Raul Jimenez scored from the penalty spot as the Wolves produced one of the most comfortable football results of the weekend in the Carabao Cup. The former Real Madrid, Spain, and Sevilla manager were hired almost a month ago, but he couldn’t watch his team play until after the World Cup break. In the end, Lopetegui’s patience paid off, but Gillingham put up a fight for 77 minutes when Cheye Alexander brought down Hwang Hee-Chan in the area and Raul Jimenez scored from the spot with just his second goal of the year.
The majority of their game against Gillingham showed the new manager why his team battled so much to find the back of the net. Lopetegui has taken over the only Premier League team whose goals-scored total remains in single figures. Even though the Wolves had 80% of the ball against the EFL’s bottom team, they were unable to put Turner to the test. It wasn’t that the Premier League team didn’t produce chances; rather, they displayed their expected pattern of failing to capitalize on them. As Wolves stepped up their efforts at the end of a sluggish first half, Joe Hodge and Daniel Podence saw close-range shots blocked by desperate Gillingham defenders. Hodge then wasted a fantastic opportunity from Goncalo Guedes’ wonderful cross.
In the second half, Lopetegui made substitutions, and Jimenez and Hwang proved to be the game-changing players. Hwang was pulled back by Alexander as he attempted to turn a loose ball from a corner goalward after Turner had stopped Nelson Semedo at the back post and Diego Costa had blazed a shot wide. In his first appearance for the team since August, Jimenez calmly put the ball past Turner, and Hwang then assisted Ait-Nouri to give Wolves a significant victory before their crucial Boxing Day match against fellow strugglers Everton.
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