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Sunday 25 August 2019

Doherty on Mark in blitz by Wolves

Pyunik 0 Wolves 4

Wolves’ Irish defender Matt Doherty scored the first goal in Armenia
Wolves’ Irish defender Matt Doherty scored the first goal in Armenia

Wolves moved a step closer to the Europa League group stages with a comprehensive 4-0 win in the qualifying third round first leg against Pyunik.

Matt Doherty's opener, a double from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves' late penalty made it an easy evening in Armenia for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, who start their Premier League campaign on Sunday.

They will look to complete the job next Thursday in the second leg at Molineux and move into a play-off against Torino or Shakhtyor.

A 6,370-mile round-trip was not ideal for Wolves, but Doherty's 29th-minute goal provided a nice tonic.

The defender was played in by Joao Moutinho and, in yards of space, he rolled home a cool finish into the far corner.

Diogo Jota missed the opportunity to make it two, but Jimenez made no mistake shortly before the break.

Jota made amends for his earlier miss by slipping the Mexican striker in and he produced an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.

The match, and probably the tie, was then made safe less than a minute after the restart.

Jota again was the provider, slipping in Jimenez who made no mistake when through one-on-one.

Jimenez's chance to take the match ball home was denied by a header cleared off the line, but Wolves could not be prevented from scoring a fourth late on.

Neves made no mistake from the spot after Patrick Crutone was felled in stoppage time.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo revealed Adama Traore missed the comprehensive win because he forgot his passport.

The faux pas prevented the 23-year-old making the trip.

Nuno revealed that his winger only brought an ID card with him to the airport.

"He had a problem with his passport... he didn't know," the Portuguese said after the game..

"It's impossible to travel with an ID card so he couldn't travel with us. He'll join us for the next game."

Wolves did not miss Traore as they blitzed the Armenian side.

The boss added: "It was good. They (Pyunik) started strong, pressing, high intensity, it was important to keep the shape and we managed well the game.

"We did a good performance."

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