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Jimenez feeling confident for Europa League after beating Slovan Bratislava

Wolves sit second in Group K after Thursday’s win in Slovakia.

Raul Jimenez scored the winner from the spot in Wolves’ 2-1 win in Bratislava on Thursday. (Nick Potts/PA)
Raul Jimenez scored the winner from the spot in Wolves’ 2-1 win in Bratislava on Thursday. (Nick Potts/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA, Bratislava

Raul Jimenez believes Wolves have given themselves the perfect platform to reach the Europa League knockout stages.

The striker’s penalty secured a 2-1 win at Slovan Bratislava on Thursday as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side moved into second in Group K.

Jimenez scored just five minutes after Romain Saiss’ second-half leveller cancelled out Andraz Sporar’s deserved opener for the hosts.

Bratislava come to Molineux in two weeks with Wolves now in a strong position to qualify for the last 32 in February. Wolves will be without Diogo Jota for that game after he was sent off on Thursday for two bookable offences.

“It was really good to come here and take the three points. It’s very good to have six points with two matches at home in the second half of the group,” said Jimenez.

“We are proud of ourselves to come back and get the result.

“Maybe we needed them to score to have a reaction but we have to work on that. We have to score first and manage the game and after that we can keep going and win.”

Wolves recovered after a poor first half in front of 20,333 fans – most of them under 14.

Bratislava exploited a loophole to gift tickets to children with the game initially due to be played behind closed doors after the club were punished by UEFA for the racist behaviour of some of their fans in the play-off game against PAOK in August.

Jimenez added: “It was different, all the kids were excited to be here, they were always shouting and supporting their team. It was good but it was amazing to win here.

“Bratislava came to win the game, they scored and have good players who can make a difference but we were solid in the second half. As a team they were very good.”

Wolves sit a point behind leaders Braga at the half way stage of the group and travel to Portugal next month before the final game against Besiktas at Molineux in December.

Captain Conor Coady added: “It was all about winning and competing and we’ve put ourselves in a position where we want to be.

“Now we need to make sure the next few games are right for us to move forward.”

PA

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