Boly gives Wolves last-gasp win at Besiktas
Vodafone Arena, Europa League, Group K - Besiktas 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (Boly 90+3)
Willy Boly scored in stoppage time as Wolverhampon Wanderers secured their first of the Europa League group stage against Besiktas.
The defender was left unmarked as the Turkish side looked to get out of their box after clearing a free-kick and beat the offside trap, meaning he had time to take a touch and then calmly slot home after Ruben Neves picked him out.
Wolves had been very sluggish initially, not having a single shot in the first half, but grew into the game and were helped by manager Nuno Espirito Santo's substitutions.
They had had a goal disallowed for offside just five minutes before the winner, but also rode their luck at times and saw Conor Coady accidentally divert the ball onto his own post in the first half.
The victory eases the pressure on Wolves, who remain third in Group K, but heaps it on Besiktas, who are in the relegation zone of their domestic league and pointless in this competition.
Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1 during to the UEFA Europa League group K match between Besiktas and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vodafone Park on October 3, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey.Getty Images
Are Wolves turning things around? Wolves fans will hope this game is a microcosm of their season, because Nuno’s team were very poor initially. There was little attacking ambition and the link-up play was rarely good when Wolves did get forward, with Matt Doherty’s inability to effectively combine with Morgan Gibbs-White perhaps the best example. But they showed admirable spirit and finished strongly as the manager showed he had the ability to rectify his earlier mistakes. They have won two games on the bounce, including this marquee victory at a tough stadium to come to, and things look rosier than a few weeks ago - even with a daunting visit to Manchester City up next. They're not the swashbuckling
MAN OF THE MATCH
Willy Boly (Wolves). He defended very well, popping up with a few timely blocks and interceptions as Wolves rarely looked troubled, and then showed great composure to produce the winning goal. What more could you want?
Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1 with Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers during to the UEFA Europa League group K match between Besiktas and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vodafone Park on October 3, 201Getty Images
42’ - OFF THE POST! Beskitas win back-to-back corners and the second hits and unsuspecting Coady, who is mightily relieved to see it bounce back off the frame of the goal.
63’ - CHANCE! Boly gets away from his marker and rises to meet the corner, but heads over. He really should have hit the target from that range.
68’ - INCHES AWAY! A Besiktas free-kick is sent in with a good pace on the ball and Wolves are given a massive let-off as Vida rises highest but glances a header narrowly wide.
83’ - INCHES AWAY! Cutrone makes a nice run towards the left, gets the ball and squares up Vida, making a nice angle for a shot, and curls an effort narrowly wide. That was close, and Wolves' best moment so far.
88’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Wolves are ending the game strongly and win back-to-back corners. Karius is forced into a smart save from the second and can only palm the ball into the path of Saiss, who hacks it into the net, but it's short-lived joy as the lineman's flag had gone up and he was just offside.
90+3’ - GOAL! Besiktas 0-1 Wolves (Boly). Wolves have won it! After they initially clear a free-kick, Besiktas get their offside trap all wrong and Neves floats in a cross to Boly, who has time to take a touch and then calmly slot home!
- This is Wolves’ first win in the main draw of a European competition since 1980.
- This was Rui Patricio’s 100th European appearance.
- Wolves didn’t have a shot until the 55th minute. Their first shot on target came in the 67th minute.
- Besiktas were four home games unbeaten against English teams.
- Wolves have scored 12 goals in four away games in the Europa League this season.
- Before tonight, Besiktas had not lost at home in 2019.