The Joe Edwards debrief - West Brom 1 Wolves 1

They did not get the win, but Wolves certainly showed more character and quality against Albion.

Vitinha grasped the opportunity at The Hawthorns, coming up with a sublime flick in the build-up to compatriot Fabio Silva’s opener (AMA)
Vitinha grasped the opportunity at The Hawthorns, coming up with a sublime flick in the build-up to compatriot Fabio Silva’s opener (AMA)

After the trouncing at the hands of Burnley, some feared the worst going into this Black Country derby.

Through it all, though, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side put in a decent display which lifted the mood. And here, we go over the big talking points.

Vibrant Vitinha

Bringing a vast amount of enthusiasm and a healthy sprinkling of class, it was lovely to see Vitinha take his chance.

After all, for large parts of the season the playmaker – on loan from Porto – has been an unknown quantity.

The Portuguese did make some starts before Monday, of course, but not enough for fans to know what he could bring to the table.

By that same token, it is important not to get too carried away by this showing. It was an impressive night’s work from the 21-year-old, though.

Vitinha had the presence of mind to flick the ball through to Nelson Semedo before Fabio Silva – getting the rub of the green – found the net, and it was a sublime piece of skill.

His overall willingness to get on the ball, cleverly floating between the lines and driving at defenders, is something Wolves have sorely lacked throughout 2020/21 as well.

Spending the money to make his move a permanent one is not a straightforward decision. Many factors are at play going into a vital summer.

However, Vitinha is worthy of a more prominent role in the final four games and if he carries on like this, he’ll force Wolves’ hand.

Teenage trio

Vitinha was not the only youngster to catch the eye either.

Silva – finally getting the nod ahead of Willian Jose – made it two goals from two Black Country derbies. Rayan Ait-Nouri, who was upped his game defensively over the past month or so, was steady yet again.

Owen Otasowie, too, playing out of position as a right winger, did as well as he could have been expected to.

Nuno’s decision to turn to youth worked (AMA)

Ait-Nouri has had more game time than the others, granted, but they all deserve credit for how they went about their business against the Baggies.

They were positive on the ball and battled off it.

If they all started again on Sunday against Brighton, there would not be huge complaints.

They outperformed some of Wolves’ older heads.

Familiar switch-off

Wolves were pegged back shortly into the second half as Mbaye Diagne headed home – with a big helping hand.

Romain Saiss completely lost his man, after Semedo was arguably guilty of not closing down Conor Townsend’s cross quickly enough.

It was a poor one to concede and one of the many cheap goals Wolves have let in this season. Again, the defence must be addressed.

Nuno went with a 4-3-3 formation and, as has tended to be the case, they looked a lot more lively in an attacking sense.

But they still have not kept a clean sheet in that system.

If Wolves want to go with it long-term, they need to snap up at least one new centre-half.

Final thought

So, sitting on 43 points and seemingly destined to finish 12th, Wolves have four matches left.

There were a fair amount of positives to take from this draw and, hopefully, build on over the last few weeks of the campaign.

Fabio Silva got himself on the scoresheet (AMA)

In terms of personnel, persisting with Silva over Jose – who looks unlikely to be at the club beyond the summer now – seems the way to go.

The teenager could feasibly end the term as top goalscorer and while nowhere near the finished article, his progress has been pretty good. Fair play to him.

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