Sunday, September 26, 2021

Jimenez’s last-gasp penalty denies Burnley at Molineux

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Tom Beresford
Sports journalist. Non-League football reporter. YouTuber, presenter, podcast host. Previously heard on FiveLive and Love Sport Radio. Managed by Epic Sports Management

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Raul Jimenez struck a 95th-minute penalty to deny Sean Dyche’s Burnley all three points at Molineux on Sunday afternoon.

Ashley Barnes’ 13th-minute strike looked to have secured all three points for the Lancashire-based side, after a spectacular strike from 25-yards. For Barnes, it was his fourth goal in three Premier League games this season, and the striker is the third highest Premier League scorer in 2019, only Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mané have scored more in the calendar year.

Wolves saw off Torino on Thursday evening in Turin, in a Europa League play-off match after denying Manchester United last Monday, and their hectic schedule appeared to show in large parts of the second-half as Burnley controlled the game for large periods.

However, the host were awarded a 95th-minute penalty as Erik Pieters brought down Jimenez in the box. After a video-assistant referee (VAR) check, Jimenez stepped up, and gently rolled the ball past Nick Pope to secure a third consecutive draw for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

Jubilant Wolves fans reacted to the equaliser by chanting “VAR, VAR, VAR” as their team secured a fortunate point.

This was a big test for Wolves, who are on the cusp of qualifying for the group stage of the Europa League following a 3-2 first-leg victory over Torino in Turin.

Should they complete the job against the Italians in Thursday’s second leg, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side face a testing schedule of Thursday-Sunday games.

On a hot sunny day in the Black Country against Burnley, they were flat, lacklustre and flaky for long periods, only coming alive in the closing stages.

Having come from behind to take a point off Manchester United before travelling to Italy, Wolves were facing a Burnley side who were refreshed and full of energy after a free week to prepare for the match.

Six Wolves players – Patricio, Conor Coady, Willy Boly, Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota – were making their third starts of the week, and Wolves were a shadow of the side that finished seventh in the Premier League last season.

An early dipping attempt from 25 yards by Ruben Neves was as close as they came to scoring in the first half, but having struggled for the first 80 minutes Wolves did step it up towards the end.

When Jimenez rolled the ball invitingly across the six-yard area, there was no Wolves player to poke it home, while Nick Pope was forced to keep out a deflection off his own player Ben Mee before the late penalty drama.

Burnley’s players were crestfallen at the final whistle – Jimenez’ equaliser virtually the last kick of the game.

The Clarets had looked set for a second win of the season after a typically hard-working performance by Sean Dyche’s side, and three points would have taken them up to third in the table.

Having peppered Arsenal’s goal with 18 shots in the narrow 2-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium last week, they had another 13 attempts at Molineux.

Barnes’ early-season form has been a highlight for the Clarets and his cracking finish from distance past the diving Patricio had Burnley’s travelling fans in raptures.

Barnes and attacking partner Chris Wood hassled Wolves’ defence throughout and it required a fine save by Patricio – after a long kick by Pope – to prevent the visitors from doubling their lead.

It was a critical moment in the game as Wolves went on to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. [BBC Sport]

Man of the match – James Tarkowski (Burnley)

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