Wolves move to brink of Premier League with win over Derby

Wolves took another step closer to promotion after goals from Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves earned the runaway Sky Bet Championship leaders a 2-0 win against Derby at Molineux.

Wolves can now secure their return to the Premier League this weekend after an absence of six years.

They will be promoted on Saturday if second-placed Fulham do not beat Brentford. A Fulham win would leave Wolves needing a victory against Birmingham in front of their own fans on Sunday to reach the top-flight with three games to spare.

The victory over Derby has given them a massive 11-point lead over the Cottagers.

Jota scored his 16th goal of the season in the sixth minute before Neves let fly from 35 yards in the 51st minute to seal a clinical win.

While the victory has left Wolves in sight of the top-flight, play-off chasing Derby are looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Ruben Neves celebrates with Conor Coady. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

They currently sit in fifth place with a two-point cushion over seventh-placed Middlesbrough, but crucially have a game in hand to play against promotion rivals Cardiff.

Derby threatened after only two minutes when Andreas Weimann lifted his shot over the bar from Chris Baird's corner.

But Wolves soon took control as Derby were caught completely flat-footed when Wolves central defender Wily Boly lofted the ball over the County defence from the halfway line.

His pass was latched onto by Jota, who controlled the ball before lifting it beyond stranded Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson.

That sparked a spell of intense Wolves pressure and they would have doubled their advantage nine minutes later but for Carson.

This time the former England international was able to come to Derby's rescue when he palmed away a fierce 20-yard drive from Neves.

Derby then survived another scare in the 19th minute when Benik Afobe's header from Ivan Cavaleiro's cross was marginally too high.

Carson then frustrated Wolves - and Neves again - with another smart save 11 minutes before half-time.

Wolves won a free-kick on the edge of the Derby area after Jota had been stopped in his tracks by Weimann.

Neves stepped forward and his shot was goalbound before Carson tipped it on to the roof of the net.

Having been denied twice, Neves looked determined to get on the scoresheet and did so in spectacular style.

A Barry Douglas corner was cleared straight to Neves.

He teed the ball up with one touch and his second saw the ball whistle past Carson's outstretched hand.

PA


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