Jimenez leads Wolves rout in Armenia

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves striker Raul Jimenez paid tribute to Mexico boss 'Tata' Martino after starring in El Tri's Concacaf Gold Cup final win over USA.

Wolves made light work of Pyunik as they recorded a resounding 4-0 victory in the first leg of their Europa League tie.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men made the 6,370-mile round trip a worthwhile one as they put their Armenian opponents to the sword, with Raul Jimenez grabbing a brace. Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves also got their names on the scoresheet in the third qualifying round clash.

Wolves, who made three changes from the side that beat Crusaders 4-1 last week, dominated much of the first half and should have taken the lead after five minutes when Jimenez was played through on goal, only for Maksim Zhestokov to produce a brilliant block.

The breakthrough was inevitable and came in the 29th minute, with Diogo Jota being given too much time and space in the middle of the park to pick out the run of the returning Doherty, who composed himself before slotting his effort past Andrija Dragojevic. Jota then should have added the second but blasted over from the edge of the box.

However, the Portuguese playmaker made amends for his error by laying on Jimenez’s goal. Pyunik sloppily lost possession in their own half, allowing Ruben Vinagre to break quickly and work the ball to Jota.

He unselfishly squared the ball across the six yards box for Jimenez to hammer in his third Europa League goal of the season.

It was job done for Wolves just seconds after the restart when Jota and Jimenez again combined for the third. Jota was again the provider, splitting the sluggish Pyunik defence as Jimenez rattled in the third.

The Mexican then saw a goal-bound header cleared off the line as he narrowly missed out on his hat-trick before being replaced by debutant Patrick Cutrone.

With the game drifting towards full-time, Cutrone was able to make an impact as he won his side a penalty with a strong, driving run down the right, Serhiy Shevchuk up-ending him as he got into the area.

The Italian wanted to take the spot-kick but was out-ranked by Ruben Neves, who dispatched the penalty to put the icing on the cake.