Burnley 1-1 Wolves: Chris Wood's late equaliser crushes Wolves' Champions League dreams
Conor Coady warming up for Wolves before taking on Espanyol in the Europa League (Noelia Déniz/Vavel images)

Coming into this clash at Turf Moor, it was all on the line for Wolverhampton Wanderers, as they were sitting only four points off the Champions League positions. 

Manchester United dropped points late on against Southampton, while Wolves picked up a vital three points against Everton on Sunday afternoon.

Story of the game

Wolves started strongly, keeping the ball and having success through Adama Traore. It came as no surprise that he was  the brightest spark for Wolves, finding lots of space down the right hand side of the pitch.

Wolves had the first chance of the game, coming from a corner. João Moutinho put in a delightful ball, which was met by Romain Saïss only four yards out. The Moroccan unfortunately misjudged the flight of the ball and couldn’t convert.

The Wanderers almost made their first half pressure pay through. Diogo Jota found space in the Burnley penalty area and was able to take the ball down before swivelling and shooting just wide of Nick Pope’s right post.

Just before the end of the first half, Burnley were able to create their best chance of the half through Jay Rodriguez.

From a Wolves corner, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson was able to break away and play in the Englishman, but the talismanic forward couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet.

As they have done many times throughout this season, Wolves came out for the second half all guns blazing. Moutinho picked out Wolves’ danger man Adama Traore who flashed a shot across the area, but no one could get a touch to take it goal-wards.

Although Burnley grew into the game, Wolves also started to find some gaps in the Burnley defence. Ruben Neves tried his luck from 30 yards out but the shot was straight at Pope.

Only seconds later, Daniel Podence found the space for a shot but couldn’t hit the target as he sprayed it just past the post.

Wolves finally were able to make their pressure pay. Raul Jimenez hit a stunning volley from the edge of the box into the bottom right corner. Some electric dribbling from Traore created the chance as the spaniard skipped past four Burnley players, taking them out of the game.

In the 92nd minute Burnley had a golden chance to level the game, Chris Wood had a free diving header with an open goal, but put it wide.

Only a minute later, Burnley were given a penalty due to a handball from Matt Doherty. He looked to be protecting his face when Chris Wood was attempting an overheard kick.

Nonetheless, Chris Wood converted the penalty brilliantly by sticking it into the top corner.

The penalty was pretty much the final kick of the game, resulting in Burnley clinching a point. The result now leaves Wolves’ dream of reaching the Champions League looking all but hopeless.

Takeaway

Traore sparkles again

Adama Traore showed how pivotal he is to this Wolves side once again. The powerful forward did his utmost to force Wolves into taking home all three points from Turf Moor.

Traore played a huge part in the stunning volley hit by Raul Jimenez as he danced around four Burnley players in the build up to the goal.

Not only did he beat all four of the players trying to tackle him, he also took them out of the game completely with his speed, which allowed the space to be opened up for Raul Jimenez to hit his volley.

As well as being instrumental in the Wolves goal, Traore was also the main threat throughout the game. Several times he was able to get down the line and float a delightful ball into the box - on more than one occasion the delivery was inches away from resulting in another Wolves goal.

The Champions League dream is almost over

Many Wolves fans would have been dreaming of hearing the infamous Champions League music blast out around the Molineux, but it seems as if they will have to wait at least another year for this to be the case. 

The result this evening sees them remain three points behind Manchester United, with the Red Devils having a game in hand.

At one point this season it seemed as if Wolverhampton Wanderers might be able to make it into the top four of the Premier League, but it now looks very unlikely.

A poor run of results against Arsenal, Sheffield United and a late equaliser today sees any chance of Champions League qualification being left out of Wolves’ hands.

Manchester United take on Crystal Palace tomorrow evening in a match that every Wolves fan will be keeping a very close eye on.

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