Wolves 2 (Dendoncker 23, Cutrone 86) West Ham United 0.
Patrick Cutrone broke down in tears after scoring as Wolves extended their unbeaten run into double figures with a well-deserved 2-0 win over West Ham to go fifth in the Premier League.
Goals from Leander Dendoncker and substitute Cutrone, who has only played 38 minutes’ football since the start of November, stretched the sequence without loss to 10 games in the Premier League, the club’s longest in the top flight since January 1972, and 13 including Europa League ties.
Two goals barely did justice to Wolves’ superiority on a night when Jonny Castro Otto and Raul Jimenez were denied by goalkeeper David Martin and headers from Dendoncker and Romain Saiss (twice) sailed wide.
West Ham’s only threats were a shot from Pablo Fornals that was superbly clawed away by Rui Patricio and a poor second touch by clean-through Robert Snodgrass, while Declan Rice fired wide from long range.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now scored in each of the last 16 games in all competitions, and in the last 14 Premier League matches, while the last four goals in league and cup have all been by different scorers – Adama Traore, Matt Doherty, Dendoncker and Cutrone.
Boss Nuno made just the one change from Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United as Saiss replaced Max Kilman at left centre back after a one-match ban.
Wolves created the first chance when 15-goal top scorer Raul Jimenez’s volleyed flick looped up and goalkeeper David Martin tipped it safely over after Diogo Jota crossed.
They took the lead in the 23rd minute when Dendoncker poked home Joao Moutinho’s inswinging corner at the far post after getting ahead of Ryan Fredericks.
West Ham didn’t create anything until the 32nd minute, when a superb curling effort from Fornals was acrobatically turned away by the flying Patricio, who is in superb form.
Wolves enjoyed plenty of the ball in a first half in which wide men Traore and Diogo Jota continually probed down the flanks.
Frustratingly for the home side, deliveries from both players were mopped up by claret and blue shirts as Wolves struggled to get men into the box at times.
But they seemed to step up a gear after the break.
They had a hopeful penalty appeal waved aside when Aaron Cresswell ended a determined dribble from Traore.
But Wolves were also threatening down the left, where wing back Jonny was having a tremendous game.
The Spaniard cut inside and crossed for Dendoncker, but the Belgian could only glance his header comfortably over the bar.
Jonny then had the chance to make it 2-0 after Jimenez surged down the right and crossed.
The wing back couldn’t get full contact on the ball but Martin still had to make a save, before appearing to hold him before the ball was cleared.
The Hammers were still in the game however, and after Declan Rice fired a few feet wide from 30 yards, Robert Snodgrass found himself in on goal after Fornals split the defence only for a poor second touch to allow Patricio to whip the ball away.
Wolves continued banging at the door and Moutinho’s corner saw Saiss nod inches wide, then the Portuguese put through Jimenez, who dragged disappointingly wide thanks to dogged defending from Angelo Ogbonna.
Traore then produced a trademark burst forward before cutting the ball back to Jimenez, whose skidding drive had Martin leaping to his right to keep the ball out.
Saiss glanced wide from Moutinho’s free kick as Wolves pushed for that elusive second goal.
But cue Cutrone. Little has been seen of the Italian striker of late, but he certainly made his presence felt four minutes from time.
The substitute, who replaced the exhausted Jimenez, was perfectly placed to steer into the bottom corner from 18 yards after fellow replacement Pedro Neto touched the ball back to him follow Jonny’s surging run.
Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio 7; Dendoncker 7, Coady (c) 7, Saiss 7; Doherty 6, Neves 6, Moutinho 8, Jonny 8; Traore 7 (Bennett 89, 6), Jimenez 7 (Cutrone (84, 7), Jota 6 (Neto 72, 6).
Subs: Ruddy, Vinagre, Kilman, Ashley-Seal.
West Ham (4-4-2): Martin 7; Fredericks 6, Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 6; Snodgrass 5 (Yarmolenko 61, 6) , Noble (c) 6 (Holland 71, 6), Rice 6, Fornals 6; Anderson 6, Haller 5 (Ajeti 80, 5).
Subs: Roberto Jimenez, Zabaleta, Sanchez, Masuaku.
Booked: Rice, Cresswell.
Referee: Andre Marriner 8/10.