20 July 2024

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Wolves were left frustrated after drawing 1-1 against Luton Town…

Wolverhampton Wanderers would have earmarked their fixture against Luton Town as a great opportunity to grab three points, but that ambition was prematurely blunted when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was shown a straight red card inside 39 minutes.

While the Old Gold were anticipating their goal being peppered, they actually took the lead early into the second half as in-form Pedro Neto scored a brilliant solo goal to give his side a lead to defend.

Unfortunately, that lead was soon undone as Luton were awarded a controversial penalty for a handball. Joao Gomes blocked a shot with his foot and the ball ricocheted onto his hand, leaving many in disbelief after Carlton Morris calmly converted the resulting spot kick.

The laws of the game state that “no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body”, justifying the exasperation in journalist Oliver Kay’s tweet.

How did Pedro Neto play vs Luton?

There aren’t many better sights in the Premier League than seeing a fully fit Pedro Neto performing at his best but after coming out on top against his several battles with injury, the scintillating Portuguese winger has returned in full flow to help Wolves in their battle against relegation.

Having previously been lauded by Alan Shearer as a “huge talent”, the 23-year-old is producing the sensational performances that back up Shearer’s point, tearing past defenders with his searing pace and ball-carrying skills.

The only chink in his armour previously was his end product but having created more chances than any other player in the Premier League season, Neto is now serving up quality in the final third to go with his outstanding build-up play as showcased by his brilliant solo goal today.

While the £50k per-week phenom performed admirably, dragging his team through the match after going down to ten men, he wasn’t the only success story to come from this match as Max Kilman proved his worth and some in defence.

How did Max Kilman perform vs Luton?

The towering, £15k-per-week defender has established himself at the heart of the Wolves back line, becoming one of their stand-out performers so far this season in a defensive capacity, putting his body on the line for his team and making last-ditch tackles.

After seeing Bellegarde get sent off, Gary O’Neil needed every bit of that defensive grit and determination as the 26-year-old stepped up to the plate and ultimately helped his side record a point on the board after thwarting a barrage of opposition attacks.

The defensive titan was a colossus at the back and was determined to not lose any battle in his war to prevent Jose Sa from being breached, winning an outstanding ten of his 11 aerial duels, all of his six ground duels, making three tackles and seven clearances, as per SofaScore.

Kilman didn’t just showcase his ability to become a warrior in a defensive sense, the Englishman rose up to the occasion when asked to play out from the back and was a real threat in Luton’s box at corners, recording an xG of 0.40, successfully completing his two dribbles and 72% of his passes – most of which were sent long as Wolves looked to play on the counter.

As far as defensive performances go, this was a complete one from the 6 foot 3 brute, who continues to demonstrate his worth under the tutelage of O’Neil.

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