NEWS
Thursday August 22 2019
EL: Torino lose Wolves thriller

Torino have a mountain to climb in the Europa League play-offs after their 3-2 first leg home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

This was the first leg in the play-offs to reach the Europa League group phase, after both went through two preliminary rounds. The decider will be at Molineaux on August 29 and a last-gasp Andrea Belotti penalty gives some hope.

Iago Falque, Lyanco, Vittorio Parigini and Simone Edera were out injured, with Simone Zaza again partnering Andrea Belotti. Wolves left Patrick Cutrone and Ruben Neves on the bench, making four changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester United last week.

Salvatore Sirigu had to make the first save, using his legs to parry a Diogo Jota shot from 12 yards after Adama Traore burst down the right to cross.

Toro fought back, Nicolas Nkoulou’s header bouncing off the top of the crossbar, but Leander Dendoncker was allowed a free header from Joao Moutinho’s set play that skimmed the far post.

Andrea Belotti’s curler flashed just wide of the far stick and Rui Patricio had to make a fine reaction save on Armando Izzo’s header from close range.

Torino did not heed the warnings from free kicks and were caught out by another Joao Moutinho ball into the middle, as Izzo tried to anticipate Roman Saiss and ended up accidentally nodding into his own net. Conceding an away goal was the main concern for Mazzarri going into this two-legged tie.

The Granata kept possession for long periods, but struggled to break through a solid Wolves defence, as Belotti’s first touch let him down when running clear, then Zaza hit the side-netting.

Instead, Traore was again a total nightmare for Ansaldi, pulling back from the by-line for Diogo Jota to tap in from close range.

Within 80 seconds, Torino had pulled one back, Ansaldi whipping a cross to the back post for Lorenzo De Silvestri’s header.

It was suddenly wide open and Raul Jimenez was sent clear by a Jota ball over the top, only to see his shot charged down by a desperate Bremer tackle.

Torino were flattened by Raul Jimenez and a third goal. He went on a slalom through defenders, many of whom were standing around looking at the referee expecting a free kick for Bremer’s earlier foul, but the official let play continue.

Sasa Lukic tested Rui Patricio from distance, but Toro’s heads visibly dropped. In the final minute, Belotti anticipated Ruben Vinagre in the box and drew a foul for a penalty. Despite Rui Patricio being a specialist on spot-kicks, and Il Gallo notoriously unreliable in these situations, Belotti converted to give Torino hope.

It was very nearly 3-3 in stoppages, as Belotti launched a rocket from distance that Rui Patricio palmed round the post.

Torino 2-3 Wolves

Izzo og 43 (W), Diogo Jota 59 (W), De Silvestri 61 (T), Raul Jimenez 72 (W), Belotti pen 89 (T)

Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Bremer; De Silvestri, Baselli, Meite (Rincon 64), Berenguer (Lukic 58), Ansaldi (Aina 70); Zaza, Belotti

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio; Vallejo, Coady, Boly; Traore (Jonny 64), Dendoncker, Moutinho, Saiss, Ruben Vinagre; Raul Jimenez (Cutrone 76), Diogo Jota (Neto 69)

Ref: Dias (POR)