Wolves beat Fulham to boost European hopes

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Rayan Ait-Nouri scored his first goal since Boxing Day 2022 against Everton

Wolves gave their hopes of playing European football next season a boost as they beat Fulham to move up to eighth in the Premier League.

Rayan Ait-Nouri opened the scoring early in the second half, converting from Toti Gomes’ pull back after Fulham failed to deal adequately with a free-kick from deep.

There was more than a hint of good fortune about the second as Nelson Semedo’s shot took a big deflection off Tom Cairney to leave Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno helpless.

Alex Iwobi pulled one back deep into stoppage time with a clever improvised finish but there was barely time for the game to restart as Wolves held on.

The win for Gary O’Neil’s was all the more impressive given they lost both Jean-Ricner Bellegarde and Pedro Neto to injury in the first half.

Meanwhile, Fulham were left to rue missed opportunities having dominated the first half with Harry Wilson firing wide with only the goalkeeper to beat and Tosin Adarabioyo thumping a shot against the bar when left unmarked, eight yards out.

Wolves were a changed side after the break, quickly putting Marco Silva’s side under pressure with an aggressive high press, led by the impressive Mario Lemina.

They were able to ease off slightly after going two ahead and although they managed to keep the visitors quiet for the most part, Jose Sa was forced to make a smart save to deny Joao Palhinha before Max Kilman headed Rodrigo Muniz’s follow-up effort off the line.

Former Wolves winger Adama Traore also had a fierce shot repelled by Sa as Fulham’s poor record at Molineux continues.

Iwobi’s goal was their first in five visits to the ground and you have to go back to March 1985 for their last win at Wolves, a run of 18 games in league and cup.

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