Most people from an outside perspective would say the weekends game wasn’t very exciting but due to the new circumstances no fans no atmosphere every game will look like a training ground practice match.
Even listening to the commentators, they seem to be chatting through the match instead of commentating. In the first ten minutes, West Ham struggled to get the ball out of their half.
Despite Wolves dominance, they didn’t really get an opportunity to test the goalkeeper even after winning a succession of corners.
In the 17th minute Wolves were given a rude awakening, a lovely through ball over the top to Pablo Fornals who was left clear on goal, I was screaming at the telly for Patricio to come out and narrow the angle, but what do I know. Much to all wolves fans relief Fornals put the ball high and wide into row z, definitely the best chance of the first half.
For the rest of that half Wolves huffed and puffed but never really tested the goalkeeper.
The second half kicked off with more of the same, again both goalkeepers not really tested, but all that was about to change with a double substitution, in the 65th minute Nuno decided he had seen enough and brought on the double threat of Adama Traore and Pedro Neto.
Traore had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes before he, despite being fouled, managed to beat a couple of players get to the byline and send a beautiful cross into the box. Sadly for Wolves there was no one in the box that had read it and the chance was wasted, this was a warning for West Ham that wasn’t heeded.
A few minutes later after a lovely cushioned header by Matt Doherty, Traore was set free to yet again take on the West Ham defenders. Again, despite West Ham efforts, Traore completed his mission getting to the byline and sent an inch-perfect cross into the box, leaving the goalkeeper in no man’s land and leaving Raul Jiminez a free header into the net.
Eleven minutes after taking the lead the same two players combined to double the lead. This time Traore released Doherty down the wing, he got to the byline and sent a sublime cross into the Hammers area, it was just too high for Jiminez to meet, but Neto had ghosted in on the far post and hit a sweet volley into the roof of the net that even two goalkeepers would have struggled to stop, let alone one.
With the job done, the last fifteen minutes or so Wolves were happy to see out the rest of the game with no real threat on either goal.
In Nuno’s after match summary he praised the performance of the whole team, but he hit the nail on the head when he said playing in an empty stadium is no good for anybody, football is all about the fans. The players play for the fans, the players win for the fans, so without fans football won’t be normal.
Traore unsurprisingly was given Man of the Match , In my opinion there were two other contenders big Willy Boly what a man mountain he is, there was an incident where a West Ham player ran into him, the player reacted as if he had run into a tree.
My other contender has to be Riben Neves. A stand out moment for me was in the first half, he made a beautiful sliding tackle on a West Ham player winning the ball back. Jumping up and hitting a 40-yard defence-splitting ball to Diego Jota.