Wolverhampton Wanderers recorded their biggest ever Premier League win to move out of the relegation zone and leave Blackpool just three points clear of the bottom three. DJ Campbell’s dismissal for violent conduct will not help Ian Holloway’s men either as they enter into a crucial period of the season. The Seasiders play Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as several teams around them in the table, in the coming weeks.
Mick McCarthy, however, will hope this emphatic result can signal the beginning of a more consistent run of form, something which will be crucial if Wolves are to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone – yesterday’s win saw Wanderers move above West Bromwich Albion in 18th on goal difference alone. Four defeats from their last six away games has been the deciding factor behind their poor league position as of late, but if the Midlands outfit can correlate their results on the road with those at Molineux, their chances of survival will surely increase.
Wolves have won four home games from their last six, but will know if they pick up points against Aston Villa and Newcastle United in their next two away fixtures, they can climb the table. Keeping things tight in defence will also be key to Wolves’ survival hopes, and Saturday’s clean sheet will no doubt please McCarthy.
Blackpool can have no complaints over such a margin of victory. Without talismanic skipper Charlie Adam, the Tangerines’ usual free-flowing brand of football was conspicuous by its absence, and as a result, the home side were able to dominate play from the centre of midfield. Although Wolves deployed Kevin Doyle as a lone centre-forward, the midfield trio of David Edwards, Karl Henry and Jamie O’Hara overpowered the visitors to such an extent that Edwards and O’Hara were able to get forward at will to support the Irishman.
Matt Jarvis’s early strike was a blow from which Blackpool never properly recovered, and while Wolves had to wait until the hour mark for their second goal, there was never any doubt that the Seasiders were going to hit back – in fact, they managed just one shot on target all game. With Wayne Hennessey and his defence left untroubled for most of the game, that meant the focus of the play switched to the offensive third of the pitch in the second half, and O’Hara capitalised on careless Blackpool possession to lash home.
McCarthy even had the luxury of replacing defender Ronald Zubar with striker Sylvain Ebanks-Blake in the second period, and the former Manchester United man justified his manager’s decision with two late goals to put the gloss on a deserved win.
Blackpool will hope that they can undertake damage limitation whilst their skipper is on the sidelines. Meanwhile, on the evidence of this performance, Wolves’ chances of staying in the Premier League look a lot more rosy.