Raul Jimenez nets as Wolves survive Preston’s swashbuckling League Cup fightback

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

Raul Jimenez plundered his first goal of the season as Wolves survived Preston’s swashbuckling Carabao Cup fightback.

The Mexico star – who celebrated his opener with an eye patch and pirate hook – set the hosts on the way to a 2-1 second-round win.

Adama Traore’s spectacular strike also ensured Bruno Lage’s side secured their first win of the season, even after Hwang Hee-Chan’s first-half penalty miss and Ben Woodburn’s consolation.

Wolves’ lack of depth, and need for a first win of the season, saw Lage name a strong side, recalling Jimenez, Hwang and Traore.

It was Jimenez who forced David Cornell, making his first Preston start, into a smart first-minute stop but he did not have to wait long for the breakthrough.

Seven minutes later, Rayan Ait-Nouri skipped onto Max Kilman’s cute pass and, when Greg Cunningham failed intercept his cross, Jimenez tapped the ball in at the far post.

The striker then celebrated by turning his protective headband into an eye patch and put a hook on his right hand.

It was the springboard for the hosts to relax and they doubled their lead in style after 29 minutes.

Traore cut in from the right, swapped passes with Nelson Semedo and unleashed a rocket of a volley which screamed past Cornell from 16 yards.

It was his first Wolves goal since January, having spent the second half of last season on loan at Barcelona only to return to Molineux.

The game looked won and Hwang even saw a weak penalty saved by Cornell just before the break after he had been bundled over by Matt Olosunde.

But Preston improved dramatically and pulled a goal back three minutes after the restart when Woodburn fired into the corner from 18 yards.

The visitors then came close to levelling with Emil Riis and Brad Potts wasting good late chances as Wolves clung on.

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