Pyunik 0-4 Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo’s men all but secure passage to next Europa League round


Wolves all but ensured their spot in the Europa League’s next set of qualifiers after easing past Armenian side Pyunik in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie.

The Midlands side delivered an emphatic showing at the Republican Stadium, comprehensively playing down any fears that the clash could have posed a potential slip up for their European ambitions.

Following a sluggish start, having embarked on the first half of a 6,370 mile round trip, Wolves sprung to life and romped to victory after Matt Doherty’s strike and Raul Jimenez’s double. 

Ruben Neves’ spot kick deep into second half stoppage time rounded off a handsome scoreline.

Having blown away Irish outfit Crusaders in the previous round, Wolves’ lengthy journey to Armenia came just three days before their Premier League opener at Leicester. 

And Nuno Espirito Santo’s side struggled to ease through the gears in the opening stages, failing to register a notable chance until the 29th minute.

But Wolves eventually found the breakthrough just moments later. Diogo Jota’s defence-splitting pass picked out Doherty’s fine run down the right flank, and the full back blasted home the opener inside the near post.

The visitors then duly doubled their lead three minutes before the break. 

Ruben Vinagre flew forward having stolen neatly possession and slotted Jota through into the penalty area. The Portuguese front man was unselfish, and rolled a pass across the face of goal for Jimenez to coolly convert into the roof of the net.

Despite having secured a comfortable cushion heading into the interval, Wolves reemerged in relentless fashion. 

Just 35 seconds after the restart, the Midlands side had scored their third. Once again Jota provided the killer pass, allowing Jimenez to break free of Pyunik’s backline, race into the box and tuck home his second.

There was still time late on for Wolves to add gloss to the scoreline. Debutant Patrick Cutrone, having been introduced for his first appearance on 62 minutes, was felled inside the penalty area – and fellow substitute Ruben Neves calmly converted the resultant spot kick. 

Having collected an invaluable European victory, Wolves will now turn their attentions to Sunday’s domestic top flight opener. The second leg against Pyunik will be contested on August 15. 


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