By 90Min
October 24, 2019

Wolves ended Slovan Bratislava's 33-match unbeaten home run as Nuno Espirito Santo's side put in a professional second half performance to come from behind and win in Slovakia in the Europa League.

Despite starting better than their opponents, Wolves found themselves 1-0 down after ten minutes when Bratislava talisman Andraz Sporar beat Rui Patricio at the near post for his eighth goal in six games this season, courtesy of a slight deflection off Wolves skipper Conor Coady.


Willy Boly wasted a good chance to equalise from Joao Moutinho's header, but it was the introduction of Adama Traore that woke the visitors up, adding a directness that Nuno's side were lacking in the first half. 

However, the hosts still looked dangerous on the counter, with Sporar stinging Patricio's fingertips seven minutes after the restart.


Wolves got what they deserved in the 58th minute, when Romain Saiss' weak effort somehow squirmed into the bottom corner, an effort that Bratislava goalkeeper Dominik Greif will not want to see again.

The away side, in their green, Mexican-esque third kit, were awarded a penalty five minutes after Saiss' equaliser when striker Raul Jimenez was pushed by De Marco following a cross from the left hand side. Jimenez took the penalty himself and coolly sent the keeper the wrong way for his second goal in as many games.

VLADIMIR SIMICEK/GettyImages

As the match wore on, Wolves sensed the chance to increase their lead, with the Slovakians evidently tiring. The away side looked dangerous, but just lacked that end product to kill the game off.

Wolves' win was made slightly less straightforward when substitute Diogo Jota received two yellows within a minute. While the first one was extremely harsh, the second was an unnecessary, frankly stupid challenge, and the Portugal international was given his marching orders.

Despite a period of sustained pressure in the last five minutes or so from Bratislava, the visitors held on to record their second win this campaign, moving up to second in Group K.


SLOVAN BRATISLAVA


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Greif (5); Medvedev (6), Abena (6), Bozhikov (7), De Marco (6); Ibrahim (7), De Kamps (7); Daniel (6), Holman (6), Rhasalla (6); Sporar (7).


Substitutes: Ljubicic (6), Ratao (6), Cavric (6).


WOLVES

Key Talking Point

The away side looked far more open then usual in the first half and ultimately paid the price when Coady was left alone with the Slovakian side's danger man.

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It was the introduction of Traore that changed things for Nuno's side, the forward making a difference as Wolves deservedly turned the game around after 17 second half minutes. The Spaniard ran Bratislava's left back ragged and gave Wolves an outlet, which is what was needed after a sluggish first half.

Wolves are now unbeaten in seven games and finally look like they are replicating the form of last season.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Patricio (6); Kilman (7), Coady (6), Boly (7); Doherty (6), Gibbs-White (6), Saiss (7), Moutinho (6), Vinagre (7); Jimenez (7), Cutrone (5).


Substitutes: Traore (8), Jota (5), Dendoncker (6).


STAR PLAYER Spaniard Adam Traore only played 45 minutes, but Wolves' performance completely changed with his introduction. His pace caused all sorts of problems down the right-hand side, and gave Wolves an outlet they were so desperately missing in the first half. 

VLADIMIR SIMICEK/GettyImages

Ever since his two goals against Manchester City, Adama has become a key player under Nuno, having previously established himself as a firm fan favourite at Molineux.


Looking Ahead

Slovan Bratislava travel to tenth place Mihalovce, aiming to remain top of the Slovak First League, and to ultimately retain their league title.


Wolves take a trip to St James' Park to face Steve Bruce's Newcastle on Sunday, where the Wanderers s will look to continue their good form.

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