Adama Traore’s two-goal haul in Wolves’ shock victory over Manchester City was a reward for playing “to the limit of his strengths”, according to Nuno Espirito Santo.
Wolves defended stoically at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and consistently threatened on the counter-attack, though the game remained goalless at half-time.
City dominated possession after the restart but were unable to find a breakthrough and Traore punished them on the break in the 80th minute before completing a 2-0 triumph in stoppage time.
Traore played most of the game at right wing-back but was moved up front late on and used his pace to put the hosts’ makeshift defence to the sword.
“He played good. He went to the limit of his strengths. He did very well. Not only him, all the players did well. We have to congratulate them today, they were fantastic,” said Nuno, who steered his team to a 1-0 win at Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday.
“I am very, very proud, it was a very good performance [by the team]. More than the performance was the work of the players, they ran.
“It’s very difficult to play against City, they are so good, they move the ball so fast, it requires a lot of high-speed running, so the boys worked very hard.
“I’m happy and I’m satisfied because this is how we work. All the games we’ve had, we always compete under our game plan. Sometimes we perform better than others, but the motivation to compete and prepare for the game is always there.
“This is what makes me more proud, having a fantastic group of players that want to grow and believe in the way we work. Now we have the challenge to sustain this level of performance, this is the hardest part of football.”
BIG. WEEK. pic.twitter.com/EJhJGwtsnI
— Wolves (@Wolves) October 6, 2019
Traore, who showed surprising composure to get on the scoreboard for the first time since September 2018, praised Nuno’s approach to the game.
“The plan always works with the manager. I believe in him and how he works, and he believes in me and that is important,” the former Barcelona youngster told beIN SPORTS.
“I’ve been playing in different positions and today I played in right wing-back and striker. Whatever the position I can adapt my quality there. [Nuno] makes me a better player.
“I think everyone on the pitch worked so hard, so I’m happy for everyone.
“Manchester City is one of the best teams in the world and to beat them at home is amazing.”