BOURNEMOUTH, England (Reuters) – Wolverhampton Wanderers surged up to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges and took the early lead with 20 minutes gone as Joao Moutinho curled a sublime free kick beyond Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for his first goal of the season.
Portuguese midfielder Moutinho created the second with a quick free kick to release Adama Traore, whose low cross was stroked home by Raul Jimenez after half an hour for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.
Bournemouth’s hopes of a comeback suffered a blow after Simon Francis, who was shown a yellow card for a foul on Diogo Jota, brought down on the Spanish striker again to receive his marching orders with eight minutes still to go before the break.
“The first half must be our reference for how we want to proceed, and keep growing and improving,” Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said. “We unbalanced Bournemouth, created chances and had good possession.
“In the second half, Bournemouth – a very good team, with very good players – reacted and caused problems.”
The result extended Wolves’ unbeaten run to eight matches in the competition – their longest such streak in the top flight since 1974.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe introduced Jefferson Lerma and Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld at the interval to try to gain the hosts a foothold in midfield before defender Steve Cook pulled a goal back with a glancing header from a corner.
But it was too little, too late for Bournemouth as they dropped into the bottom half of the table after just one win from their last seven league matches.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence)