Express & Star

Five games that cost Bruno Lage his Wolves job

Wolves have sacked head coach Bruno Lage after 16 months in charge - we look at five games that cost him his job.


The club acted quickly after Saturday's poor 2-0 loss away at West Ham, which leaves Wolves in the relegation zone with just one win from the first eight Premier League games.

Lage had been under pressure with his side scoring just three goals in those eight games, with the mood among the fan base turning sour in recent weeks – particularly after the defeat to the Hammers.

Below is a list of games that proved pivotal to his dismissal:

1) Wolves 0 Crystal Palace 2 - March 5

Wolves had been flying in the league and were even threatening to break into the top-four after seven wins in nine games.

But a bad four days in London losing at Arsenal despite taking the lead, followed up by a poor defeat at West Ham meant a result at home to Palace was essential.

Bruno's men succumbed to their third defeat on the bounce and were outplayed for the vast majority of the game.

A bizarre post-match press conference followed where Lage questioned the professionalism of Ki Jana-Hoever who was subbed off with an injury after 25 minutes.

It was a bold move from the Head Coach to openly criticise one of his players to the media - a tactic that did not go down well with other members of the squad.

2) Wolves 2 Leeds 3 - March 18

Wolves had recovered and were back in the European spots after wins over Watford and Everton as they welcomed struggling Leeds to Molineux.

Bruno's men raced into a 2-0 lead before the break thanks to goals from Jonny and Francisco Trincao.

Raul Jiminez was then sent-off for the second time in the season following two bookings.

But with a comfortable lead, it was essential Wolves saw the game out against a side who were struggling at the bottom of the Premier League.

Not only did they fail to win the match, Luke Ayling's 91st minute goal gave the visitors a 3-2 win that kick-started their season and begun a dreadful run for Wolves.

3) Wolves 0 Brighton 3 - April 30

Wolves form was in a downward spiral having lost three of their last four, but a home game with Brighton was seen as the perfect opportunity to strengthen their hold of seventh place.

Brighton missed an early penalty, but did not learn their lesson conceding a second shortly after that was put away by Alexis Mac Allister.

The Seagulls ran riot in the second half and totally dominated the entire game with Wolves failing to register a single shot on target compared to Brighton's ten.

It was a shocking display as Wolves would go on to finish the season losing six of their last nine in the league.

4) Bournemouth 0 Wolves 0 - August 31

Wolves were still searching for their first win of the season after drawing two and losing two of their opening four games.

The game at Bournemouth was seen as the perfect chance to score goals, register their first win against a side that were woefully out of form and had just succumbed to a 9-0 defeat at Liverpool.

But Wolves again failed to create any clear-cut chances until deep into the second-half and yet again failed to get on the scoresheet - scoring just two goals in over 400 minutes of action.

Away fans started to question Lage's tactics and substitutions inside the ground in what was the first public showing of real frustration toward the manager during a game.

Lage then further infuriated fans in the post-match press conference claiming Wolves had dominated the game for large periods of play.

5) West Ham 2 Wolves 0 - October 1

The two lowest scorers in the league locked horns, yet Wolves made West Ham look like Manchester City with yet another insipid display in front of goal.

Wolves barely managed a shot in anger over 90 mins of football that had fans inside, outside and back home completely lose faith in the style of football they were watching.

Lage's decision to play Ruben Neves at centre-back was the final straw for many of the supporters as Bruno decided against playing Toti Gomes or Yerson Mosquera.

Decisions to allow Conor Coady and Willy Boly leave the club had also left Wolves desperately short of centre-backs following the three-match ban served by Nathan Collins.

Captain Ruben Neves openly questioned certain players dedication to training in the week as Bruno's men slipped into the relegation zone having scored just three league goals from their opening eight games.