Nuno on Wolves' Europa League loss: Don't blame Jimenez

DUISBURG, Germany -- Nuno Espirito Santo launched a strong defence of Raul Jimenez after his costly penalty miss denied Wolves the chance to reach a first European semifinal for nearly 50 years.

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The Mexican striker saw his 13th-minute spot-kick saved before a Lucas Ocampos header two minutes from time earned Sevilla a 1-0 win and a date with Manchester United in Cologne on Sunday.

Defeat ended Wolves' season after 59 games and 383 days but Espirito Santo refused to blame Jimenez despite missing the chance to play in a first European semifinal since the 1972 UEFA Cup.

"Raul is an amazing player," said the Wolves boss. "All the things he does for the team -- the work, the goals, the talent he has is amazing. Raul is a fantastic player.

"Like I've said many times, it's a long journey. We wanted to go as far as we could. We came really close today.

"Everyone is disappointed but we should not ignore the effort of the players. It's 14 months of hard work -- in the Europa League and the Premier League -- and we've achieved good things.

"The disappointment can not take away from all the good things we've been doing."

Wolves failed to muster a shot on target following Jimenez's miss but Espirito Santo might have had reason to be aggrieved after replays showed goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was off his line when he saved the penalty and that defender Diego Carlos had encroached into the box before clearing the loose ball.

"I didn't see the images, honestly," said Espirito Santo. "I have been asked this before. VAR is there. If that happens we should ask ourselves why they didn't repeat it. There's nothing we can do now. Speaking about that now can only make us more frustrated than we are."