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Wolves 2-0 Birmingham City

Wolves promoted
Wolves were promoted to the Premier League on Saturday without kicking a ball

Promoted Wolves edged to within a point of the Championship title as a goal in each half saw them to victory over 10-man Birmingham City in a typically competitive Midlands derby at Molineux.

Matt Doherty’s low right wing cross set up Diogo Jota’s close-range opener.

Substitute Benik Afobe’s neat chip settled the outcome late on.

Wolves 2-0 Birmingham City
Wolves 2-0 Birmingham City

But it was a miserable day for Blues defender Harlee Dean, who was sent off against Wolves for the second time this season after slicing down Helder Costa.

Wolves were promoted to the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2012 on Saturday, after Fulham could only draw with Brentford.

They will be champions if they avoid defeat at lowly Bolton next week.

Garry Monk’s Birmingham remain in relegation danger, two points clear of 22nd placed Barnsley, who have a game in hand, with three matches left.

It might have been a different story for Blues but for John Ruddy’s superb early double save when Lukas Jutkiewicz fed in free-running Maxime Colin, who just escaped the linesman’s attention on the edge of the box.

Ruddy’s first acrobatic block was followed by an even better stop when he quickly readjusted to turn away Colin’s second effort.

Instead, it was Wolves who went in front when Romain Saiss sent Doherty clear down the right and his hard, low cross curled wickedly out of keeper David Stockdale’s reach, allowing Jota to steer in from three yards.

Atletico Madrid loanee Jota was then denied by Stockdale at the near post early in the second half before the contest swung even further in Wolves’ way when Dean was red carded for bringing down Costa when he was clean through on goal.

Jutkiewicz went close to an equaliser when he had a left foot shot tipped over, before substitutes Leo Bonatini and Afobe were denied at the other end.

But Afobe brought the show down when he was fed into the box by Alfred N’Diaye and dinked the ball over the advancing Stockdale.

Benik Afobe
Benik Afobe chips in his fifth goal for Wolves since returning on loan in January

As well as Dean’s red card, Blues also had Jonathan Grounds and Michael Morrison booked for heavy challenges on Jota.

And Wolves old boy David Davis was probably lucky to escape getting a yellow card as well, for his early challenge on Saiss – although he did not escape vitriolic jeers from the home fans.

Former Brentford defender Dean’s season could now be over with his second dismissal of the campaign likely to result in a four-match ban – although Blues are set to appeal the decision.

It means Birmingham have had a man sent off in four successive derbies against Wolves following red cards for Jack Storer and Paul Robinson last season.

Wolves players
Wolves fans did not come onto the pitch at full-time after an appeal from the club on Friday

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo told BBC WM: “It is good to have 95 points, and we can now celebrate. But let’s now do something special. Lets dream now. Let us get to 98, 101, 104 points maybe?

“Birmingham came to fight for something that was important to them. Some of their tackles were out of order but the referee punished them.

“The Championship is the hardest competition the world. Each team comes to fight and derbies are special. And we were also intense in what we did. We were ready for it.”

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk told BBC WM: “We came to try and make it more difficult for them and, had we taken our chances, we might have got something.

“The sending off didn’t help. You need things to go for you when you’re playing a quality side like Wolves.

“Harlee made an attempt to play the ball and just mistimed his challenge. The ruling is that should have been a yellow card, not red, so we’ll be looking for that to be rescinded.

“We now have three massive games to come. But you can see the players are fighting and are committed.”

Line-ups

Wolves

  • 21Ruddy
  • 5Bennett
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2Doherty
  • 8Neves
    Substituted forN’Diayeat 70′minutes
  • 27Saiss
  • 3Douglas
  • 17Costa
  • 18Jota
    Substituted forAfobeat 74′minutes
  • 7Cavaleiro
    Substituted forBonatiniat 16′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4N’Diaye
  • 6Batth
  • 19Afobe
  • 24Gibbs-White
  • 30Hause
  • 31Norris
  • 33Bonatini

Birmingham

  • 13Stockdale
  • 45Harding
  • 28MorrisonBooked at 43mins
  • 12DeanBooked at 52mins
  • 3GroundsBooked at 33mins
    Substituted forMaghomaat 62′minutes
  • 5Colin
  • 17Ndoye
    Substituted forGardnerat 78′minutes
  • 6Kieftenbeld
    Substituted forRobertsat 54′minutes
  • 27Jota
  • 26Davis
  • 10Jutkiewicz

Substitutes

  • 4Roberts
  • 8Gardner
  • 19Maghoma
  • 21Lowe
  • 25Dacres-Cogley
  • 29Kuszczak
  • 49Lubala
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
29,536

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home77%
Away23%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Birmingham City 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+3′

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Birmingham City 0.

Posted at88′

Foul by Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at88′

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Posted at87′

Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Birmingham City 0. Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Alfred N’Diaye with a through ball.

Posted at86′

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner.

Posted at86′

Foul by Léo Bonatini (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at86′

Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at84′

Attempt missed. Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Barry Douglas.

Posted at82′

Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at82′

Foul by Maxime Colin (Birmingham City).

Posted at81′

Attempt missed. Léo Bonatini (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Benik Afobe.

Posted at79′

Attempt missed. David Davis (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Posted at79′

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Willy Boly.

Substitution

Posted at78′

Substitution, Birmingham City. Craig Gardner replaces Cheikh Ndoye.

Posted at75′

Attempt missed. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Posted at75′

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at75′

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Posted at74′

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Benik Afobe replaces Diogo Jota.

Posted at73′

Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Romain Saiss tries a through ball, but Matt Doherty is caught offside.

Posted at73′

Attempt saved. Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Léo Bonatini with a through ball.

Substitution

Posted at70′

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alfred N’Diaye replaces Rúben Neves.

Posted at66′

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Wes Harding.

Posted at65′

Attempt missed. Barry Douglas (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Hélder Costa.

Posted at64′

Attempt blocked. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at64′

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Romain Saiss.

Posted at63′

Foul by Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at63′

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Posted at62′

Substitution, Birmingham City. Jacques Maghoma replaces Jonathan Grounds.

Posted at59′

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Willy Boly.

Posted at59′

Attempt blocked. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cheikh Ndoye.

Posted at58′

Foul by Hélder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at58′

Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at57′

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by John Ruddy.

Posted at57′

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.

Posted at56′

Foul by Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Posted at56′

Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at55′

Ryan Bennett (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at55′

Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

Posted at54′

Attempt missed. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.


goal

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