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Result: Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Birmingham City to move in on Championship crown

Result: Wolves beat Blues to move in on title
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Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Birmingham City 2-0 at Molineux to move within touching distance of being crowned winners of the Championship this season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers moved to within just a single point of being crowned winners of the Championship courtesy of a 2-0 victory over 10-man Birmingham City at Molineux this afternoon.

Nuno Espirito Santo's charges were handed promotion after Fulham slipped up against Brentford on Saturday, leaving Wolves to cap off a memorable weekend by earning a dominant win thanks to goals from Diogo Jota and Benik Afobe in the derby.

Wolves started the game with typical possessional dominance, but the hosts fell asleep at the back in the 11th minute, allowing Lukas Jutkiewicz to break in behind before being thwarted by two standout saves from John Ruddy.

Those early chances were the best of the half for Birmingham, who despite pressing with impressive energy and intent, found themselves passed into relative submission by a dominant Wolves outfit.

It took the home side the best part of 21 minutes to carve out a clear-cut opportunity, but they made the most of it to take the lead.

Matt Doherty broke in down the right channel and was able to cut back into the middle, where Jota slid the ball beyond David Stockdale.

Helder Costa impressed on the right flank and he was crucial as Wanderers went in search of a second, the winger beating his marker before squaring into the middle for substitute Leo Bonatini, who could only thump an effort into the grateful arms of Stockdale.

Any hope of a City turnaround was scuppered early on after the interval, when Costa drew a sliding challenge from Harlee Dean on the edge of the box, who was then dismissed with a straight red having been deemed the last man in defence.

The second period was certainly more attritional than the first and Wolves might have just put the game to bed with 20 minutes remaining, although Stockdale did well to save from Romain Saiss after he broke clear from Marc Roberts.

Birmingham continued to scrap and Jutkiewicz passed up a half-chance in the closing stages, before City were punished by some clinical work from the hosts, Alfred N'Diaye threading Afobe in behind, who chipped the ball over Stockdale to seal all three points.

Victory for Wanderers now leaves them within touching distance of Championship glory, while defeat for Garry Monk's men pushes Birmingham right into the midst of a developing relegation scrap.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett; Coady, Boly; Doherty, Neves (N'Diaye 70'), Saiss, Douglas; Costa, Jota (Afobe 74'), Cavaleiro (Bonatini 16')

BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-5-1): Stockdale; Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin; Grounds (Maghoma 62'), Kieftenbeld (Roberts 54'), Ndoye (Gardner 78'), Davis, Jota; Jutkiewicz

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The mighty Nuno Espirito Santo watches on during the EFL Cup game between Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 23, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal34206868432566
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Watford35148135050050
8Everton35147145044649
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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