At the start of last night’s game, my only concern was Adama Traore playing right wing-back, not that I was concerned about his defending but restricts him staying further forward causing opposition problems.
I would of preferred to see Jonny Otto playing there his preferred position, I think Doherty being dropped to the bench was something that needed doing, his defending just lately hasn’t been great.
If anybody doubted whether the Everton performance could be repeated, the first ten minutes let us know that the Wolves players also wanted a repeat performance.
The well-oiled machine was there for all to see, crisp passing, short & long, when the ball was lost it was soon won back.
The first half was pretty much the same as most of Wolves’ first halves this season, dominated with the ball a couple of half chances and Burnley offering nothing in the way of a shot on target.
Burnley were happy playing with nine men behind the ball to try and break up Wolves play then lumping the ball forward hoping their strikers could make something from it.
This kind of tactic is food and drink to the likes of Willy Boly and Connor Coady.
The second half began with much more of the same Wolves creating a couple of half-chances but not really testing Nick Pope, this was all to change in the 79th minute.
Doherty came on to replace Daniel Podence who once again had looked very dangerous and nimble on the ball.
Six minutes later the breakthrough that all Wolves fans were waiting for happened, an awful shot from Doherty, hit a Burnley defender spun up off him falling just on the edge of the 18-yard box, on the volley Raul Jimenez hit a low sweet shot into the corner of the goal.
This wasn’t some hit, and hope shot, this was hit with precision, Jimenez knew exactly what he was doing and finished it with a bang.
For the remaining 20 minutes, Wolves were happy to keep the ball and Burnley were happy to stop Wolves scoring again with no major threat offered to the Wolves.
Into injury time all hell broke loose, Burnley woke up and decided there was a point to be won.
A long flighted ball into the Wolves box left Rui Patricio in no man’s land, Matěj Vydra headed the ball back into the area to an awaiting Mark Woods in the six-yard box completely unmarked, to everyone’s amazement and Wolves fans relief he managed to screw his header completely wide of the empty goal.
A minute later and that let-off wasn’t heeded by the Wolves players, another floated ball into the box, Wood falling to the ground and the referee Mike Dean blowing for a penalty.
I think Wolves fans, players were in shock. Woods had been trying an audacious overhead kick, hadn’t made a good connection, and fallen in the box, in the process Doherty had raised his hand to protect his face and the ball hit his arm, more shoulder.
Despite Coady’s justified protest and awaiting a joke decision that is VAR, the penalty stood.
Woods cooly placed the ball into the top right-hand corner giving Patricio no chance, seconds later the final whistle and Burnley were out of jail, Wolves’ Champions league dreams in tatters.
Obviously, I am going to sound bitter and twisted but VAR has not helped Wolves this season. I believe we have only had one decision go our way this season and that was a stonewall penalty that even a blind man would have to award.
Games against Leicester, Liverpool, Southampton, twice in the same game have all gone against us and yesterday another.
Now I’m not a qualified referee but the FA’s own rule book states that if an opponent’s studs are anywhere near a player’s face at head height it is deemed as dangerous play and a free-kick to the opponent.
Well going back to the famous blind man, Woods studs were inches away from Doherty’s face and the natural reaction was to protect his face, in natural time I can understand a referee completely missing all of the action, but time and time again all season these so-called referred sitting in a warm Porto cabin miles away from the action are getting it completely wrong.
On another whinge note on the referees, why or why do they refuse to look at the on-pitch monitor like they do in other countries.
Back to the game and my man of the match goes to Ruben Neves. Just like the Everton game his passing and break up of play continued at his brilliant best. If Grealish is valued at 80 million, and I don’t know why, how much for Neves?