Pyunik coach backs 'high-class' Wolves to win Europa League

Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-3 during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round First Leg fixture between FC Pyunik and...

Wolverhampton Wanderers battered Pyunik in the Europa League qualifier with Raul Jimenez, Ruben Neves and Matt Docherty scoring.

Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-3 during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round First Leg fixture between FC Pyunik and...

Wolverhampton Wanderers were the epitome of professionalism in their Europa League qualifying clash against FC Pyunik on Thursday night, pressing high, working hard and scoring for fun in Armenia.

Speaking to Sport News after his side were handed a 4-0 pasting by the Premier League outfit, Pyunikl coach Aleksandr Tarkhanov has backed Wolves to go all the way and lift the trophy in May.

In recent years, the likes of Burnley and West Ham have fallen before even reaching the group stages of the Europa League but there was no danger of Wolves repeating their mistakes in Eastern Europe.

 

Nuno Espirito Santo put out a full strength side and he was rewarded with a ruthless performance, Raul Jimenez scoring twice while Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves also found the net. Connor Coady produced a typically tenacious performance in defence while Diogo Jota grabbed three assists too.

No wonder Tarkhanov was impressed.

“This was a good experience for FC Pyunik. The opponent has high-class footballers who play in the national teams of their respective countries,” the Russian said.

Ural Yekaterinburg's head coach Alexander Tarkhanov (L) and Rubin Kazan's head coach Kurban Berdyev during the 2017

“We had the most powerful opponent, which can also compete to win in the Europa League.”

Wolves certainly seem to be taking the Europa League seriously and rightly so. Far too many teams see the competition as a distraction and don’t appreciate the potential once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. A half-full Turf Moor for last year’s final qualifying round clash between Burnley and Olympiakos was particularly baffling.

But if Wolves continue in the same vein, there’s no reason why they cannot compete for a continental trophy in a few months’ time.

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores a goal to make it 0-4 from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round First Leg fixture between FC Pyunik and...

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