Do­herty de­liv­ers for Wolves and sends a mes­sage to his coun­try

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Premier League - By Ian Win­row at Sel­hurst Park

Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers con­tinue to ac­cli­ma­tise to the Premier League with ease. Un­beaten now in six games, this as­sured dis­play of­fered more ev­i­dence that Nuno Espir­ito Santo’s side are a solid unit.

Vic­tory was built on the foun­da­tions of a sixth clean sheet in seven games and se­cured by Matt Do­herty’s well­taken goal. Hav­ing been told by Martin O’Neill he should adopt a more at­tack­ing ap­proach for his coun­try than he does for his club, Do­herty will hope his in­ci­sive run and fin­ish is noted by the Repub­lic of Ire­land man­ager.

Un­changed for an eighth suc­ces­sive game, a Premier League record, Wolves are de­vel­op­ing an im­pres­sive level of con­sis­tency. They were able to with­stand pe­ri­ods of Crys­tal Palace pres­sure, par­tic­u­larly in the first half, and en­sure Roy Hodg­son’s side are still to score their first home goal this sea­son.

“The style and shape of the team has been build­ing through time,” said Nuno. “If you play and train with the same team-mates, it be­comes eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive. The be­gin­ning of ev­ery­thing is the clean sheet. This way you are al­ways closer to win­ning.”

Hodg­son ad­mit­ted be­fore the game that the pres­sure caused by his side’s home form was in­creas­ing but said that had they made more of their chances, there would be no cause for con­cern. Cer­tainly there ap­peared to be no lack of con­fi­dence in Palace’s play dur­ing the early stages when they dom­i­nated.

But they failed to test Rui Pa­tri­cio, the Wolves goal­keeper, and could have fallen be­hind had Raul Jimenez shown more com­po­sure when pre­sented with a chance mid­way through the first half that was de­nied by an ex­cel­lent save from Wayne Hen­nessey.

Wolves did take the lead 11 min­utes af­ter the restart when Do­herty beat Hen­nessey at the keeper’s near post af- ter ex­chang­ing passes with Jimenez. “What oth­ers want from Matt, I don’t re­ally care,” said Nuno, per­haps with O’Neill’s com­ments in mind. “What I want is what Matt has been giv­ing me and his team-mates. Not only on the of­fen­sive part but de­fen­sive set-pieces.”

The goal brought greater ur­gency to Palace’s play. Max Meyer drew a fine save from Pa­tri­cio and the keeper also dealt with Jeff Schlupp’s fol­low-up.

“I’ve never known fans come to watch foot­ball hav­ing seen their team play three games at home with­out see­ing a goal, then they have a fourth one, not be­ing frus­trated and dis­ap­pointed by it,” said Hodg­son, the Crys­tal Palace man­ager. “There is only one way out of the sit­u­a­tion and that is to make cer­tain you score goals in the next game.”

Matt fin­ish: Matt Do­herty cel­e­brates his goal as Wolves keep up their bright start

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