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Wolves 3 Barnsley 1: Stale Solbakken wins his first game

Wolves 3 Barnsley 1: Solbakken sees his side get their season up and running

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 21 August 2012

Much-improved Wolves finally got their npower Championship campaign up and running with a deserved victory over Barnsley.

The Black Country club have endured a difficult summer following relegation from the top flight and speculation still continues to surround the futures of several players, most notably wantaway striker Steven Fletcher and winger Matt Jarvis.

But after an unconvincing cup victory over Aldershot on penalties and defeat to Leeds at the weekend, there was finally some welcome cheer at Molineux as boss Stale Solbakken celebrated his first league win at the helm and Wolves' first on home soil in 2012.

Battle: Wolves' Matt Jarvis and Barnsley's Stephen Foster

Battle: Wolves' Matt Jarvis and Barnsley's Stephen Foster

MATCH FACTS:

Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Zubar, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Peszko, Henry (Edwards 64), Doumbia (Davis 74), Jarvis, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdarson 64).

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Nouble, Forde.
Goals: Ward 8, Ebanks-Blake 61, Edwards 70.

Barnsley: Gonzalez, Hassell (Cranie 66), Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Etuhu,Perkins (Dawson 51), Mellis, Cywka, Harewood (Dagnall 57), Davies.

Subs Not Used: Lidakevicius, Collins, Clark, Rose.

Booked: Cywka.

Goals: Cywka 79.

Attendance: 24,400

Referee: Phil Gibbs

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Championship

It was only Wanderers' second league
victory of any kind since early December, highlighting why Solbakken was
so desperately keen to shake off the losing mentality that dogged the
club over the latter part of last season.

Stephen Ward broke the deadlock with
only eight minutes on the clock before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake added a
second just after the hour mark and Dave Edwards headed a third.

Tomasz Cywka pulled one back for the
Tykes but it was Wolves' night as they recorded a seventh successive
home win over their South Yorkshire visitors.

Solbakken made two changes from Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leeds.
Transfer-listed defender Christophe Berra returned – minus the majority
of the boos which accompanied his Capital One Cup performance against
the Shots – while midfielder Slawomir Peszko was also handed his first
start.

Barnsley also made two alterations
from the XI who saw off Middlesbrough 1-0 at the weekend, Bobby Hassell
and Kelvin Etuhu coming in for injured pair John Stones and Matty Done.

But the visitors found themselves behind early on.

First win: Stale Solbakken saw his Wolves side win at Molineux

First win: Stale Solbakken saw his Wolves side win at Molineux

Tykes goalkeeper David Gonzalez saved
from Roger Johnson's eighth-minute header but the Colombian was beaten
just 30 seconds later as Ward was sent clear by Ebanks-Blake and
finished coolly.

Craig Davies and Ebanks-Blake exchanged efforts off target at either end amid a lively opening quarter.

And it was the home side who started
to strengthen their grip on proceedings as the first half wore on,
putting together plenty of neat approach play although Ward and skipper
Karl Henry failed to trouble Gonzalez.

Johnson blocked well from Cywka as Barnsley enjoyed a spell of pressure while Kevin Doyle brought another save from Gonzalez.

Jacob Mellis then drilled narrowly
wide of Carl Ikeme's goal as Wolves took a deserved lead into the
interval, with Solbakken's only disappointment probably that his side
were not more than one goal to the good.

Marlon Harewood whistled an effort
wide at the start of the second half but it was Wolves who did double
their advantage in the 61st minute.

Ebanks-Blake, in plenty of space,
received the ball in the middle of the penalty area and beat Gonzalez
with a well-taken finish into the bottom corner.

And it was soon 3-0 as Jarvis' cross was met by the head of the onrushing Edwards and he buried the ball home.

Cywka pulled one back for Barnsley
with 12 minutes remaining, converting Etuhu's cross from the right, but
the game was already wrapped up.

Marouane Chamakh offered Arsenal escape by Besiktas

Besiktas offer escape route for Arsenal flop Chamakh

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 20 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Besiktas want to take Arsenal misfit Marouane Chamakh on loan with a view to a permanent 4million deal.

The Morocco centre forward, 28, joined from Bordeaux in 2010 but scored just one goal in 19 appearances last season.

Misfit: Marouane Chamakh

Misfit: Marouane Chamakh

Wolves full back Ronald Zubar says that he wants to stay at Molineux despite interest from Besiktas.

Zenit St Petersburg have confirmed their intent to make a fresh bid for Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin, 31.

Stale who? Wolves stars Johnson and Zubar in the dark over new boss Solbakken

Stale who Wolves stars Johnson and Zubar in the dark over new boss Solbakken

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UPDATED:

20:33 GMT, 11 May 2012

Household name: Solbakken

Household name: Solbakken

Wolves players have reacted with bemusement after Stale Solbakken was confirmed as their new boss.

As revealed in Sportsmail, the former Norway international was announced as Mick McCarthy's successor.

Chief executive Jez Moxey informed the club's players at a meeting yesterday morning. Solbakken will officially begin his duties on July 1.

But it seems the credentials of the ex-Copenhagen and Cologne boss has passed several players by.

Centre-half Roger Johnson said: 'I don't know who the guy is.'

And fellow defender Ronald Zubar mirrored that comment with: 'Seriously, I haven't heard of him.'

Wolves 0 Everton 0: Fantasy world cheers Wanderers

Wolves 0 Everton 0: Fantasy world cheers Wanderers in dead rubber

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UPDATED:

20:19 GMT, 6 May 2012

Ignore the scoreline — actually Wolves won 2-0, the day after Everton had lifted the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday. That, according to both sets of fans, was the alternative version of a dull afternoon at Molineux.

Early in the second half the home fans on the South Bank got tired of waiting for something to end their dismal home run and decided to make their own entertainment.

‘Let’s pretend we’ve scored a goal,’ they sang before leaping together in joy. And a couple of minutes later they did it again, before bursting into song: ‘We’re winning two-nil.’

Good luck: Everton's Jelavic gives Jagielka a pat before kick-off

Good luck: Everton's Jelavic gives Jagielka a pat before kick-off

MATCH FACTS

WOLVES (4-4-2): De Vries 6; Zubar 5, Stearman 6, Berra 6 (Elokobi 54min, 5), Ward 6; Kightly 5 (Forde 71), Edwards 6, Henry 6, Hunt 5; Doyle 5, Fletcher 5 (Ebanks-Blake 62, 5).

Subs not used: Ikeme, Johnson, Milijas, Jonsson.

EVERTON (4-5-1): Howard 6; Hibbert 7, Jagielka 7, Heitinga 6, Distin 6; McFadden 5 (Stracqualursi 60, 5), Osman 5, Cahill 6 (Gueye 68, 6), Fellaini 7, Pienaar 7; Jelavic 6.

Subs not used: Mucha, Barkley, Coleman, Duffy, Baxter.

Man of the match: Marouane Fellaini.

Referee: Lee Mason 7.

Attendance: 25,466

Two Everton fans later ran on the
pitch to start a lap of honour with a shiny silver paper cut-out of the
trophy that their Mersey rivals Liverpool had failed to collect the day
before. It was so much more lively than the real world.

Interim Wolves boss Terry Connor said: ‘I heard the fans singing for 2-0. I’m glad they enjoyed themselves.’

After the match, however, Wolves
chairman Steve Morgan was signing autographs and chatting with fans when
one supporter came up and insulted him. There was an exchange of views
before Morgan drove off in his car.

The visitors had the better
of the chances and twice had the ball in the back of the net, but
Nikica Jelavic and Denis Stracqualursi were both denied by offside
flags.

Despite the scoreline, it was an open
game with chances for both sides, and arguably the best of the
first-half opportunities came in only the fifth minute when Marouane
Fellaini's flicked header landed at the feet of Tim Cahill 10 yards out
but he shot straight at Dorus De Vries.

Jelavic had scored six goals in his
last four league games and he had his first sight of goal in the 14th
minute when he was found by Phil Jagielka's long diagonal pass, but
Richard Stearman stayed with the striker and did very well to block his
shot.

Fall guy: Everton's Marouane Fellaini (centre) is tackled by Christophe Berra

Fall guy: Everton's Marouane Fellaini (centre) is tackled by Christophe Berra

Kevin Doyle and James McFadden both
snatched at chances while Leon Osman wanted a penalty when he went down
under a challenge from Michael Kightly, but referee Lee Mason was
unmoved.

It would have been a very memorable
day for Tony Hibbert had he netted his first goal for Everton after more
than 300 games, and his fierce volley would certainly have tested De
Vries had Stephen Ward not got his body in the way.

Wolves had their best opening in the
26th minute when Stephen Hunt's free-kick was header just over by
Christophe Berra, but Everton, and Steven Pienaar in particular, were
starting to take a grip on the game.

In the thick of the action: Fellaini under pressure from Wolves' Stephan Ward (left)

Falling for it: Fellaini fells Berra

Centre of attention: Fellaini under pressure from Wolves' Stephan Ward (left) and felling Berra (right)

The midfielder might have done better
than fire over when well placed, while his clever ball found Jelavic
but he was flagged offside as he shot past De Vries in what looked a
marginal decision.

The hosts were living dangerously,
and Ronald Zubar would have been very grateful to see his header from
Hibbert's cross drop just past the post, while at the other end an
isolated Steven Fletcher blazed over the bar.

Wolves threatened right at the start
of the second half as Hunt and Fletcher combined to play in Stearman on
the left of the area but the ball had just too much pace on it and the
defender could not control his cutback.

Frustrated: Everton manager David Moyes saw his side have plenty of possession but goals were hard to come by

Frustrated: Everton manager David Moyes saw his side have plenty of possession but goals were hard to come by

Hibbert had been a real thorn in
Wolves' side down the right and another pinpoint cross should really
have been buried by Fellaini instead of placed over the bar.

De Vries was then forced into his
first real save of the match from a Jelavic free-kick 25 yards out, the
keeper plunging to his left.

Up for the cup: An Everton sends a message to Liverpool. At least they got to Wembley...

Up for the cup: An Everton sends a message to Liverpool. At least they got to Wembley…

Boss David Moyes sent on
Stracqualursi for McFadden and he was into the action immediately with a
shot that was well blocked by Ward, while Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced
Fletcher for Wolves.

The Scot, who is likely to be a
target for Premier League clubs in the summer, received a very warm
reception from the home fans.

Wide open: Nikica Jelavic shows his frustration as another chance goes begging

Wide open: Nikica Jelavic shows his frustration as another chance goes begging

There was a real lack of intensity
about the game but a burst from Karl Henry provided a shooting
opportunity for Kightly, who pulled his effort well wide.

Jelavic had been pretty quiet but he
certainly should have tested De Vries in the 72nd minute when he beat
the defence to a long ball only to pull his shot wide of the far post.

Gone: Wolves' David Edwards escapes Leon Osman

Gone: Wolves' David Edwards escapes Leon Osman

The visitors had the ball in the net
for a second time moments later as Jelavic's cross was turned in by
Stracqualursi at the far post but again it was ruled out for offside,
although it was Fellaini, who had also lunged for the ball, who was the
culprit.

Everton continued to press but the Wolves defence held firm to earn their first home point since December.

Heading for a draw: Ronald Zubar (right) is challenged by Everton's Osman

Heading for a draw: Ronald Zubar (right) is challenged by Everton's Osman

Wayne Rooney eyes title after Manchester United thrash Wolves

Rooney backs United for the title after destroying Wolves to extend lead over City

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 18 March 2012

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney hailed a 'great result' for his side after they put their Europa League exit behind them with a 5-0 thumping of 10-man Wolves.

The home side were already behind to a Jonny Evans goal when Ronald Zubar was sent off for his second bookable offence in the space of 12 minutes, and United took full advantage through Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck before the break.

High five: Wayne Rooney celebrates with team-mate Antonio Valencia after the winger's stunning strike at Molineux

High five: Wayne Rooney celebrates with team-mate Antonio Valencia after the winger's stunning strike at Molineux

Javier Hernandez scored twice in the second half to complete the rout which leaves United four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table and Wolves bottom on goal difference.

'It was a great result for us, Thursday [against Athletic Bilbao] was a disappointing night for us all,' Rooney told Sky Sports 1.

'We knew it was important we bounced back and bounced back well. Over the last few years coming here has been a difficult game, so to come away with three points so convincingly is a great day for us.

Five star: Javier Hernandez fires in United's fifth of the game

Five star: Javier Hernandez fires in United's fifth of the game

'The most important goal away from home is the first one to quiet the home fans down and then they had a man sent off and we took advantage of that, got a goal quickly after that and from there the game was dead really.'

Rooney was named man of the match despite not finding the net myself and added: 'You always want to score but we scored five as a team and I'm delighted for Danny and Chicharito to get on the scoresheet.

'We knew it was an opportunity today to score goals and we came in at half-time and spoke about pushing on and scoring more goals and got an extra two in the second half.

Three and easy: Danny Welbeck was on target to hit United's third before the break

Three and easy: Danny Welbeck was on target to hit United's third before the break

'In the Premier League we are playing very well and getting the results we need, so I am sure if we can keep doing that it will be a good season for us.'

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not about to get carried away with his side's performance, telling Sky Sports 1: 'It was okay, I don't think it was anything special. I think we've taken our goals well.

'The finish from Valencia was fantastic. Antonio is back in the team and his form was fantastic today. He's made one for Danny Welbeck before half-time that killed the match.

Sinking feeling: Ten-man Wolves saw their survival chances take another dent as they slipped to bottom in the table

Sinking feeling: Ten-man Wolves saw their survival chances take another dent as they slipped to bottom in the table

'It's difficult for them with 10 men, they were honest and kept plugging away but the 3-0 advantage was too much for them.'

Asked about the title race, Ferguson added: 'Hopefully we achieve what we want to achieve. What's significant today is it's reduced the goal difference by five goals and that's down to three now and it may make a difference at the end of the season.

'I expect it to go to the wire.'

Arsenal 1 Wolves 1

Arsenal 1 Wolves 1: Another day of frustration for misfiring Gunners

Arsenal were left frustrated as 10-man Wolves battled to a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, looking to go back into the top four, were ahead after just eight minutes through Gervinho. However, Wolves, struggling at the other end of the table, rallied and levelled on 38 minutes through Steven Fletcher.

The visitors survived the second half dismissal of midfielder Nenad Milijas as keeper Wayne Hennessey denied the home side time and again.

Leveller: Steven Fletcher tucks home to make it 1-1 at the Emirates

Leveller: Steven Fletcher tucks home to make it 1-1 at the Emirates

Pointing the way Fletcher (right) celebrates his goal with Nenad Milijas

Pointing the way Fletcher (right) celebrates his goal with Nenad Milijas

Match facts

Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou (Chamakh 85), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song (Ramsey 71), Arteta, Rosicky, Benayoun (Arshavin 63), Gervinho, Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Miquel.
Booked: Vermaelen, Song.
Goals: Gervinho 8.

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar (Stearman 50), Johnson, Berra, Ward, Jarvis, Henry, Forde (Guedioura 71), Hunt (Doyle 86), Milijas, Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Hammill.
Sent Off: Milijas (75).
Booked: Johnson, Guedioura, Hennessey.
Goals: Fletcher 38.
Att: 59,686
Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

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After a bright start by Wolves, Arsenal broke quickly to take the lead on eight minutes.
Thomas Rosicky fed Yossi Benayoun, whose pass split the Wolves defence as Gervinho beat the offside trap to race clear.

The Ivory Coast frontman, set to soonbe away at the African Nations Cup, waited for keeper Hennessey to commit himself, before cutting back inside and then rolling the ball into the net between the two defenders on the line.

Wolves looked in danger of being overrun, as following their positive start, the visitors were forced to defend deeper and deeper.

Gervinho darted clear again and fed Robin van Persie on the right side of the penalty area, but for once the Dutchman – chasing the record for goals in 2011 – was off target as he skewed the ball well wide of the far post.

Benayoun, on loan from Chelsea, was producing an all-action display and charged down the left – only to stumble over the ball when in the penalty area.

Van Persie continued to look for the opening, his chip headed over by Wolves defender Stephen Ward.

To their credit, Wolves had weathered the storm somewhat, only to then almost hit the self-destruct button when skipper Karl Henry lost the ball to van Persie.

Tussle: Tomas Rosicky vies for the ball with Anthony Forde

Tussle: Tomas Rosicky vies for the ball with Anthony Forde

Me against the world: Robin van Persie takes on the Wolves defence

Me against the world: Robin van Persie takes on the Wolves defence

He fed Rosicky on the edge of the box who in turn laid a pass off to Mikel Arteta and his angled drive was blocked by Ward. Van Persie then saw his low strike turned around the post by Hennessey.

Out of nothing, Wolves were level on 38 minutes. Arsenal failed to clear a corner, which Stephen Hunt lobbed back in. Hisshot was deflected and Fletcher guided a header into the far corner.

Arsenal immediately went on the offensive, but Wolves were more confident and calmly saw their way through to half-time.

The Gunners upped the tempo after the restart, but failed to find a telling pass in the final third.
In the 57th minute, Laurent Koscielny”s cross struck Christophe Berra onthe arm, but referee Stuart Attwell was not interested – and instead showed a yellow card to Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen for complaining.

Arsenal had a free-kick when Gervinho was bundled over by Karl Henry 22 yards out, just left of centre.

Getting started: Gervinho slides home the opening goal for the home side

Getting started: Gervinho slides home the opening goal for the home side

What a way to start: Gervinho wheels away after his strike

What a way to start: Gervinho wheels away after his strike

We are family: Van Persie, Gervinho, Rosicky, Benayoun and Mikel Arteta

We are family: Van Persie, Gervinho, Rosicky, Benayoun and Mikel Arteta

Van Persie clipped the ball towards the top corner, with Hennessey touching it over at full stretch.
Per Mertesacker”s close-range header was then scrambled clear by the busy Wolves keeper.
Rosicky swept the ball wide from 20 yards after a persistent run by Koscielny.

With tempers at boiling point, Atwell brandished his red card on 75 minutes after a studs-up sliding challenge by Milijas on Arteta.

Van Persie”s shot on the turn was deflected behind as Arsenal laid siegeto the Wolves goal, with substitute Andrey Arshavin then clipping the outside of the post.

Hennessey pushed away another goal-bound free-kick from van Persie, before Marouane Chamakh came on for Johan Djourou to give the Gunners another attacker in the closing five minutes.

The Morocco striker clashed heads with van Persie at a corner, which left the Arsenal skipper momentarily out of action.

Vermaelen was denied by an inspired Hennessey before Wolves held out through six minutes of stoppage time.

Battle: Yossi Benayoun is challenged by Stephen Ward at the Emirates

Battle: Yossi Benayoun is challenged by Stephen Ward at the Emirates

Off you go: Stuart Attwell dismissed Milijas in the latter stages of the match

Off you go: Stuart Attwell dismissed Milijas in the latter stages of the match