Jimenez Strikes As Wolves Sink Southampton

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Southampton’s English midfielder James Ward-Prowse (R) vies with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 26, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Raul Jimenez scored an emotional first goal since his horrific head injury in November 2020 as Wolves earned a 1-0 win over Southampton on Sunday.

Jimenez feared he would never play again after suffering a fractured skull in a clash with David Luiz at Arsenal last autumn.

The Mexico striker only returned to action at the start of this season and had gone without a goal in his first five games.

Jimenez had shown signs of frustration with the supportive headband he now wears to protect himself, even angrily removing it after a missing a headed chance against Brentford last weekend.

But 30-year-old enjoyed a cathartic moment as his second-half strike fired Bruno Lage’s men to their second Premier League win this season.

Jimenez had never gone six Premier League games without a goal since he arrived at Molineux in 2018.

In the 61st minute, he danced through the Southampton defence, twice eluding Jan Bednarek and leaving Mohammed Salisu bewildered on the turf, before calmly slotting past Alex McCarthy.

The end of Jimenez’s 336-day wait to score sparked a joyous celebration with his teammates.

He was also embraced by the club’s travelling fans in one corner of St Mary’s after the final whistle.

The uplifting scenes that greeted Jimenez’s decisive contribution were a stark contrast to the mood among Southampton supporters.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side remain winless after six league matches and were booed off at full-time.

The scoreline could have been even worse for listless Southampton if McCarthy hadn’t denied Jimenez a second goal with a fine save in stoppage-time.

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