Friday, Dec 6th 2019 6:12 AM

Market Digest Nigeria


Diogo Jota scores as Wolves thrashed Pyunik

Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota’s spectacular late volley capped a fine 4-0 second-leg victory for Wolves over Pyunik as they moved closer to the Europa League group stage.

Jota (right) celebrates his brilliant strike in the Europa League

Jota (right) celebrates his brilliant strike in the Europa League

The substitute – who scored Wolves’ first European goal for 39 years against Crusaders last month – sealed an 8-0 aggregate success at Molineux. Quickfire second-half goals from debutant Pedro Neto, Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Vinagre had already put Wolves into cruise control on Thursday. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will now play Torino, who beat FC Shakhtyor 6-1 on aggregate, in the play-off to reach the group stage. Wolves will travel to Turin for the first leg next week looking to continue their first European campaign since 1980.

Boss Nuno declared the Pyunik tie was not over in a typically studious pre-game message but, leading 4-0 from the first leg in Armenia last week, there was never any contest. Pyunik, who finished second in the Armenian Premier League last season, were willing opponents and kept the ball well in the opening stages. Wolves, who made nine changes from Sunday’s draw at Leicester, rarely had possession in the first 10 minutes but Neto and Patrick Cutrone, making his full debut, still found space to fire off target.

Gibbs-White shows his delight after netting at Molineux

Gibbs-White shows his delight after netting at Molineux

The hosts were happy to let Pyunik have the ball and with little troubling John Ruddy, there was no fear of their advantage being cut. Romain Saiss curled a free-kick wide after 23 minutes while Cutrone lashed over before the break after latching on to a long ball. The closest Wolves came to adding to their lead in the first half was when Vinagre drilled over from distance. With Manchester United the visitors to Molineux on Monday, there was little need to turn the screw, but Wolves emerged for the second half with a sense of purpose and were 3-0 up within 20 minutes of the re-start. First, Neto grabbed his debut goal when he finished from six yards after Cutrone cut back on 54 minutes.

Then Neto turned provider four minutes later when he crossed from the left and Gibbs-White fired in his first Wolves goal from eight yards. With the floodgates opened, Vinagre – who scored in the home win over Crusaders in the last round – then got in on the act when he tapped in from close range following Adama Traore’s run and low cross after 64 minutes. The three-goal blast was harsh on plucky Pyunik and Andrija Dragojevic denied Vinagre a second, saving his angled drive. But Jota wrapped up the victory with three minutes left when he acrobatically volleyed Raul Jimenez’s lofted pass in from 16 yards.

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