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Raul Jimenez earns Bruno Lage praise as Wolves edge Carabao Cup tie with Preston

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Preston North End – Carabao Cup – Second Round – Molineux Stadium
(Image credit: David Davies)

Boss Bruno Lage saluted Raul Jimenez after he helped fire Wolves into the third round of the Carabao Cup.

The Mexico international and Adama Traore struck to beat Preston 2-1 at Molineux on Tuesday.

Hwang Hee-Chan missed a first-half penalty before Ben Woodburn made Wolves sweat with a consolation soon after the break.

Jimenez marked his first start of the season after knee and groin injuries with a goal and Lage was pleased to have his star back, even after the striker gave away spot-kick duties to Hwang.

He said: “I was so happy with Raul, the way he has been this season and in pre-season. We have missed him in the first three games.

“With him we have a reference up front. Raul took a decision to give the penalty to Hwang, it was a generous action and I understand but I don’t agree. Raul should have taken the penalty.

“It was a good performance. When you come to these games, in the cup, they come with extra motivation and in the last five games, Preston have not conceded.

“To continue in the competition was the most important thing.”

Jimenez opened the scoring after eight minutes, tapping in Rayan Ait-Nouri’s low cross. The striker celebrated by changing his headband into an eye patch and donning a pirate hook on his right hand.

Traore’s rocket doubled the lead after 29 minutes when he swapped passes with Nelson Semedo and smashed a volley into the top corner.

Hwang even had time to miss a penalty, having been brought down by Matt Olosunde, just before the break when David Cornell saved his spot-kick, having been given the ball by Jimenez.

Three minutes into the second half, Woodburn pulled a goal back from the edge of the area after the hosts lost possession.

Preston, so passive in the first half, could have levelled but Emil Riis and Brad Potts squandered good late chances.

Manager Ryan Lowe said: “I’m very proud. The second half we were well worthy of the goal. We changed it in the second half.

“I’m really pleased with the way they took on instructions and had the belief to compete with them. They had over £150million of talent on the pitch.

“We had big chances, we took one, and we need to keep working and doing the right things.

“It’s a massive step in the right direction, they showed us massive respect with the team they picked.”

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