Thursday August 29 2019
EL: Wasteful Torino eliminated by Wolves

Torino had the chances to frighten Wolverhampton Wanderers, but their finishing was again poor, as they crashed out of the Europa League play-offs 5-3 on aggregate.

The Granata had a mountain to climb after their 3-2 first leg home defeat if they were to conquer Molineux and reach the Europa League group phase. Nicolas Nkoulou was dropped after a row, while Iago Falque and Cristian Ansaldi were injured, so Kevin Bonifazi, Sasa Lukic, Ola Aina and Tomas Rincon stepped in. Wolves made only one change, Jonny Castro coming in for Ruben Vinagre.

Daniele Baselli’s free kick was deflected inches past Andrea Belotti’s head at the back post, then Rincon’s volley flashed wide in a very aggressive and confident start for Toro at Molineux.

The visitors were absolutely dominating possession, but the moment Adama Traore broke on the counter, he forced Salvatore Sirigu into a save.

It was a warning they did not heed, because Wolves took the lead out of nowhere. Traore was again involved, putting in a low cross and Raul Jimenez got in front of the defenders at the near post for a difficult flick.

Simone Zaza’s header was smothered on the line, but the Granata visibly lost confidence. Another Baselli free kick tested Rui Patricio, as it was palmed out from the far top corner, and that eventually led to the Torino equaliser on the night. It was another Baselli free kick that found the head of Belotti to make it 1-1, 4-3 on aggregate.

However, just 60 seconds later, Toro managed to concede a bizarre goal. Diogo Jota went on a mazy run away from three defenders to test Sirigu, but the Dendoncker follow-up bounced off one upright, rolled along the line, ricocheted off the other post and into the net.

The Granata still needed two goals to qualify and Zaza fired wide from distance, while Sirigu denied Dendoncker and the Patrick Cutrone follow-up.

Belotti’s nutmeg pass sent Soualiho Meite clear on goal, but the substitute somehow fired wide. Belotti also squirmed through the defenders only to slip at the crucial moment.

Wolves 2-1 Torino (5-3 agg)

Raul Jimenez 30 (W), Belotti 58 (T), Dendoncker 59 (W)

Wolverhampton: Rui Patricio; Vallejo, Coady, Boly; Traore, Dendoncker, Saiss, Moutinho (Ruben Neves 90), Jonny; Jimenez (Pedro Neto 92), Diogo Jota (Cutrone 81)

Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, Bremer, Bonifazi; De Silvestri, Baselli, Rincon (Meite 71), Lukic, Aina (Berenguer 70); Zaza (Millico 81), Belotti

Ref: Manzano (ESP)

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