A dominant first half display from Wolves was enough for Nuno Santo’s side to take three points from the South Coast as they beat Bournemouth 2-1 in Dorset.
Joao Moutinho’s free kick opened the scoring before Raul Jimenez tapped in Adama Traore’s cross to double the advantage.
Steve Cook replied for the hosts with a second half header but the Cherries didn’t have enough to claw back the deficit, filtering their chance to make it two consecutive home wins in the league.
Just one place separated the two sides in the table prior to kick off, with Eddie Howe’s side sitting 10th and the visitors placed just above them in ninth.
Wolves started the game very strongly, limiting Bournemouth to half chances and they were soon looking to test Aaron Ramsdale in the Cherries goal. Joao Moutinho notably sent a decent chance wide before Ramsdale was on hand to brilliantly clear a through ball from the former that Otto was chasing down with menace.
The visitors didn’t relent from pressing and were awarded a mere two minutes later. The returning Simon Francis clumsily chopped down Diogo Jota on the edge of the box, leaving Moutinho with a chance to swing a cross in. The Portuguese perhaps fooled most, placing the ball top corner, leaving Ramsdale clawing at thin air and stunning the Vitality into silence.
It wasn’t long before Nuno’s side added a second, again following a free kick.
Moutinho was again involved as he quickly sent through the electric Adama Traore down Bournemouth’s right hand side. The Spanish under 21 international beat Diego Rico for pace before drilling a low cross into a crowded penalty area, where Raul Jimenez was on hand to tap the ball past a stranded Aaron Ramsdale.
Wolves very nearly added a third before the break, twice in quick succession, as Jimenez saw his scrambled effort cleared off the line before Doherty’s drive was tipped behind by Ramsdale.
Matters didn’t help the home side as the returning Francis was dismissed on the 37th minute mark for a second bookable offence, leaving Howe with a head scratching situation heading into the interval.
Despite being down to ten, the Cherries showed heart and aggression as the second period commenced. Adam Smith sent a dangerous drive across the face of goal that somehow didn’t end up in the back of the net before Wolves crafted a chance of their own, with Ruben Neves sending a trade mark long range drive just wide.
Bournemouth continued to match Wolves’ attacking display and soon found themselves a then unlikely lifeline. Rico managed to win a corner on the left flank, allowing Fraser with a chance to cross. The latter whipped in an inviting ball, allowing Steve Cook to escape his marker and glance a firm header beyond the reach of Patricio, giving the Vitality a much needed lift.
Arnaut Danjuma had a magnificent chance to snatch a draw for the Cherries following great work from Callum Wilson, however the summer acquisition could only blaze his effort high into the crowd, leaving Eddie Howe with his head in his hands as the final whistle blew.
The result takes Wolves up to fifth, extending their run to eight games unbeaten in the league. Meanwhile Bournemouth drop one place to 11th.
AFC Bournemouth XI: Ramsdale, Smith, S Cook, S Francis (c), Ake, Rico, Billing, L Cook, H Wilson, Fraser, C Wilson.
Wolves XI: Patricio, Dendoncker, Coady (c), Saiss, Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny, Adama, Jota, Jimenez.
By Harvey Camp (@harveycampjourn)