Wolves 0-0 Fulham: Honours even at Molineux after Aleksandar Mitrovic sees his late penalty saved by Jose Sa… with both sides yet to pick up their first win
- Wolves and Fulham shared the spoils after a well-fought contest at Molineux
- Aleksandar Mitrovic had the best opportunity to score but saw his penalty saved
- Bobby Decordova-Reid was brought down by Rayan Ait-Nouri in the box
- Wolves new £27.5million recruit Goncalo Guedes made a substitute appearance
Aleksandar Mitrovic has endured his fair share of frustration playing Premier League football. A prolific goalscorer in the Championship, the Serb has been unable to perform at England’s highest level.
His double against Liverpool last weekend, however, suggested this time might be different for the throwback of a centre forward.
Alas. His late penalty here was repelled by Jose Sa and Fulham had to be satisfied with just a single point from Wolves. It was a reminder of the harshness of Premier League football: on a high one week, down in the dumps the next.
Aleksandar Mitrovic saw his penalty saved by Wolves’ Jose Sa 10 minutes from the end
Rayan Ait-Nouri (left) brought down Bobby Decordova-Reid in the box late into the match
Bruno Lage’s side are yet to pick up their first three points having lost to Leeds last week
WOLVES VS FULHAM MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-2-3-1): Sa 7; Castro 6 (Semedo 78), Collins 6.5, Kilman 6.5, Ait-Nouri 5; Dendoncker 6, Neves (c) 6.5; Podence 7, Gibbs-White 6, Neto 6 (Traore 78); Hwang 6 (Guedes 58, 6)
Substitutes not used: Sarkic (GK); Boly, Toti, Ronan, Cundle, Campbell
Manager: Bruno Lage 5
Booked: Podence, Neves, Gibbs-White
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rodak 5; Tete 6 (Francois 90+2), Adarabioyo 5, Ream (c) 6, Robinson 6; Reed 6, Palhinha 6; De Cordova-Reid 6.5, Pereira 7 (Cairney 86), Kebano 7.5 (Stansfield 83); Mitrovic 5
Substitutes not used: Leno (GK); Mbabu, Duffy, Diop, Chalobah, Muniz
Manager: Marco Silva 6
Missed penalty: Mitrovic 81
Booked: Palhinha, Reed, Mitrovic
Referee: John Brooks 6
After his penalty miss, Mitrovic’s fury bubbled over in stoppage time. He dashed back and brought down Morgan Gibbs-White from behind. The Wolves man understandably took exception to the foul and the pair engaged in an entertaining tete-a-tete.
The Molineux fans howled for the red card that would have compounded Mitrovic’s misery. In the end, both players were shown yellow, although the Wolves boss, Bruno Lage, said he thought they should have both gone.
In truth, Mitrovic had done very little in the 80 minutes before the penalty. He’d barely had a kick all afternoon, let alone a sniff of a decent chance. Early on, he cleared about 20 rows of the Sir Jack Hayward Stand with a shanked shot. His penalty lacked the necessary power or direction, and Sa guessed correctly.
Fulham manager Marco Silva backed him. ‘Mitro knows the next penalty he will take and score,’ he said. ‘That is part of the game. Last week he had one and scored; this afternoon, it was the moment to win the game but it is part of Mitro’s job. Missing penalties is part of the life of a football player.’
On the bust-up with Gibbs-White, he said, ‘It was a reaction from both players, not just from Mitro. I know there will be attention on Mitro as always, it will be nothing new for him.
‘If the player from Wolves had stayed on the grass and not reacted, it would not have happened.’
Fulham couldn’t complain with a point on the road, however, especially to follow up their excellent performance against Liverpool last weekend.
Admittedly, they didn’t create all that much; Mitrovic’s penalty was just their second shot on target. But then, neither did Wolves. It’s now nine without victory in the Premier League for Lage’s side and when at home to a newly-promoted opponent, they really must produce more.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (left) will be a relieved figure having committed the foul for Fulham’s penalty
Lage introduced £27.5m signing Goncalo Guedes for the final half-hour, but the Portugal international couldn’t spark them.
‘We deserved to win the game but we need to put the ball in the net. We had plenty of chances to do that,’ Lage said.
‘I thought here we lost two points. It was another good performance with personality and I could see by the way the fans responded at the end they enjoyed it.’
It might have been a happier afternoon for Wolves had they taken presentable early chances. Daniel Podence twice picked the perfect ball from midfield in the opening four minutes but Marek Rodak stood tall at his near post to deny Pedro Neto and then Hwang Hee-Chan.
Wolves new recruit Goncalo Guedes made an appearance having recently signed for £27.5m
Bruno Lage’s side picked up their first win of the season having lost to Leeds last weekend
But Rodak spilled the ball when he collided with team-mate Tosin Adarabioyo, allowing Neto a run at goal. Tim Ream did enough to put the Wolves forward off and Podence skewed the rebound wide.
With the game played in 30-plus degrees heat, the contest was mostly languid and uninspiring. Andreas Pereira showed some neat touches and Neeskens Kebano was Fulham’s biggest threat.
Wolves should have led, but Gibbs-White failed to connect properly with the goal gaping as he met Rayan Ait-Nouri’s second-half cross.
When Ait-Nouri clipped Bobby De Cordova-Reid in the penalty box with 10 minutes left, Fulham had their golden chance.
But Mitrovic couldn’t take it.