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Wolves 1-0 Olympiacos (agg: 2-1): Jiménez sets up Sevilla date

Wolves will face five-time winners Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after a hard-fought victory over their Greek visitors.

Highlights: Wolves 1-0 Olympiacos
Highlights: Wolves 1-0 Olympiacos

Wolves will line up against Sevilla in Duisburg on Tuesday after Raúl Jiménez's early spot-kick and some resolute defending in a frantic finish earned a hard-fought victory over Olympiacos.

Wolves vs Olympiacos: As it happened

Match in brief

An early Raúl Jiménez penalty secured Wolves' passage into the quarter-finals, but it was a nervy evening against a dogged Olympiacos.

Cool as you like: Raúl Jiménez converts from the spot
Cool as you like: Raúl Jiménez converts from the spotGetty Images

Jiménez convered from the spot after goalkeeper Bobby Allain had fouled his former Olympiacos team-mate Daniel Podence in the area.

But the visitors came into the game and Mady Camara thought he had levelled, only for his deflected effort to be ruled out for offside in the build-up following a VAR review.

There were chances aplenty, and Rui Patrício saved well in either half to deny Konstantinos Tsimikas and Ahmed Hassan as Wolves held on. Next up: a quarter-final in Duisburg against Sevilla.

View from the stadium: Tom Kell, Wolves reporter

Nerves were shredded and fingernails bitten, but Wolves did just enough and can now look forward to their first European quarter-final since March 1972. It feels apt that Jiménez, their talismanic striker, should score the goal that ensures Nuno Espírito Santo's men extend a campaign that started in the second qualifying round on 25 July 2019 – 16 games and counting. Five-time winners Sevilla, no less, await in Duisburg on Tuesday, but for one night at least even Nuno can afford a smile.

Nuno Espírito Santo speaks to his Wolves squad at full time
Nuno Espírito Santo speaks to his Wolves squad at full timeGetty Images

Visitors' view: Vassiliki Papantonopoulou, Olympiacos reporter

Olympiacos paid dearly for their slow start. After the penalty, they had their chances but couldn't find that elusive equaliser, despite having their whole attacking arsenal on the pitch by full time. A huge opportunity lost, but they can bow out with their heads held high after an impressive European season.

Reaction

Nuno Espírito Santo, Wolves manager: "The boys worked hard and we had a good keeper which was very important. We started a long, long time ago but today we make it worth it. I was watching the game [Sevilla vs Roma] earlier; now I'm going home to watch it again!"

Raúl Jiménez, Wolves forward: "It feels amazing to be in the quarter-finals - we've had a long journey to get here. This goal means everything. All season we've been training, we've been working hard. We've had a big, big season but we have to keep going."

Pedro Martíns, Olympiacos coach: "In both legs we were equal or even better than our opponents. Τhis elimination makes us sad, but we are very proud of our players and their outstanding job that brought us to this level."

Mathieu Valbuena, Olympiacos winger: "We deserved to qualify and we are disappointed that we didn't. It was the best season of my career, but it's a pity it finishes on this note. We came so close."

First leg highlights: Olympiacos 1-1 Wolves
First leg highlights: Olympiacos 1-1 Wolves

Key stats

  • Wolves have reached the last eight in European competition for the first time since the 1971/72 UEFA Cup, when they went all the way to the final.
  • Jiménez's eighth-minute penalty is the earliest goal Wolves have scored in their 58-game (and counting) marathon season.
  • Just three of the Mexican's 27 goals for Wolves this season have come before the 30-minute mark – all three in the UEFA Europa League.
  • Wolves have won 16 of their last 18 home games in the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup, qualifying included.
  • The English side have scored only one first-half goal from open play in their last 12 matches.
  • Olympiacos have lost all three of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 ties, and also their last UEFA Cup round of 16 tie against Newcastle in 2004/05.

Line-ups

Wolves: Rui Patrício; Boly, Coady, Saïss; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny (Rúben Vinagre 17); Traoré (Diogo Jota 57), Podence (Dendoncker 71), Jiménez

Olympiacos: Allain; Elabdellaoui, Cissé, Ba, Tsimikas; Camara (Ahmed Hassan 65), Guilherme (Cafú 82), Bouchalakis (Fortounis 46); Valbuena, El-Arabi, Masouras (Randjelovic 46)

What's next?

Wolves face Sevilla in Duisburg at 21:00 CET on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals.