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EUROPEAN DREAM ON

Wolves' Jimenez strikes again, heaps pressure on Howe

In Summary

• We are well aware of where we are and the challenges we face in forgetting that position — Howe. 

• Having been man of the match on Saturday despite playing only 26 minutes, Traore was not a surprise inclusion for Wolves’ 50th game of an arduous season. 

Wolves' forward Raul Jimenez celebrates
Wolves' forward Raul Jimenez celebrates
Image: /REUTERS

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said “it hurts deeply” after a 1-0 defeat at Wolves kept them in the Premier League relegation zone.

Raul Jimenez scored almost a carbon copy of his opener in Saturday’s win at West Ham to claim his 15th league goal of the season and bolster Wolves’ Champions League qualification hopes.

Bournemouth, who failed to produce a shot on target, remain without a point away from home in 2020 and stay behind 17th-placed West Ham on goal difference.

“We are well aware of where we are and the challenges we face in forgetting that position,” said Howe. “One result will change everything for us at this moment and that is what we have to try and commit to.”

Adama Traore was recalled by Wolves after coming off the bench to play a part in both goals at West Ham and the Spanish winger again crossed for Mexico striker Jimenez to head home. It was the 10th time they have combined for a league goal this season — more than any other pair in the top flight.

That was enough to keep Wolves level with fifth-placed Manchester United - 3-0 winners over Sheffield United on Wednesday - and move to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who host Manchester City on Thursday.

Having been man of the match on Saturday despite playing only 26 minutes, Traore was not a surprise inclusion for Wolves’ 50th game of an arduous season. Although the hosts took a while to get going, with neither side managing a shot on target in a disjointed first half, Traore ultimately stole the show.

The 24-year-old lit the game up by holding off one man in his own half before going on a blistering run past another three to earn a free-kick 25 yards out. He also fired narrowly over from the edge of the box, while whipping in teasing crosses either side of the break.

But then he found his target, taking Matt Doherty’s ball wide and getting down the right before standing up a cross for Jimenez to power into the roof of the net. After Traore was replaced in the 73rd minute, substitute Pedro Neto burst forward and dragged a shot wide.

The clean sheet was Wolves’ 10th in the league this season, and sixth in the past seven games.

Bournemouth have lost 10 of their past 11 away league matches, including all of their past seven

After resuming their season with a lacklustre home defeat by Crystal Palace, Bournemouth made a bright start, with the returning Philip Billing providing more attacking thrust than usual.

But the midfielder hobbled off early in the second half and the Cherries must find a solution to the absence of winger Ryan Fraser, one of their main attacking threats in recent years, who chose not to sign a short-term contract extension and will not be available after 30 June.

Despite chasing the game, the only shot Bournemouth managed in the second half was a late effort by Arnaut Groeneveld which curled well wide.

There is much work to be done at the back too as Jimenez leapt above Steve Cook and Jack Stacey to head home, meaning Bournemouth have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 league games.