2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • RĂºben Neves (5')
  • Diogo Jota (30')
  • Ivan Cavaleiro (76')
  • Simon Moore (73')

Wolves blunt Blades to pull further clear at the top

Wolverhampton 3-0 Sheff. United: Neves & Co. a class apart (2:20)

Wolves dispatched Sheffield United in clinical fashion and maintained their 11-point lead atop the Championship. (2:20)

Wolves seized a commanding 11-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a clinical 3-0 win against 10-man Sheffield United at Molineux.
The hosts set up their 21st victory of the season by taking the lead in the fifth minute through Ruben Neves, with Diogo Jota's 13th goal this term doubling their advantage on the half hour.
Ivan Cavaleiro's 76th-minute free-kick rubber-stamped the points after United goalkeeper Simon Moore had been sent off for his challenge on Jota just outside the area.
While Wolves are heading for the top flight, United's own promotion hopes are fading fast.
They have only won two of their last 13 league games and are now five points adrift of the top six.
Wolves almost broke the deadlock after only two minutes when Cavaleiro surged past central defender Chris Basham.
Cavaleiro then delivered a perfect cross for Helder Costa, whose first-time volley flashed inches wide of the post.
The lively Cavaleiro may have been out of luck in creating a goal on that occasion, but he did have a hand in Wolves taking the lead in spectacular style shortly after through Neves.
Cavaleiro again cut in from the left wing and although he was tackled the loose ball fell kindly to Neves.
He took a quick look up before curling home a right-footed shot from 25 yards that flew past the outstretched hand of Moore and into the net off the top of a post.
United, who handed a first start to Ricky Holmes after his recent arrival from Charlton, struggled to mount a threat and their task became even harder when Cavaleiro played creator again to tee up Jota.
Matt Doherty crossed from the right wing to pick out Jota on the edge of the area.
He rolled the ball to Cavaleiro, whose return pass was then turned into the bottom corner by Jota.
United did try and rally before half-time, with long-range efforts from James Wilson and former Wolves midfielder Lee Evans, but they both came to nothing.
John Fleck then finally forced Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy into action from a free-kick nine minutes into the second half before Holmes sliced wide from the edge of the area when well placed.
The Blades' hopes of fighting back were then extinguished completely after the dismissal of Moore for his challenge on Jota.
From the resulting free-kick, Cavaleiro's shot was deflected past substitute rookie goalkeeper Jake Eastwood, whose first task was to pick the ball out of the back of the net.
Wolves handed a late outing to returning striker Benik Afobe following his loan switch from Bournemouth and he almost made an instant impact only to see his 84th-minute header drift wide.

English League Championship Standings

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 +36 82
2 Cardiff City 37 +27 76
3 Fulham 38 +25 69
4 Aston Villa 38 +24 69
5 Derby County 37 +21 62
6 Middlesbrough 38 +18 62
7 Bristol City 38 +12 61
8 Preston North End 38 +11 60
9 Sheffield United 38 +8 60
10 Millwall 38 +9 58
11 Brentford 38 +8 54
12 Ipswich Town 38 -1 52
13 Norwich City 38 -3 52
14 Leeds United 38 -3 50
15 Queens Park Rangers 38 -10 47
16 Nottingham Forest 38 -11 46
17 Sheffield Wednesday 38 -11 41
18 Hull City 38 -6 39
19 Bolton Wanderers 38 -23 39
20 Reading 38 -13 36
21 Barnsley 38 -19 33
22 Birmingham City 38 -29 33
23 Burton Albion 38 -40 30
24 Sunderland 38 -30 28

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