Europa League group stage: Wolves secures first leg win against Torino



English Premier League side,Wolves on Wednesday night took edge winning 3-2 in Italy against Torino, for a strong place to qualify for the Europa League group stage for the first time.

Joao Moutinho had made a free-kick headed into his own net by Torino’s Gleison Bremer.

Diogo Jota doubled the advantage as he finished after Adama Traore’s pass.

Lorenzo de Silvestri pulled one back, Raul Jimenez’s calm finish restored Wolves’ two-goal lead before Andrea Belotti’s late penalty for Torino.

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The two teams meet again at Molineux on 29 August with the winners of this play-off tie moving into the main group phase of the competition.

Wolves, playing in their first European campaign since 1980-81, will advance if they avoid defeat or only lose by one goal in a low-scoring second leg.

Nuno Espirito Santo will be pleased with his team’s performance, who played for the second time in four days after drawing 1-1 in the Premier League against Manchester United, while Torino has yet to launch their Series A campaign.

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This was the English side’s seventh match in 29 days and Nuno opted to rest midfielder Ruben Neves, who had scored a wonderful goal against United.

But the gamble paid off as Wolves edged a thrilling game at the Stadio Olimpico Grande in Turin.

In fact, Nuno may even be disappointed that they do not have a two-goal advantage as Belotti’s 89th-minute penalty — after Ruben Vinagre’s clumsy challenge to him — gave the Italians a lifeline.

In added time, Torino had a chance to snatch an equaliser but goalkeeper Rui Patricio produced a fine save to deny Belotti his second goal.

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The half-time introduction of the rapid Traore changed the game against United on Monday and the Spaniard was rewarded for his efforts with a place in the starting line-up in Italy.

His pace and directness caused Torino severe issues operating again at the right-wing back, with Wolves scoring almost after 12 minutes when Traore’s run and cross discovered Jota, whose small shot was held out by house goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu’s feet.

Nicolas Nkoulou headed against the bar for the hosts before Sirigu was beaten, albeit by one of his own players as Bremer headed in following Moutinho’s excellent set-piece delivery.

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Traore was heavily involved again as Wolves doubled their lead after another direct run and a well-timed Cruyff turn gave him space to set up Jota who this time converted the chance.

However, two minutes later Torino grabbed their first goal with De Silvestri heading in from Cristian Ansaldi’s cross.

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That didn’t take long before Wolves had two objectives to beat Sirigu for his fifth goal in this Europa League group stage campaign, with the referee playing a nice benefit after Pedro Neto was fouled and Jimenez running through the defense.

Wolves had reached this phase with a 6-1 aggregate win over Northern Ireland’s Crusaders and then an 8-0 overall success against Pyunik of Armenia.

Torino, who finished seventh in Serie A last season and are managed by former Watford boss Walter Mazzarri, were always going to be a tougher challenge and Belotti’s penalty gives the Italians hope for the second leg.


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