LONDON (AP)Late goals from substitutes Raul Jimenez and Rayan Ait-Nouri ensured a winning start for new Wolverhampton manager Julen Lopetegui in the team’s 2-0 victory over fourth-division Gillingham in the English League Cup on Tuesday.
Newcastle, Leicester and Southampton also reached the quarterfinals with victories as top-level soccer resumed in England after the World Cup in Qatar.
In the night’s only all-Premier League matchup, Newcastle beat Bournemouth 1-0 with Kieran Trippier playing a key role at St James’ Park. The England defender sent in a cross that Bournemouth’s Adam Smith headed into his own net in the 67th minute.
Leicester eased to a 3-0 win at third-division MK Dons. Youri Tielemans, who was part of Belgium’s group-stage exit from the World Cup, scored in the 18th minute and Ayoze Perez doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark. Veteran forward Jamie Vardy completed the scoring early in the second half.
Che Adams scored twice to help Southampton beat Lincoln 2-1 at St. Mary’s Stadium. The third-division visitors took an early lead on goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu’s own goal. Adams scored the winner in the 74th minute, allowing the Saints to avoid a penalty shootout.
At Molineux Stadium, Lopetegui had an uncomfortable start with the game goalless into the 77th minute against the last-place team from League Two.
The former Sevilla, Real Madrid and Spain coach exhaled after Jimenez, back from World Cup duty with Mexico, scored from the penalty spot. Ait-Nouri provided the cushion in stoppage time.
”For me, it is a very special day and of course I am very happy,” Lopetegui said, ”but above all it is for the team because we wanted to be in the next round.”
It was Jimenez’s first appearance for the club since August. Wolverhampton is in last place in the Premier League.
”It is good for Raul and it is good for us,” Lopetegui said. ”All the strikers want to score and this will be important for his confidence.”
The Premier League resumes on Monday, Dec. 26.
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