A SCRAPPY rebound goal from Danny Ings and an inch-perfect finish from Stuart Armstrong sent Saints marching into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup to end their dismal recent run.
How Ralph Hasenhuttl must wish they could play Wolves every week … er, well you know what I mean!
This pair meet again on league business on Sunday when Southampton will have the bragging rights, buoyed by the fact they are now just 90 minutes away from a Wembley semi-final appearance.
Wolves meanwhile might feel they have a better chance at St MAry’s when they could recall six of the players they left out here.
Saints deserved the win for being more adventurous.
Ings got the luck of the breaking ball when his initial shot crashed off John Ruddy and smacked back of him to bounce into the net.
He then beat far-side linesman Dan Robathan too, as VAR proved the far side assistant ref was wrong to flag him offside.
To cap a miserable finish to the game for Wolves, Ruddy then failed to control a horrible passback from Leo Dendoncker and was robbed by sub Nathan Tella.
He fed Armstrong who squeezed a precise shot in off the far post.
Saints might have added another but were denied a penalty claim by VAR who spotted Joao Moutinho’s tackle on Tella took place a fraction outside the box.
Saints arrived at Molineux on the crest of a slump after Saturday’s loss to nine-man Newcastle, which was their fifth straight defeat in the Premier League.
They had leaked a staggering 15 goals in their last four games – including nine at Old Trafford.
Even their record against Wolves didn’t give much grounds for optimism as they had only come out on top once in their last 10 matches against the old gold.
But the FA Cup had provided an oasis of hope in a desert of defeats and doom for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s struggling side after victories over Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal’s fringe men.
Yet despite playing first-choice hitmen Danny Ings it took them until the second half to break down a stubborn Wolves.
They forced an early hat-trick of corners but Ruddy’s goal survived.
Danny Ings even tried a Euro-96 Gazza-style flick over Leander Dendoncker in the box but his attempt at a volley was ruined by Romain Saiss who read the danger and blocked.
Wolves felt they should have had a penalty on the half hour but VAR denied them.
Dendoncker played a slide rule pass to send Morgan Gibbs-White surging into the box.
The forward wriggled between Saints debut defender Mohammed Salisa and Jan Bednarek before crashing to the turf.
Ref Jon Moss saw nothing amiss and, though replays appeared to show Salisa failed to get the ball and clipped Gibbs-White, VAR decided it wasn’t an obvious error by the official.
Try selling that to Wolves fans!
But Saints came out for the second half like men possessed. Armstrong should have put them ahead when he somehow missed a gaping goal from eight yards after Bertrand had set him up.
But within a minute all that was forgotten as Danny Ings – who else – put Saints ahead.
Bertrand was again at the heart of it with a precision pass and Ings raced through on Ruddy.
The striker tried to nutmeg the keeper who blocked but the ball ricocheted back off Danny boy to land in the net.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
VAR took long enough to kill any joy from the goal celebrations before deciding Ings had timed his run to perfection.
When Fabio Silva smashed a shot wide it was the sign for Nuno to send on the A team as Adama Traore, Willian Jose and Pedro Neto all hit the pitch.
Yet it took them79 minutes to have their first pop at goal when Salisa fluffed a low cross and Traore’s shot was kept out by Fraser Forster’s left boot.
Source: Read Full Article