Las Palmas 3-2 Wolves: Lage's men struggle in Marbella as Wolves lose out
SAN PEDRO DE ALCANTARA, SPAIN - JULY 26: General view during a Pre-Season Friendly match between Las Palmas and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Marbella Football Center on July 26, 2021 in San Pedro De Alcantara, Spain. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

In surroundings a little less scenic than in their previous game in Cadiz, Wolverhampton Wanderers struggled to click and were duly punished by UD Las Palmas, as the Segunda División side made the most of their opportunities to emerge victorious on the evening.

  • Story of the first half

Wolves boss Bruno Lage went again with his 4-4-2 formation, which noticeably utilizes a very high defensive line. New signing Yerson Mosquera got his first start for the club and looked very comfortable in the heart of the Wolves defence.

The boys from the Black Country started the game with purpose and energy, as full-backs Rayan Aït-Nouri and Nélson Semedo powered down Wolves' flanks early on.  

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Patrick Cutrone also looked very lively up top, winning free-kicks and nearly getting on the score sheet. Fábio Silva was managing to connect well with Aït-Nouri down the left hand side and were causing the Las Palmas defenders all sorts of problems.

Things then started to settle down and Wolves goalkeeper José Sá was called into action to keep out a long range effort. Wolves' high defensive line was seemingly holding, with the Spanish side failing on multiple occasions to link to their forwards with balls over the top bouncing straight into the hands of Sa.

Then a crazy six minutes saw Wolves go 2-0 down before half time. The defensive line was completely bamboozled as Las Palmas managed to get two attackers through on goal completely unchecked with a lovely through ball.

Sa managed to save the initial shot, but was only able to parry the ball straight to Ale Garcia, who scored with an easy tap in. Worryingly, Garcia had a lot of time to place the ball in, with no defenders able to get back in time.

Wolves did respond straight after the goal, with lovely play by Aït-Nouri allowing the Frenchman to put in a great cross. The problem was that the nearest player to getting on the end of it was João Moutinho and not either of the two centre forwards.

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Wolves were on the attack and look set to try and equalize after winning a corner. Wolves' corner was cleared by Las Palmas, who then launched a quick counter attack with the ball falling to Adalberto Peñaranda, with nothing but space to run into as the Spaniards had a two-on-one advantage.

Rúben Neves sprinted with all his might to get back in time to cut off Peñaranda's run into the box, only for the Watford loanee to cut the ball inside expertly and slot the ball past a helpless Sa in goal.

Two poor defensive mistakes meant that Wolves went in at half-time two goals down. The Spaniards were most definitely giving Wolves a game. 

  • The story of the second half

A new half brings new lineup changes, as Lage opted to bring off all his starting eleven except Mosquera, Cutrone and Silva! One of the new players on the pitch was a welcome return to action for Leander Dendoncker after being given extended leave after Euro 2020.

There were more representatives from the U23s with Hugo Bueno, Christan Marques and Luke Cundle all again getting run out. It was however, Ki-Jana Hoever who sparked Wolves into life early on into the second half, with a cross that was turned away by the Las Palmas goalkeeper after some great build up play.

Then the men in old gold finally found the net in style, as a fantastic ball in from Bueno found the laces of Hoever, who volleyed the ball home emphatically to give Wolves their first goal of the game.

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Wolves now had their tails up and Lage decided more changes were needed midway through the half, with Renat Dadashov and Chem Campbell being brought on to keep the forward line fresh.

Then another defensive mistake saw Bueno's misplaced pass find the path of Jesé, with the Spaniard now through on goal with an easy tap in. Las Palmas restored their two goal deficit and the goal illustrated more that Wolves need to score more goals when on top in games.

Wolves were a little stung from conceding against the run of play, but Maximilian Kilman managed to get a header on target, bringing a save from the Las Palmas keeper. 

The only player to remain on the pitch all game was Mosquera, who capped off a fine display with a lovely ball over the top right into the path of Morgan Gibbs-White, to put the 21-year-old in on goal. Gibbs-White took one touch to set up and placed the ball past the keeper for Wolves' second, in what was a well worked goal.

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Aside from an opportunity for Kilman that was blocked, the final whistle came to confirm another defeat for Lage's Wolves. The boss will be frustrated with his side's defensive errors, but will be pleased with the two fine goals from Hoever and Gibbs-White.

Much more work is needed though, but there is plenty of time before the Premier League returns to get things in order.