Wolves are on the brink of qualifying for the Europa League knockout stage after last night’s 1-0 win at home to Slovan Bratislava, courtesy of Raul Jimenez’s stoppage-time header.
The Mexican’s late intervention meant that Ruben Neves’ penalty miss early in the second half would not prove costly and, having beaten the Slovakian club twice to go five points ahead of them in the group, a draw away to Braga in their next game will be enough to seal their passage to the round of 32.
Even though Jimenez scored in the 92nd minute, Wolves still had to defend their lead for another 10 minutes given the substantial amount of stoppage time owing to treatment on a head injury for Slovan Bratislava’s Kenan Bajric. [via Sky Sports]
Nuno Espirito Santo made three changes to his starting line-up from the Premier League draw with Arsenal last weekend, with right-back Matt Doherty recovering from his knee injury at the Emirates Stadium in time to take his place in the team for last night’s encounter. [via Sky Sports]
The Republic of Ireland defender could have been forgiven for looking inhibited and off the pace as a consequence, but instead he was a lively presence down the right-hand side for Wolves.
He got forward to great effect, playing six key passes (more than anyone else on the pitch) and delivering two accurate crosses. He also helped out defensively with three successful tackles, one interception and one clearance. [via WhoScored]
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His heatmap from the game showed that he covered virtually every blade of grass between the two penalty areas (as per WhoScored), while some journalists felt that he dovetailed effectively with team-mates.
Birmingham Live reporter Alex Dicken gave Doherty a seven rating and wrote that he “continues to link up well with Traore on the right and came close to opening the scoring with an instinctive flick following Moutinho’s divine pass”.
Joe Edwards of the Express & Star also referenced the flick which forced Slovan Bratislava goalkeeper Dominik Greif into action and noted how the Irishman “raced up and down the right flank” for Wolves.
Doherty came into the season off the back of a knee injury that curtailed his summer and had to go off injured at Arsenal less than a week ago, but that didn’t stop him from delivering a sprightly performance in his team’s latest European win.
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