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Wolverhampton Wanderers defeat title rivals to edge nearer promotion

Wolves overcome Cardiff City in Friday night thriller

6 April 2018

Wolverhampton Wanderers opened up a nine-point lead over Cardiff City after beating the Bluebirds on Friday night.

To cut a long story short, the long-time Sky Bet Championship leaders grabbed three points courtesy of a 1-0 win in Wales. However, it was far from a run-of-the-mill success for the visitors.

The first half passed without too much incident; Yanic Wildschut tested John Ruddy with a well-struck free-kick, and Leo Bonatini struck the woodwork from a tight angle as both sides looked to make a breakthrough.

Goalless at the break, the second period started in a more lively fashion, and the deadlock was eventually broken by a piece of genius from a man who has produced moments of magic throughout the campaign.

Ruben Neves, up for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season and EFL Young Player of the Season honours at next week’s EFL Awards, stepped up to fire a wonderful free-kick beyond the despairing Neil Etheridge in the 67th minute.

Advantage, Wolves.

It looked like three points for Nuno’s men, but drama ensued in the five minutes of time added on at the end of the 90 minutes.

Cardiff City were awarded a penalty, and Gary Madine stepped up looking to salvage a point. However, John Ruddy had other ideas, diving to his left to deny the striker his first Bluebirds’ goal.

Job done for the away side? Not quite. They would concede another spot-kick just moments later, with Junior Hoilett taking responsibility from 12 yards this time. His effort cannoned off the crossbar, with the final whistle sounding straight after.

Heartbreak for the hosts but joy for Wolves, who move nine points clear of Cardiff and 14 clear of Fulham in third. Promotion nears.

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