Matt Cooper (Talking Wolves)
Wolves are just three wins away from winning a major European honour and I can’t quite believe it, but if we are to get past Sevilla then we must improve next time out.
It was a disappointing performance on the whole and we looked disjointed – particularly in defence. Let’s not take anything away from Olympiacos who are actually a good side but we just couldn’t find that killer instinct.
The wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. More than thirty subspecies of Canis lupus have been recognized, and gray wolves, as colloquially understood, comprise non-domestic/feral subspecies. The wolf is the largest extant member of Canidae, males averaging 40 kg (88 lb) and females 37 kg (82 lb). Wolves measure 105–160 cm (41–63 in) in length and 80–85 cm (31–33 in) at shoulder height. The wolf is also distinguished from other Canis species by its less pointed ears and muzzle, as well as a shorter torso and a longer tail. The wolf is nonetheless related closely enough to smaller Canis species, such as the coyote and the golden jackal, to produce fertile hybrids with them. The banded fur of a wolf is usually mottled white, brown, gray, and black, although subspecies in the arctic region may be nearly all white.
Of all members of the genus Canis, the wolf is most specialized for cooperative game hunting as demonstrated by its physical adaptations to tackling large prey, its more social nature, and its highly advanced expressive behaviour. It travels in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair accompanied by their offspring. Offspring may leave to form their own packs on the onset of sexual maturity and in response to competition for food within the pack. Wolves are also territorial and fights over territory are among the principal causes of wolf mortality. The wolf is mainly a carnivore and feeds on large wild hooved mammals as well as smaller animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage. Single wolves or mated pairs typically have higher success rates in hunting than do large packs. Pathogens and parasites, notably rabies, may infect wolves.
The global wild wolf population was estimated to be 300,000 in 2003 and is considered to be of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Wolves have a long history of interactions with humans, having been despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of their attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although the fear of wolves exists in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Wolf attacks on humans are rare because wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans because of their experiences with hunters, ranchers, and shepherds.
Wolves Fans' Verdict v Olympiacos: We're in the Europa League …
We have to give so much credit to Rui Patricio because if it wasn’t for him then things may have been a lot different for Wolves. He made two or three world-class stops to keep Wolves in the game and it sums up the season he’s having.
We must improve and kick on but we’ve got a wonderful chance of doing something special here and I can’t wait to watch it unfold.
Wolves Fans' Verdict v Olympiacos: We're in the Europa League …
And breathe. Our team is in the quarter finals! I guess you knew that, though.
No Bramall Lane or Mike Dean moment to spoil our night this time.
Podence was outstanding, putting his body in the right place to earn the penalty. We bossed the game in those opening minutes but from them on it was a hard slog.
A very harsh looking VAR decision for once went our way. MOTM was Patricio for making a superb save in each half. There was a lot more balls played into our box than usual which meant our defence had a challenging evening.
Traore and Doherty looked below par and Jota missed a great chance to kill the game off. To be in the last eight of a European competition is an incredible achievement and one everyone connected with Wolves should be very proud of. Let’s enjoy the moment.
Wolves are in the Europa League quarter-finals and, my word, am I buzzing for the Sevilla game now. It still won’t be anywhere near the same not being able to go, the atmosphere would be absolutely insane just as it would have been last night at a packed out Molineux.
We started really well, pressing Olympiacos high up and forcing them into mistakes. We got the deserved goal but then not long after Jonny went off injured, everything seemed to change. They were targeting Vinagre a lot and causing us problems down his side.
Their disallowed goal was a huge warning sign, the defending for it was shambolic as well. They were very unlucky because if that was against us, I imagine every Wolves fan would be raging about VAR but thankfully a decision went out way for once.
We did get the job done in the end but we cannot afford to play like that against Sevilla otherwise they will punish us. Patricio was man of the match for me because he made two massive saves to keep us leading.
Normally we’re such a strong side defensively and I don’t really get worried but in recent games whenever the ball has got close to our box it’s nerve-wracking to watch. A clean sheet will do the team a whole lot of good though.
The game should have been killed around the 79th minute mark when Jota received the ball from Olympiacos in their box. All he had to do was open his body up and curl it around the keeper which is easier said than done of course, but he tried far too much in trying to go round him instead which ended up in disaster. He’s absolutely shot of confidence currently and with Podence banned for Tuesday, we really need Jota to step up now.
I’m absolutely delighted to get the result needed to get into the quarter-finals, but bitterly disappointed that we could not be in the stadium to enjoy the moment.
When Nuno gathered the whole pack together on the pitch, I’m sure the noise generated would have lifted the roof around Molineux.
In honesty, I did not enjoy the game. We had the perfect start with the early Jimenez penalty putting us ahead, but Olympiacos are a good side and went on to give us a tough test.
My nerves were on edge for the whole of the game. Our resilience was fully tested and we have Patricio to thank for our clean sheet. He gets my man of the match by a long way. Coady and Moutinho were both fabulous too. I thought Podence also had an excellent game.
The game could have turned against us, but for a VAR decision in our favour. Oh the irony of this makes me “laugh out loud”.
Wolves too had chances to add to their lead, but when Jota failed with his golden opportunity, towards the end, I feared this would be a significant miss.
Olympiacos kept bringing on forwards, while we shored up the midfield. I was impressed with our game management in the last 15 minutes. The added time of 6 minutes dragged slowly. The relief on the final whistle was immense.
It’s disappointing to hear Podence will be suspended for the next round and Jonny will be a big miss for us. We will now play Sevilla in their favourite competition. What a game this promises to be!
Russ Evers (Hatherton Wolves)
So, the show rolls on, thanks largely to another impressive performance from Patricio, some dogged defending and for once a couple of decisions that went our way – even VAR was on our side.
Olympiacos gave us our sternest test in the competition yet, hardly surprising when they won the Greek league at a canter, losing only one game along the way.
But we had enough chances of our own especially for Boly and Jota but in the end it doesn’t matter – we are through to the quarter-finals. A massive achievement only tempered by the lack of options to be there with them.