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Nuno Espitiro Santo’s side had gone since the second game of the season without defeat in the Premier League, but came up short against the Hornets, who took their chances when they arrived and remained resolute during Wolves’ inevitable second half pressure.
Etienne Capoue’s speculative effort from long range crept through a flurry of bodies and left Rui Patricio motionless for the first. Then, the dust had barely settled when the Hornets regained possession and quickly made it two thanks to Roberto Pereyra’s cute finish.
Nevertheless, the hosts stuck to their principles and asked questions of Watford after the break, but it just wasn’t their day as every opening failed to truly test Ben Foster. Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa came close to no avail, as Wolves were beaten for just the second time since returning to the Premier League.
The opening stages had been typical of Wolves’ recent victories over Southampton and Crystal Palace, with both sides feeling their way into the game, however when Watford started to settle, their two-minute flurry of bursts forward proved devastating to Wolves.
There looked little on when Capoue collected the ball 30 yards from goal, but the midfielder spotted a gap and exploited it superbly, letting fly with a powerful effort that pierced the wall of bodies in defence of the Wolves goal, before flying beyond a rooted Rui Patricio.
It got worse for the hosts too. The game had barely restarted before the Hornets had their second. Instantly back on the front foot, Watford regained possession which allowed Abdoulaye Doucoure to lay in Pereyra, who produced a sumptuous finish with the outside of the boot, into the top corner.
Raul Jimenez spent the opening half feeding off scraps, the only sight of goals he found, courtesy of Diogo Jota’s through ball, came to nothing as the Mexican’s effort dragged harmlessly wide. However, Watford could have had a third when Will Hughes set up Doucoure, but his effort was comfortably saved by Patricio.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Watford 2
Wolves frustrations continued into the second half at Molineux, with refereeing decision not helping the mood of the home support. Ruben Vinagre was now on in place of Jonny Otto, but Wolves still couldn’t find a way through, with Willy Boly’s clever backheel only forcing Foster into a routine save.
Then came Cavaleiro who entered the action down the middle as Jimenez made way. However, when Joao Moutinho gave the ball away, it was almost all over as Watford sprang a rapid counter attack, only for Ruben Neves to track Doucoure all the way and brilliantly block the Watford man’s goalbound effort.
Nuno’s final throw of the dice was Adama Traore, who replaced Matt Doherty at right-wing back. Soon after a presentable chance went begging as Vinagre twisted and turned, before crossing for Cavaleiro, whose header grazed the roof of the net on its way over.
It just wasn’t Wolves’ day and everything they tried failed to come off, typified when Neves’ free-kick from 30 yards sailed harmlessly over the bar. Then, with five minutes remaining, Wolves’ front three combined but saw Helder Costa’s powerful strike sail over the bar.
That would be no final chance and Wolves were beaten at Molineux for the first time since January.
Full-time: Wolves 0 Watford 2
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty (Traore 72), Bennett, Coady, Boly, Jonny (Vinagre 46), Moutinho, Neves, Costa, Jota, Jimenez (Cavaleiro 60).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Saiss, Hause, Bonatini.
Watford: Foster, Mariappa, Deulofeu (Gray 69), Success (Prodl 75) (Wilmot 90), Masina, Cathcart, Doucoure, Hughes, Femina, Capoue, Pereyra.
Unused subs: Gomes, Sema, Quina, Navarro.
Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 31,144 (Away: 2,897)