Raul Jimenez scored his first goal since suffering a life-threatening fractured skull as Wolves won at Southampton.
The Mexico forward grabbed the only goal of the match when he collected a long ball forward, showed great skill to evade two home defenders and finished calmly past Alex McCarthy.
Southampton previously had chances to open the scoring but Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa denied Adam Armstrong, Valentino Livramento and Mohamed Elyounoussi.
After Jimenez’s goal, his first for Wolves since October 2020, the Saints had a chance for an equaliser but Che Adams’ shot was saved and despite late home pressure, Wolves held on for the win.
Southampton remains without a Premier League victory this season and drops to 16th, while Wolves move above them up to 13th.
After Jimenez had scored, following a long ball from Sa and excellent work to evade defenders Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu, the delight was clear for the 30-year-old as he ran towards the Wolves fans, leaping high in the air and screaming in delight.
It has been a long road to recovery after he sustained a serious injury following an accidental clash of heads with David Luiz early on during Wolves’ Premier League game against Arsenal in November 2020.
Jimenez had received oxygen on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher and was taken to hospital, where he had emergency surgery for a major traumatic brain injury and skull fracture.
He has since revealed that it “was a miracle” to be back playing football again and returned to action in pre-season in July.
Jimenez, who now has to wear a protective headguard, had played every minute of Wolves’ previous five league matches before he got the goal he desired an hour into their win at St Mary’s.
He had a chance to get his second in stoppage time but was denied by McCarthy with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Southampton has now drawn four matches and lost twice and are one of only five sides without a Premier League win this season.
It took them more than half an hour to have a shot on target, but they ended the first half strongly with Nathan Redmond having a goal ruled out for offside.
With Sa equal to anything that came his way, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl brought on Shane Long for his first league involvement of the season after he tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, but the Republic of Ireland striker could not inspire an equaliser.
Southampton plays at Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 BST), with the Wolves at home to Newcastle at the same time.
source – BBC Sports