MX23RW : Monday, December 10 11:32:44

Result: Ruben Neves nets stunner as Wolverhampton Wanderers move closer to promotion

Result: Neves nets stunner as Wolves beat Derby
© Offside
Ruben Neves nets a goal-of-the-season contender as Wolves move to within two points of promotion with a 2-0 win over Derby County in Wednesday's Championship clash.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have moved two points away from promotion to the Premier League courtesy of a 2-0 win over Derby County in Wednesday's Championship clash at Molineux.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring after just six minutes before Ruben Neves's goal-of-the-season contender from 35 yards out effectively sealed the points for Wolves early in the second half.

Nuno Espirito Santo's team will now earn a place in the top flight with victory over Birmingham City on Sunday, while Derby remain in fifth place and hold just a two-point cushion over seventh-placed Middlesbrough.

Derby started brightly in the West Midlands with a corner being won within the opening 60 seconds, but it did not take Wolves long to get their foot on the ball and from their first shot on goal, they went in front.

Willy Boly remained patient before picking out the run of Jota with a perfectly-weighted pass over the top of the defence, and the Atletico Madrid loanee did the rest by lobbing goalkeeper Scott Carson from 12 yards out.

Wolves were playing with a freedom not in keeping with a side who are competing for promotion, and Neves was the next to try his luck with a strike from 30 yards which was parried by Carson.

Benik Afobe then headed over the crossbar after meeting a cross from Ivan Cavaleiro but once the opening quarter had passed by, Wolves began to struggle to create openings in open play.

Derby went through a similar period during the latter stages of the first half, but the Rams were slowly getting to see more of the ball and could take encouragement from reaching the break only facing a one-goal deficit.

Like at the start of the contest, Derby went on the offensive after the restart but Wolves soon doubled their lead in stunning circumstances as Neves scored with one of the goals of the season, arguably in any league in world football.

A corner was only cleared to the edge of the box where Neves's first touch took the ball behind him but on the turn, the former Porto man volleyed a shot over Carson and into the top corner from over 30 yards out.

To Derby's credit, they tried to find an instant reply through David Nugent who curled the ball just wide of the far post from 20 yards, but Wolves soon began to rediscover their rhythm on the ball and looked ready to put the game out of sight.

However, aside from Jota's low drive from an acute angle which was saved by Carson, the home side did not create many more openings, despite spending the majority of the second half on the ball as Derby began to wilt.

Wolves opted to go through the motions during the final quarter-of-an-hour and with Derby not offering much in return, the game petered out and Wolves were left to start to think about possible promotion to the top flight with a positive result over West Midlands rivals Birmingham at the weekend.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Neves, Saiss, Douglas; Jota (Bonatini 74'), Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 82'), Afobe (Helder Costa 66')

DERBY COUNTY (4-4-2): Carson; Wisdom, Pearce, Davies, Baird; Weimann, Huddlestone, Ledley (Palmer 73'), Lawrence; Vydra (Hanson 85'), Nugent (Jerome 82')

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Ruben Neves has a shot during the Championship game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland on December 9, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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