The Portuguese midfielders celebration befitted a man making his first appearance of the campaign following a back injury and the festivities intensified when Jonny Castro Otto added a second goal to propel the promoted club up to eighth in the table.
Wolves have a strong chance of staying there if they convert chances more consistently. For a long time here, they, like Southampton, were guilty of being irritatingly polite: well mannered in their play, easy on the eye but toothless. Nuno Espírito Santos side, in particular, have had onlookers cooing about their cultured build-ups this season but cursing their inability to turn chances into goals with often enough. The manager insisted it was just a matter of time before his team upped their strike rate and he was vindicated here. Eventually.
Read more After naming the same starting lineup for a seventh successive league match – a record in the Premier League era – Nuno saw his side begin well. Castro Otto brought a spectacular save from Alex McCarthy with a shot from 14 yards after a fine Wolves move but, in truth, he should have scored. At least his effort was better than the header that Matt Doherty sent wide from a free-kick a few minutes earlier.
Wolves controlled the early exchanges thanks partly to the class of Rubén Neves and João Moutinho in midfield. But when the visitors grew more bold, Mario Lemina and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg got the upper hand there. Southampton started to threaten around the half-hour, Nathan Redmond playing a dainty pass to Mohamed Elyounoussi but Rui Patrício hurried off his line to block the forwards weak shot.
Read more McCarthy made a decent save in the 39th minute to foil Raúl Jiménez after good work by Doherety and Neves.
With both sides sensing victory was within their grasp, there was more bite to the second half. But still neither looked truly dangerous where it mattered. Southampton had more possession, Wolves were restricted to counterattacks.
Almost as soon as Nuno replaced Diogo Jota with Cavaleiro, Wolves made the breakthrough. Adama Traoré created the opportunity with a low cross from the right, which Jiménez laid back to Cavaleiro to shoot into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Wolves sealed victory when Matt Doherty drove through flimsy challenges and pulled the ball to Castro Otto to net from close range.
We are happy but know its only the start of the season, said Nuno. We have to improve. Tough moments will arrive and we have to be ready.
Mark Hughes, meanwhile, is going through a tough moment, with one win from seven league matches. Frustration is the emotion we feel, he said. It was a decent away performance but at the end of the day you have to get your reward, you have to go take it. Were not quite getting the elements of the game right.
4:12 Mark Hughes said that Southamptons 2-0 defeat to Wolves was difficult to accept as he felt that they were in control for most of the game Mark Hughes said that Southampton’s 2-0 defeat to Wolves was difficult to accept as he felt that they were in control for most of the game Southampton deserved more after controlling their game at Wolves for long periods, Mark Hughes argued.
Wolves won the game 2-0, thanks to goals from Ivan Cavaleiro and Jonny in the final 11 minutes of the 90, but were put under pressure by their visitors for much of the second half prior to that.
“For long periods we were in control of the game, we had good possession and were asking questions of a good Wolves team, whove started their Premier League campaign at a good level and caused a lot of good teams problems,” Hughes said.