Wolves move to within point of title after beating Birmingham

From BBC - April 15, 2018

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.

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.


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