Wolves in harmony win at home (video)
The last chance to practice before the league start and all went well. Real Zaragoza – a team from Spanish La Liga – had nothing to put against a determined home team that scored twice and kept a clean sheet. Well done!
Mick McCarthy had the issue of the upcoming internationals to consider and let players like Wardy, Doyler and Hunty off before the hour. Adding to that he tested Zubar as a central defender, probably partly to rest Berra for the internationals aswell.
We started with this lineup:
——— Hennessey ——–
Stearman – Johnson – Zubar – Ward
Hunt – Henry – O´Hara – Jarvis
—— Doyle – Fletcher —–
And ended up with this:
——- de Vries ———
Doherty – Craddock – Berra – Elokobi
Hammill – Davis – Milijas – Forde
—— Maierhofer – Keogh ———
Some of the subs came in very late in the game, but McCarthy managed to make a complete change of the starting eleven, showing off the great quality in depth of todays Wolves squad, despite injuries on key players like Edwards, Foley, Guédioura and Kightly.
Wolves were the best team through-out the game and had a couple of chances early on, but Zaragoza came close when Ward had to make a clearance on the line. The same man – Uche I believe – was alone with Hens a little later but fired straight at him.
That was about all from the Spaniards, though. Instead Wolves went close on several occasions and O’Hara should have scored, but for a Spanish block and Jarvis threatened the Spanish keeper with a shot just before tea time.
Zubar went close with his head after a Jarvis corner early on in the second half and a set piece by Hunty almost resulted when O’Hara put some force to it with a 25-yard drive.
O’Hara went close a few minutes later and on the hour he earned the team a corner, taken by Hammill and Elokobi was the last man to hit it with his head in a scramble before it went into the net. One up for the home team.
Just five minutes later Wolves got a free just outside the area and Fletcher was the one who took it. Very well taken, as you can see on the clip below. Just over the wall and just enough force and height to beat their keeper. A beautiful goal that shows great technical skills indeed!
The competitiveness of the game was revealed when the referee had to show the Spanish manager to the stands after he complained at some decision. The visitors wanted to win this game for sure and sometimes their tackles were on the rough side. I hope Doyler got away from it without injuries. He was tackled hard just before he was substituted on the hour.
All and all a deserved victory for Wolves and the attacking play looked good at times and our defence held the line. Jarvis looked up to it and O’Hara looked very sharp. The test of Zubar in central defence went well and I believe Mick will have no trouble picking the starting eleven and the seven subs for next weekend. Happy times!