 60.9 per cent possession. As we all saw though, they were toothless in attack.
The Hornets had a total of 801 touches compared to Wolves' 576, with Abdoulaye Doucoure having the ball at his feet the most of anyone on the pitch (9.6 per cent possession).
That is significantly more than the man who had the most possession for Wolves, Joao Moutinho (5.7 per cent).
However, Moutinho had a great game, operating with bundles of class. Doucoure, meanwhile, despite all his possession, did not make a significant impact. Quality over quantity.
What may surprise you, given the Hornets only seriously threatened Wolves once or twice, is that they had more than twice the amount of shots than the hosts.
Wolves had six, with two on target – Matt Doherty's opener and a Pedro Neto strike which was saved by Ben Foster, while Daryl Janmaat headed into his own net to double the home side's lead.
Watford had 14 shots, with five on target, so Rui Patricio made several saves as he kept a clean sheet.
Also notable is that the visitors won 22 aerial battles to Wolves' 12.
They also had an 84 per cent pass success rate compared to 77 from Nuno Espirito Santo's side.
So, again, Wolves made the most of what they had.
One of Wolves' best performers was Willy Boly, who has recently moved from the left to the right side of the back three.
A lovely through-ball to Raul Jimenez early on saw the Mexican lash the ball into the side netting.
But the most pleasing aspect of the Frenchman's showing was his tackling.
Boly attempted seven and won six – putting him joint-top of the pile.
The other prolific tackler was Leander Dendoncker, who won six of his eight attempts.
The Belgian came in for criticism from a few on social media, who insisted he was still below-par after a few fatigued displays.
In my opinion, at least, he looked fresher. His pass success rate (84 per cent) was only bettered by skipper Conor Coady (85 per cent) for Wolves.
Raul's lack of action
Jimenez is a fantastic footballer, there is no disputing that.
He holds the ball up with aplomb and is unselfish, while firmly knowing where the net is.
The Mexican had a decent game against Watford, doing well when in possession.
However, he actually saw very little of the ball.
Wolves' No.9 touched it 25 times – the least of any starter across the two teams including goalkeepers.
So, is it down to a lack of service, or is it Jimenez being tired and showing for fewer balls? Probably a bit of both.
Saiss in the air
Romain Saiss took quite the whack in the first half, clashing heads with team-mate Jonny Castro Otto.
He went down and received treatment for a few minutes.
For a bit, as he seemed quite dazed, it looked as if he would be substituted, but the Moroccan got up, changed his shirt, and actually became more commanding in what was an impressive showing.
He won the most aerial battles for Wolves, as well, with five.
A good day for Saiss, after his sending off at Crystal Palace. Fingers crossed, he keeps it up.