This probably wasn’t what Amazon Prime had in mind to launch the first round of their Yuletide festival of football.
There was more than a touch of midweek Championship football about this forgettable fixture, which saw Wolves conspire to win despite being well off the pace for the most part.
Still, winning when you haven’t played well isn’t a bad habit to master and is in stark contrast to what we’ve gotten used to in seasons gone by.
I was initially surprised by how effusive O’Neil was about his player’s efforts at full-time, especially given his agitated touchline antics throughout the game.
However, in hindsight, I can understand why the gaffer was pleased to get through this one unscathed. Burnley had their tails up after routing Sheffield United last time around, meaning this bout had ‘potential banana skin’ written all over it.
Indeed, the script may have read differently at full-time were it not for a solid performance from the Wolves rearguard.
Bentley deserves credit for the terrific double save that prevented the Clarets from opening the scoring, and Dawson and Kilman were both terrific throughout.
We were less impressive in midfield, where both Gomes and Lemina were both well below their usual standards. Although both improved after the interval, they were completely overrun in the first 45.
Up top, I thought Sarabia was mightily impressive. The Spaniard is definitely one to file under the ‘luxury player’ moniker but made the most of his opportunity last night.
Cunha and Hwang were less inspiring but still combined well for the winner, further underlying the burgeoning potency of their partnership.
All in all, we got the job done and are a tidy 11 points clear of the drop zone heading into the congested festive period which, given the gloomy pre-season forecast, isn’t to be sniffed at.