A judgment eventually went their way, after all those VAR gripes, from Jan Bednarek’s red card to not being awarded a penalty against Aston Villa to Danny Ings’ offside sleeve.
Southampton is in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and they should thank Stockley Park for spotting the foot of Max Kilman, defending Wolves, playing Ings on the side as he broke through.
Initially, the assistant’s flag had prevented any Saints celebrations, but this was the least the visitors deserved, with the Wolves of Nuno Espirito Santo never seeming to win this tie at Molineux.
In the final moments, Stuart Armstrong made it 2-0, and how badly Ralph Hasenhuttl wanted that victory.
The Saints had suffered four straight defeats in the Premier League before this, including Manchester United’s 9-0 defeat. Hasenhuttl now has two FA Cup final wins.
‘We want to go to the FA Cup,’ said Hasenhuttl, whose side faces Bournemouth and the South Coast Cracker in the quarters.
We didn’t have such an easy time. Winning was critical.’
Performances like this won’t banish those allegations that they have become a dull squad for Nuno Espirito Santo.
Wolves managed a single shot on target at home to a struggling side – from substitute Adama Traore 10 minutes from time after a mistake by young Southampton debutant Mohammed Salisu. Why Raul Jimenez misses them.
‘It is my obligation,’ Nuno said simply afterward.
At St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, Southampton will face Wolves again in the Premier League.
With that in mind, Nuno made six changes to his squad, adding Morgan Gibbs-White, Vitinha, and Fabio Silva, none of whom were older than 21, into his attack.
In the first half, it was all Southampton, with Ings denying the fifth round contender’s goal to a Romain Saiss block.
Wolves had not managed a shot, on or off goal, as half time approached.
As Joao Moutinho crossed from a free-kick, their first chance came and Saiss met him on the volley and found only the Stan Cullis stand. Replays revealed that regardless, it would have been offside.
Ings was played through by Ryan Bertrand in the 49th minute. The initial save was made by Wolves’ FA Cup goalkeeper John Ruddy, but the ball bounced back off the Southampton striker and trickled in. As a result of the offside flag, there were no celebrations.
VAR Simon Hooper, however, tested and found a peculiar Wolves foot holding Ings on its side.
In the 67th minute, Redmond could have scored but was denied by Ruddy, who then undid his good job with an expensive mistake.
To replace Nathan Tella, who composed himself and found Armstrong to complete the scoreline, Wolves’ goalkeeper gave the ball.