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Wolves 1 Burnley 1 – Report and pictures

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published: | Last Updated:

Wolves rescued a point in the 97th minute thanks to Raul Jimenez's stoppage-time penalty.

Burnley looked to be heading for an away win at Molineux with Wolves struggling to respond to Ashley Barnes' early strike.

The Clarets hit the bar and wasted a couple of glaring chances, with Wolves creating little until Jimenez hit the post in added time.

Then, after Jimenez was fouled in the box, the Mexican coolly despatched the penalty to earn a last-gasp point.

Analysis

It's too early to say if Wolves are going to 'do a Burnley', but this certainly wasn't the Wolves we've become accustomed to.

For the second succession Premier League match Nuno Espirito Santo's team were ragged and 'un-Wolves-like' in the first half, writes Tim Spiers at Molineux.

This time, though, it looked like they couldn't rouse themselves for a second half revival – until Raul Jimenez rescued a very welcome late point.

For so long it looked like Burnley would take the spoils against lacklustre Wolves.

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Despite the introductions of Adama Traore, Neto and Leander Dendoncker from the bench, Nuno's boys didn't seriously test keeper Nick Pope on a single occasion.

There was endeavour, effort, huff and puff, sure, but quality was in short supply.

Touches were heavy, passes were over-hit, runs were mis-directed and there was a lack of imagination in the final third pretty much all afternoon.

Then their trusty Mexican did his thing. Seconds after striking the post on the turn, Jimenez was fouled in the box and oh-so coolly beat Pope from the spot.

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It was his sixth goal in eight appearances already this season and, as was the case last year, you find yourself asking where Wolves would be without him.

So, three games in, no wins, but no defeats either. How you view that depends on your disposition, but given their Europa League exertions that's a pretty good start.

Match report

As against Torino in midweek Nuno rotated his squad with Ryan Bennett, Matt Doherty, Ruben Neves, Morgan Gibbs-White and Jonny Castro Otto coming into the side. Jesus Vallejo, Adama Traore, Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Vinagre were bench, while Romain Saiss was left out of the squad.

There were no surprises with the Burnley line-up – 4-4-2 with Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes up front.

In glorious Molineux sunshine with the vast majority of the home fans created a golden sea in their short-sleeved shirts it was the home team who started well, with Neves sending a trademark half-volley from range not far over the bar.

Gibbs-White then almost set himself through on goal with a lovely touch to beat a defender, but Ben Mee came across to close out the danger.

It was all looking positive for Nuno's boys – but Burnley hadn't read the script.

Barnes had fired a warning shot just wide of the post in the 10th minute when he wasn't adequately closed down.

Three minutes later and with Wolves having not learned their lesson is was 1-0 when no defender came to claim the ball and Barnes fired an excellent shot past a helpless Rui Patricio from 20 yards.

The goal seemed to rock Wolves and the Clarets almost took full advantage to double their lead when Mee's header bounced off the crossbar, then hit Bennett and almost crossed the line but was scrambled clear.

Wood turned Coady and dragged his shot wide after a direct long ball and then the same player caused havoc again when turning Bennett in the box, before Patricio came to Wolves' rescue with a fine and crucial save.

Wolves just couldn't get going. They were laboured in possession, sloppy at the back, offered nothing from the flanks and had few ideas up top.

There was frustration in the stands as Wolves' lacklustre display, which mirrored the first half against Manchester United last Monday. Again, as then, the only positive was they were only a goal down.

Wolves came out on the front foot at the start of the second period, with Gibbs-White flashing a shot wide after being teed up by Jimenez.

But Burnley's threat in front of goal remained and Barnes should have made it 2-0 but side-footed wide from six yards in another let-off for haphazard Wolves.

Nuno made changes in a bid to spark Wolves to life. Dendoncker and Neto replaced Moutinho and Gibbs-White as Wolves went 3-4-3 for the first time in a good while, with Neto on the right and Jota the left.

Burnley threatened again when Ashley Westwood curled over from a good position, before Neto skipped past two challenges to get the crowd going and show some much-needed intent.

Traore finally entered the fray with 14 minutes remaining, replacing Doherty, after the frustrated home fans had chanted for his introduction.

Then with 11 minutes left came the opportunity Wolves had yearned for – Bennett picked out Jimenez in the box, he chested it down and played across the face of goal. It was begging to be tapped in but neither Jota nor Traore had gambled on a dart forward.

In five minutes of added time it looked like Wolves weren't going to get anything from the game, especially after Jimenez hit the post with a smart shot on the turn from a Bennett long throw.

And then with just seconds left Jimenez was brought down in the box. After a VAR check the penalty decision stood and Jimenez sent Pope the wrong way to earn a vital early-season point.

Key moments

10 - Barnes turns into space on the edge of the Wolves box and looks for goal with a low left-footed effort, which flies just wide of the target. An early warning from the Clarets hitman.

13 - Goal! Barnes goes for the far corner again, and this time, he finds it emphatically. He controls the ball well and fires it past Patricio. Fantastic finish, but afforded too much room by the Wolves defence.

32 - Burnley should be 2-0 up. Barnes' strike partner Wood dances past Bennett and looks to slot the ball under Patricio with his right foot, but the keeper stands strong and keeps the drive out.

79 - The closest Wolves have come to getting a goal. Bennett lofts the ball to the far post, where Jimenez chests it down before driving it across goal. Nobody is there for the tap-in, though.

90+7 - GOOOOALLLLLL!!! A LAST-GASP penalty converted by Jimenez gives Wolves a point. The Mexican is brought down in the box and, after a VAR check, coolly sends Pope the wrong way from the spot.

Teams

Wolves (3-5-2): Patricio; Bennett, Coady (c), Boly; Doherty (Traore, 76), Moutinho (Dendoncker, 58), Neves, Gibbs-White (Neto, 66), Otto; Jimenez, Jota

Subs not used: Ruddy (gk), Vallejo, Vinagre, Cutrone

Goal: Jimenez (pen 90+7)

Burnley (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee (c), Pieters; Gudmundsson (Lennon, 66), Cork, Westwood, McNeil (Hendrick, 86); Barnes (Rodriguez, 78), Wood

Subs not used: Hart (gk), Long, Taylor, Vydra

Goal: Barnes (13)

Attendance: 30,522

Next up

Wolves host Torino in the second leg of their Europa League play-off on Thursday, kick off 7.45pm. Their next Premier League game is away at Everton next Sunday, kick off 2pm.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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