First leg of the Europa League Qualifying Play-offs with Wolverhampton Wanderers facing Torino. The first tie ever between both teams saw an incredibly close game from start to finish.
Story of the game
The game began with both teams fighting for possession. Torino had the slight advantage, creating more chances but being unable to capitalize on any of them. On the other hand, Wolves couldn't create many opportunities but it turns out they didn't need them, as two shots on goal were enough to score.
At the 43rd minute, and following a João Moutinho free-kick, Torino defender Gleison Bremer was pressured by Romain Saïss and ended up heading towards his own goal, putting past the keeper and making it 1-0 to Wolves. Nuno's team then had that crucial away goal as the referee whistled for halftime.
The second half saw both teams turn up the intensity. Being 1-0 down, Torino came back wanting to equalise but it was Wolves who once again scored. Adama Traore took full use of its speed and after dribbling past the defender passed it to Diogo Jota who was left completely open and calmly scored, making it 2-0.
The game was in Wolves' hands, but a bad decision from Traore allowed Ansaldi to cross it to the far post where De Silvestri was quicker than Ruben Vinagre and headed it in, making it 2-1 with half an hour to go in the game!
The Italians were looking for the equaliser but were incapable of breaking through the English defence. But like it had happened before, it would be Wolves who would score again, with the Mexican striker Raul Jiménez dribbling past three defenders and curling it in with his left foot, making it 3-1 and almost sealing the game. However, there was still time on the clock.
When nobody expected, Vinagre committed a penalty, giving Belotti the chance of pulling one back and making it 3-2. The striker hit it low and to the middle, putting it past Rui Patrício.
Wolves take an important lead and three crucial away goals back to the Molineux where the second leg will take place on the 29th.
Takeaways from the game
Adama Traore is a breathing dynamo
The Spanish winger has really picked it up this season and has been the engine of this Wolves team. Game after game he has shown the impact he can have on the pitch and has made it impossible for Nuno Espírito Santo to leave him of the starting eleven.
If he's capable of keeping this level, then we may see him move on to bigger stages at the end of the season.
Ruben Vinagre's defensive misfortune
The young Portuguese defender had a difficult night, being directly involved in both of Torino's goals. The slip on the first goal can be forgiven, given De Silvestri's speed, but the missed kick on Belotti was pointless and may cost them at the end. Vinagre's attacking abilities are well known but his defensive awareness is something that needs improvement.
Man of the Match
The Spaniard had an incredible match, both defensively and offensively. One assist and a number of great chances on 64 minutes of play give him the title of man of the match. With every game that passes, Traore appears to be more and more confident on his role on the team and that has been showing in his performances.