2016/17 English League Championship, 2016/2017 English League Championship
  • Anthony Knockaert (45', 82')

Brighton close in on promotion with victory over Wolves

Anthony Knockaert's double put Brighton on the brink of promotion to the Premier League after a 2-0 win at Wolves.
The newly crowned Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season clinched a deserved victory, with leaders Albion a game away from ending a 34 year top-flight exile.
The Seagulls - title favourites - host Wigan on Monday and victory would mathematically seal Premier League football if Huddersfield drop points at Derby in the late kick-off.
But a win would effectively book promotion as Brighton's goal difference is vastly superior than the third-placed Terriers', who can now only reach 92 points.
Tomer Hemed also hit the bar for the visitors while David Stockdale saved twice from Ben Marshall to thwart a poor Wolves side.
The hosts started well enough but Brighton's superiority almost showed within 15 minutes when Romain Saiss gifted Dale Stephens the ball and he found Knockaert.
The winger then fed Hemed and the 17-goal forward struck the bar from an angle.
The hosts offered plenty of endeavour and pressed with enthusiasm but lacked the quality to unlock the leaders, who gradually took control.
A stretching Hemed directed Bruno's cross off target after 25 minutes while the Israel international also had a header tipped over by Andy Lonergan six minutes later.
But the title-chasers eventually took the lead on the stroke of half-time after a defensive nightmare from Wolves.
There seemed little danger when Stockdale launched a long clearance downfield but Kortney Hause completely missed the bounce to let Knockaert in.
The 25-year-old raced towards the area and, despite Hause's desperate attempts to recover, embarrassed Lonergan at his near post.
Hemed shot over as Brighton went for the kill before the break and the 29-year-old continued to torment Wolves, diverting a cross over five minutes after the re-start.
Wolves struggled to find a way back but did finally force Stockdale into action after an hour when he saved smartly from Conor Coady's header.
Ben Marshall prodded straight at Stockdale with 18 minutes left and then saw the goalkeeper beat away his angled drive as the plucky but limited Wolves tried to increase the pressure on Brighton.
But the visitors made the game safe with eight minutes left when Knockaert grabbed his second, and 15th of the season, squeezing the ball under Lonergan after a quick Brighton break.

English League Championship Standings

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 +24 48
2 Cardiff City 21 +16 44
3 Bristol City 21 +12 40
4 Derby County 21 +12 38
5 Aston Villa 21 +11 37
6 Sheffield United 21 +8 37
7 Leeds United 21 +7 33
8 Middlesbrough 21 +7 32
9 Ipswich Town 21 +3 32
10 Preston North End 21 +3 32
11 Nottingham Forest 21 -4 30
12 Fulham 21 0 29
13 Brentford 21 +3 27
14 Reading 21 +2 27
15 Sheffield Wednesday 21 0 27
16 Norwich City 21 -6 27
17 Millwall 21 +1 23
18 Hull City 21 -2 22
19 Queens Park Rangers 21 -9 22
20 Barnsley 21 -10 20
21 Bolton Wanderers 21 -19 16
22 Birmingham City 21 -20 16
23 Sunderland 21 -12 15
24 Burton Albion 21 -27 14

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