Julen Lopetegui blames one ‘key moment’ as Wolves fall to Fulham equaliser

It was one critical phase of play that stopped Wolves getting all three points against Fulham, head coach Julen Lopetegui believes.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui believes Matheus Cunha’s second half injury was the turning point as his side failed to hold a 1-0 lead away at Fulham on Friday evening. Having dominated the match and played with a swagger right up until the hour mark, Wolves looked as if they would be taking home all three points.

That’s not quite how things played out, however, as substitute Manor Solomon scored off the bench for Fulham for the third time in the space of just 13 days. Cutting in from the left-hand side, the Israeli curled a wonderful effort into the far side netting to equalise and earn his team a point.

Just moments earlier, winter signing Cunha was forced off the field on a stretcher with an ankle injury. The Brazilian, who joined from Atletico Madrid at the end of December, had been playing well but Lopetegui had no choice but to substitute him for Adama Traore.

“It was a key moment for the game,” Lopetegui admitted post-match. “It was a pity [to draw] because in the second half we started well but then after the break of the injury to Cunha they scored very quickly. It was a good first half for us as we pushed a lot and pressed very well against a good team like Fulham.

“It’s one point more. We have the need for a lot of points for the aim to stay out of the relegation zone. It will be a tough task but we are fighting to recover. We have another important match in four days [against Liverpool], so we have to be ready,” Lopetegui continued.

Lopetegui felt Cunha’s injury made a big difference.Lopetegui felt Cunha’s injury made a big difference.
Lopetegui felt Cunha’s injury made a big difference.

Wolves just didn’t quite get going again once Fulham scored to make it 1-1 – a real shame as Wanderers put on one of their best showings of the entire season in the first 60 minutes. Now up to 15th place and five points above the bottom three, a draw is a step in the right direction but you can’t help but feel it could’ve been a lot more.