Nuno Espirito Santo saluted the organisation of Wolves’ players after they again produced a magical Molineux night to beat Arsenal 3-1.
Goals from Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota put Nuno’s side 3-0 ahead at half-time, and although Sakratis pulled one back, Wolves never looked in any danger of missing the chance to extend their points tally to 16 against the top six this season.
It was the first victory over Arsenal in 22 meetings spanning nearly 40 years, and a 10th successive unbeaten home game in all competitions lifted Wolves back to seventh in the Premier League with three games left.
A convincing, counter-attacking display – Wolves had just 29 per cent possession – left Nuno delighted after three games without a win.
“It was a good performance against a tough team,” said the head coach. “Playing against any team is difficult, but Arsenal have quality players, so it requires a lot of organisation, running and covering to allow us to have the ball and create something. First of all, you have to be organised.
“The movement off the ball is very important – knowing where to recover, and where to go out to create problems and we did really good in the first-half. We didn’t do that so good in the second.
“We had situations of four versus two where we have to decide better, but it’s about the organisation and shape of the team.
“I’m very proud of the way we work, the way the players engage themselves and commit themselves to an idea because we give everything we have each game.
“It’s a commitment to try to do everything you can to perform well. That’s what makes me proud, the belief of us in ourselves.”
Nuno admitted it was difficult to get the ball off the Gunners in the early stages but he was pleased with the clinical way they broke on the visitors.
“At the beginning of the game it was difficult to recover the ball. Arsenal have quality players, and they created some problems,” he said.
“But we were able to break and the first moment we broke, we were lucky enough to have the moment of talent and quality of Ruben’s.
“From there on I think we controlled the game better. It put us on the front foot, so well played and it’s fantastic from the players, credit to them, they put in a fantastic performance.
“The first half was very good, the second half not so good, but it was very well played. If we look at all the game I think the boys worked very hard.”
Neves only seems to score memorable goals from long range and this one was no different – a curling, dipping free kick from 25 yards for his fourth Premier League strike of the season.
“He has quality and talent. He practises and there’s a lot of repetition in the movement of the ball,” explained Nuno. “It really helped us to break the game. It put us in a good momentum.”
Nuno also thanked the fans, who made up Molineux’s biggest crowd of the season of 31,436.
“If we go back to analysing the Brighton performance, it was very good, and our fans recognise that because they came in large numbers,” he added.
“It was the largest attendance we’ve had so thanks to them, because we really need them and we can celebrate together another good night at Molineux.”