Wolverhampton Wanderers put one foot in the UEFA Europa League stages as they beat Italian outfit Torino 3-2 away from home on Thursday evening.
In what was a competitive game, Wolves struck the opening blow just before the break as Gleison Bremer nodded past his own goalkeeper. Diogo Jota extended their advantage on the hour as he converted from Adama Traore’s centre. However, that lead was immediately halved as Lorenzo De Silvestri headed home just a minute later. Raul Jimenez regained the two-goal lead though with a stunning solo effort.
Wolves were good value for their two goal lead but a silly mistake from Ruben Vinagre saw Andrea Belotti strike from the penalty spot to leave next week’s clash at Molineux wide open.
Early opportunities in Turin
Both sides attacked with considerable vigour in the early stages but it was the Premier League side who should have claimed the lead as Traore fed Jota after cutting in from the right. However, the Portuguese could not beat Salvatore Sirigu in the hosts’ goal.
Walter Mazzarri’s men then also went extremely close as Nicolas Nkoulou connected with Armando Izzo’s cross but his header bounced off of the crossbar.
The chances continued to come for both sides and Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker should have done better than head wide from a deep free kick.
Own goal sees Wolves claim valuable away goal
Nuno Espirito Santo’s troops did eventually claim the advantage and it came just before the break. Moutinho, who was a threat from set pieces all evening, fired in another effort that picked out Romain Saiss and with the help of a Torino head, the ball nestled into the far corner of the net.
Willy Boly was almost the next beneficiary from another fantastic ball in from Moutinho but he headed over the crossbar.
Jota continues electric form as goals flow
Wolves eventually did get their second through Jota. The forward was picked out following another exhilarating run from Traore and struck clinically past Sirigu.
That second goal from the Midlands outfit appeared to finally wake up the home side who immediately halved the deficit. De Silvestri managed to find space at the far post and firmly planted his header past Rui Patricio.
Raul Jimenez could have restored Wolves’ two-goal buffer but had his effort from close range blocked away. The Mexican did eventually get on the scoresheet though and it was a brilliant strike from the former Benfica forward. He did wonderfully to power his way through the Torino defence and stayed cool to finish confidently underneath Sirigu for his fifth goal in the Europa League this season.
Torino pull late strike back
Despite Wolves’ dominant showing, they left supporters slightly edgy at the end as the hosts pulled another goal back. A silly foul from Ruben Vinagre saw Torino awarded a penalty which Andrea Belotti confidently dispatched. The Italian striker almost equalised late on as Patricio was forced to tip his fantastic effort round the post.
The Italians continued to push but weren’t able to draw level and now head to the Midlands next week not only behind but also having conceded three away goals.
This game really did epitomise Wolves. Nuno’s men played some exhilarating offensive football, with stars such as Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota predictably stepping up to the plate. They will be disappointed that they have left Torino with a slight opportunity heading into the second-leg but overall it was a fantastic showing from Wolves on what could potentially have been a tricky evening.
Torino: Sirigu (6); Bremer (5), Izzo (5), N’Koulou (6); De Silvestri (6), Meite (6) (Rincon (5), 64′), Baselli (6), Ansaldi (6) (Aina (5), 71′); Berenguer (6) (Lukic (6), 59′), Zaza (6), Belotti (7).
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio (6); Boly (6), Coady (7), Vallejo (6); Vinagre (5), Moutinho (7), Saiss (6), Dendoncker (6), Traore (8) (Jonny (6), 64′); Jota (7) (Neto (6), 69′), Jimenez (7) (Cutrone (N/A), 76′).
Goals: Bremer OG (43′), Jota (59′), De Silvestri (61′), Jimemez (72′), Belotti PEN (89′)
Referee: Artur Dias Soares
Yellow Cards: Belotti (45+1′), Ansaldi (48′), Berenguer (56′), Baselli (71′), Bremer (72′), Saiss (79′), Vallejo (81′), Rincon (85′)
Red Cards: N/A
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