Wolves 0 – 1 AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone as Marcus Tavernier’s goal helped them to a narrow win over Wolves at Molineux.
In his first start since November, Tavernier met Dominic Solanke’s cross with his thigh to bundle Bournemouth ahead in the 49th minute.
The Cherries held on to secure a second away win of the season and move up to 17th in the table. Wolves remain two points ahead of Bournemouth in 15th.
Cherries finally end winless run
Victory was Bournemouth’s first since manager Gary O’Neil was appointed permanent manager at the end of November.
The Cherries had been winless in their last seven Premier League matches before their trip to the Midlands, losing five times and scoring just twice.
“We needed to win a game,” O’Neil told BBC Sport. “We’ve come to a team who are in real good form and won an away game in the Premier League. It’s big for us.”
The visitors showed little promise going forward in the first half, with Tavernier’s goal after the restart coming from a rare foray.
But once they went ahead they defended resolutely, with goalkeeper Neto doing well to tip a Craig Dawson header over the crossbar midway through the second half.
“It’s really fine margins and we’ve managed to swing them in our favour today,” O’Neil added.
“Today we’ve put in a good display and [have] shown some really good quality to score a goal and defend our box.”
Bournemouth held on to record their first away clean sheet this season, and their first win since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup.
They are one point above the bottom three and now prepare to face Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool in their next three fixtures.
Wolves toothless in attack
“After they scored we played with a big frustration,” Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui said.
“This is a pity for me because in these moments we have to be calm and play football. We forgot this a little bit.”
Only Manchester City had been in better form over their past four top-flight fixtures than Wolves coming into this match.
Lopetegui’s side had won three of their last four and were looking to equal a club record of three Premier League victories in a row.
But they were toothless going forward with Dawson’s header and a late Ruben Neves half-volley, which was easily saved by Neto, their only true chances of note.
Matheus Cunha also had a flurry of second-half shots for the hosts but was unable to find the target.
“It is a pity, we’ve lost an important match for us,” Lopetegui added. “But I repeat the same mantra. It’s going to be a long race for all and we have to be ready.”
Wolves have scored just seven second-half goals in this season’s Premier League, fewer than any other team, and could not find an equaliser.
They face Fulham in their next match on Friday.