‘I don’t look at the table’: Nuno Espirito Santo not getting carried away after Wolves moved joint top of the Premier League with win over Crystal Palace
- Wolves have moved joint top of the Premier League after beating Crystal Palace
- Rayan Ait-Nouri’s debut strike and Daniel Podence’s finish had sealed the result
- Nuno Espirito Santo is refusing to get carried away and played down the charge
- He insists he does not look at the league standings and called for improvement
Boss Nuno Espirito Santo played down Wolves‘ charge into the top three and called on his side to keep improving.
Luka Milivojevic was sent off late on for Palace, who also had Michy Batshuayi’s goal disallowed for offside and a penalty overturned by VAR on Friday.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has played down his side’s charge into the league’s top three
Third is Wolves’ highest position this far into a top-flight season since October 1979, when they went on to finish sixth and win the League Cup.
Nuno said: ‘I don’t look at the table. The table will never be our point of reflection and it doesn’t mean anything in this moment.
‘It’s all about the performance, the table is not important. The work is important. Playing without fans requires a lot of focus, we haven’t the edge of Molineux.
Santo’s men currently sit joint top after defeating Crystal Palace at Molineux on Friday evening
‘We have to sustain and improve. Clearly we improved from the last game against Newcastle so let’s try to improve against a very tough team in Leicester.
‘Every game in the Premier League is very tough, the goal is always to start the game and be able to score.
‘We started really well, we unbalanced a very good team in Crystal Palace. The idea is to always start the best we can but sometimes it’s not what you want, it’s what you can do.
‘We cannot be predictable, we have to be versatile in our game. We are committed, excited and motivated to make ourselves better.’
Rayan Ait-Nouri scored the opener on his debut after drilling low to the right of Vicente Guaita
Wolves took control early and Podence was denied by Vicente Guaita with Leander Dendoncker heading wide.
Batshuayi had a goal rightly disallowed for offside before Wolves took the lead after 18 minutes, Ait-Nouri drilling in after Podence’s cross was only half cleared.
Dendoncker hit the bar from 30 yards before Podence made it 2-0 after 27 minutes, firing in Pedro Neto’s cross from close range.
There was no way back for Palace, especially after their lifeline was taken away seven minutes before the break.
Wolves were able to double their advantage in the first half when Daniel Podence rifled home
Patrick Van Aanholt was tripped by Willy Boly in the area but VAR denied the Eagles a way back with the defender correctly ruled offside in the build-up.
Palace improved but Wolves stood firm and could have added a third with Podence and Raul Jimenez going close.
The visitors’ night ended in more misery, though, when Milivojevic was sent off after a dangerous tackle on Joao Moutinho following referee Martin Atkinson’s review.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: ‘For me it was a fair tackle. I think we’ll appeal. If it’s up to me we will certainly appeal, to get three games for that will be a gross injustice.
Roy Hodgson says Palace are likely to appeal the red card shown to captain Luka Milivojevic
‘I’ve watched it on the video and in my opinion it was a fair challenge.
‘Wolves started very strongly and as a result we found ourselves 2-0 down. The game evened out in the second half and until the sending-off we were asking a lot of questions to get ourselves back in the game.
‘We worked very hard in the second half and played some very good football.
‘I haven’t see the video of the penalty, I’m told it was a close offside call before the ball was played in.’