Jamie Vardy picked up where he left off at the end of last season as his superb header for Leicester City meant Bruno Lage’s Wolves tenure began with a defeat.
The Foxes’ number nine was the most lively player on the pitch and struck just before half-time courtesy of a timely run and clinical angled header from Ricardo Pereira’s right-wing cross.
The 34-year-old, who netted 17 times last season including two on the final day against Tottenham, had earlier seen a finish from a tight angle ruled out for offside.
Wolves, beginning life under Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor Lage, missed a golden chance before Vardy’s header but, having run clear of the defence Adama Traore side-footed tamely wide.
Lage had promised a more attacking approach than that seen in Nuno’s final season at Molineux and there was certainly evidence of that after the break as the visitors pushed forward in pursuit of parity.
To stem the Wolves attacks, Brendan Rodgers handed City debuts to two summer signings in centre-back Jannik Vestergaard and central midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
It still took some timely blocks and an offside flag to rule out a finish from Conor Coady to deny Wolves an equaliser few could have described as undeserved.
The game also saw a return to action for Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who was quiet in his first game since fracturing his skull last November.
Timeless Vardy shows no signs of slowing down
This summer has been something of a showcase for the enduring attraction of 34-year-old players. Paris St-Germain’s signing of Lionel Messi shows their understandable faith in his ability to continue at the highest level during the middle years of his fourth decade.
At the King Power, they have their own seemingly age-defying forward in Vardy, who led the City frontline and the Wolves’ defence a merry dance throughout.
He certainly shows no signs of losing a yard of pace, playing on the shoulder of the last Wolves defender to stretch the play and make himself a target for precise forward passes.
His goal was a testament to his sharp thinking, movement and finishing, with his front-post dart catching the away defence out and then his glancing header being too good for debutant goalkeeper Jose Sa.
But for an assistant’s flag, some last-ditch sliding tackles from Conor Coady and a wayward finish, the ex-England forward would have had more goals.
New Wolves boss Lage must wish he had a forward like him.
In Traore, they do have someone with unparalleled pace and bags of tricks but he lacked composure or the ability to make the right decision when it mattered.
He should have given his side the lead with the chance he put past the post and had countless other opportunities, including an effort he fired straight at Kasper Schmeichel after outmuscling Vestergaard.
Summer recruit Francisco Trincao also showed flashes of promise, but not enough to earn his side a point.
Source – News365.co.za