Express & Star

Liam Keen analysis: Wonderful Wolves followed gameplan to perfection

After a difficult start to the season, Wolves deserve credit when they are bang on the money.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Cunha (left) and Pedro Neto celebrate

Gary O’Neil and his side have rightly been criticised when things have not gone their way, with questions raised over tactics and in-game management.

But when criticism is fairly made, praise must be equally as forthcoming – and O’Neil got his game plan absolutely spot on against Manchester City.

There was just one change to the starting XI that faced Luton in the last Premier League game, with the suspended Jean-Ricner Bellegarde making way for Toti Gomes, but the performance was world’s apart.

Set up with a back five, Wolves allowed City to have the ball – which was inevitable anyway – and made it difficult for them to break Wolves down.

Every member of the back five was defensively solid, the midfielders were bright and the forwards tracked back to make Wolves insurmountable.

Then, at the right times, they attacked at pace on the counter. Wingers and wing-backs alike were causing havoc and Wolves deservedly got their win, from an excellent tactical game plan.

Manchester City's Phil Foden (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Cunha

O’Neil has been criticised for some of his substitutions too, but he did not put a foot wrong at Molineux on Saturday.

Boubacar Traore came on and was once again outstanding. He is fighting hard for a starting berth with his recent displays, that have been full of energy and with an uncanny ability to win the ball back.

Matt Doherty for Rayan Ait-Nouri – who was excellent throughout – was needed due to fatigue and a slight knock, while even the late additions of Jonny Castro Otto and Fabio Silva made a difference.