Wolves booked their place in the third round of the Carabao Cup after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
A dominant display by the top-flight outfit saw them defeat the Reds by four goals to nil at the City Ground, courtesy of Romain Saiss, Daniel Podence, Trincao and Morgan Gibbs-White.
As he did in the previous round in the win over League Two side Bradford City, Forest boss Chris Hughton opted to name a younger team filled with seven academy players. Tuesday night would be a much more challenging experience for them, however, as they came up against a Wolves line-up which cost just shy of £100million to assemble.
As expected, the Premier League side were to dominate proceedings for the opening 45 minutes, carving out a number of big chances.
The visitors had their first real opportunity on six minutes. The lively Rayan Ait-Nouri powered his way into the box, before pulling the ball back for Podence to fire. Ethan Horvath, making his second appearance for the Reds, was equal to the winger’s powerful effort.
Podence was to be left frustrated by Horvath on a number of occasions in the first half. The ball was dinked into his chest inside the area, before he attempted to round Horvath. He did just that, but had his backheel kept out courtesy of a combined Horvath and Baba Fernandes effort.
Forest were to have their only attempt of the first half on 18 minutes, with Jack Colback’s deep free-kick not dealt with properly and Lewis Grabban having a sight of goal. The striker’s low effort was blocked well and put out for a corner.
But Wolves were soon to regain control of the contest, with Podence wasting another glorious opportunity soon after. The forward found himself in space in side the area, arrowing a shot across goal. It beat Horvath, but thundered off the far post and gratefully back into the goalkeeper’s gloves.
Fabio Silva headed Podence’s cross narrowly wide before the half-time whistle blew, marking the end of a half which the Premier League side dominated, accruing 74% of the ball and registering 11 attempts on goal.
Forest were to ignite a brief response early in the second half, however. They very nearly found an opener four minutes into the half, with Ateef Konate’s in-swinging cross finding the head of Oliver Hammond at the back post, with the debutant’s header trickling just wide.
But just shy of the hour mark, Wolves finally made their dominance count in emphatic style.
After piling the pressure on with a flurry of corners, Ki-Jana Hoever’s cross found its way to the far post, and Romain Saiss found the roof of the net via the crossbar. Deadlock finally broken for the visitors.
They weren’t to stop there, either. Less than two minutes later, a free-flowing move resulted in the ball being cut back for Podence, who composed himself and slotted low and beyond Horvath, finally finding a way past the American and doubling Wolves’ lead.
A quickfire double placed Bruno Lage’s side well in control, and they may have even rubbed salt to the wounds soon after.
Horvath was called into action on three separate occasions, keeping out Fabio Silva’s sumptuous half-volley, as well as getting down low to deny Max Kilman’s header from a corner. The shot-stopper also managed to deny Saiss a brace, too, clawing his effort off the goal-line with the score remaining 2-0.
Both managers began to freshen things up, with Barcelona loanee Trincao replacing the dangerous Podence, and Cafu and Alex Mighten replacing James Garner and Hammond for the Reds with 15 minutes remaining.
Trincao looked to make a quick impact, bending his effort narrowly off-target from the edge of the area, before Lage brought on further firepower in the form of Adama Traore, who replaced Ait-Nouri on 80 minutes.
There was time for Lage’s men to add the icing to the cake with minutes left to play. The visitors exchanged a number of quick, one-touch passes before finding Trincao inside the area. The forward took one touch before slotting beyond Horvath from 12 yards. A calm, composed finish to make it three, and yet they still weren’t finished there.
Wolves made it 4-0 on the stroke of full-time, with midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White rifling an effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards, and making it a sour end to the evening for Forest.
The full-time whistle blew after only one minute was added on at the end of the second half, hinting at the visitors’ control of proceedings from start to finish.
A strong Wolves side booked their place in the third round, then, with a youthful Forest left to lick their wounds after coming undone against their Premier League opposition.