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Wolves suffer international break curse again – match report

Burnley 2 Wolves 0

Below-par Wolves suffered their international break curse yet again as they were punished for a lacklustre performance by struggling Burnley.

For the third time after returning from a break this season, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side lost as Burnley followed Watford and Huddersfield in putting them to the sword.

Conor Coady’s unfortunate own goal just 90 seconds in, then one from 19-year-old Dwight McNeil in the 77th minute ended a four-match losing streak for the hosts.

Wolves remain seventh in the Premier League on a goal difference of one ahead of Leicester, who beat Bournemouth 2-0.

Despite almost 65 per cent of the possession, Wolves forced just one effort on target, when left wing-back Jonny Castro Otto arrived unmarked at the far post to head goalwards, only to see Clarets keeper Tom Heaton make the catch.

There were three changes to the Wolves team which knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup two weeks ago.

Rui Patricio, Adama Traore and Ivan Cavaleiro replaced John Ruddy, Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez, who were on the bench.

Wolves conceded in untidy fashion. A quickly-taken free kick on the halfway line found Chris Wood, who beat the offside trap, rounded Patricio and saw his shot hit a post before going in off Coady, who slid in to stop the ball.

Coady has now scored three own goals in the league this term, with only two players registering more in a Premier League season – Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel in 2013-14 and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk in 2017-18, both with four.

Wolves’ four own goals in the league this campaign is the most of any side.

In a game of few chances, both sides had penalty appeals waved aside.

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes tumbled after tussling with Willy Boly, before Jonny Castro Otto’s volley appeared to hit a Burnley hand before the ball went behind for a corner.

Wolves improved as the first-half progressed, and Ruben Neves’s first-time volley sailed wide.

Diogo Jota went close for Wolves when he rattling a curling effort wide after Adama Traore ran at a retreating Burnley defence as the visitors started the second half the better side.

Ivan Cavaleiro then should have done better after being teed up by Leander Dendoncker, but he could only lash a powerful shot over the bar.

But, with Wolves still struggling to break down a determined Clarets rearguard, Nuno rang the changes as the hour mark approached.

Doherty and Jimenez replaced Dendoncker and Cavaleiro.

But instead of a breakthrough for the visitors, instead it was Burnley who extended their lead with McNeil netted with an angled drive after being found in space on the left, drilling inside Patricio’s bottom right-hand corner.

Burnley’s victory, coupled with relegation rivals Southampton winning at Brighton, confirmed Huddersfield’s demotion back to the Championship.

Burnley: Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil (Gudmundsson 86); Barnes, Wood.

Subs: Hart, Lowton, Brady, Gibson, Ward, Vydra.

Wolves: Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly; Traore (Costa 71), Dendoncker (Doherty 59), Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jota, Cavaleiro (Jimenez 59).

Subs: Ruddy, Kilman, Vinagre, Gibbs-White.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh