Feb 3, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​Molineux
Attendance: 29,311
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
3-0
Sheff UtdSheffield United
Neves (5'), Jota (30'), Cavaleiro (77')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Moore (73')

Result: Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Sheffield United to restore 11-point lead

Result: Wolves restore 11-point lead at top
© Offside
Wolverhampton Wanderers restore their 11-point gap at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 3-0 win over playoff-chasing Sheffield United at Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have restored their 11-point lead at the top of the Championship table courtesy of a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Molineux this evening.

The leaders, who had only won one of their previous five games across all competitions prior to today's match, took just five minutes to break the deadlock through Ruben Neves and added a second on the half-hour mark courtesy of a Diogo Jota strike.

There was more bad news for Sheffield United when goalkeeper Simon Moore was sent off with just over 15 minutes remaining, and Wolves went on to make the most of their numerical advantage as Ivan Cavaleiro made it 3-0 shortly afterwards.

The defeat leaves the Blades five points adrift of the playoff places, while Wolves remain clear at the top having taken another step towards winning automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

Wolves made a quick start to the match with Helder Costa flashing a volley narrowly wide even before they took the lead in the fifth minute.

The opener arrived in style too as Neves collected the ball 25 yards from goal and took a touch before curling a fine finish into the top corner.

Sheffield United responded well to that early setback, though, and threatened to level things up quickly when Ricky Holmes's cross was only cleared as far as Ched Evans, who fired his effort over the crossbar.

Despite that fast start, clear chances were few and far between at both ends of the field until Wolves doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark, when Jota exchanged passes with Cavaleiro before tucking his finish into the bottom corner.

Cavaleiro came close himself moments later with a scuffed effort which Moore gratefully collected, before John Ruddy was forced into his first save of the match to deny James Wilson's low strike.

Wolves were soon back on the front foot, though, and both Willy Boly and Alfred N'Diaye came close from corners towards the end of the first half as the hosts looked to extend their lead.

Sheffield United looked the most likely in the early stages of the second half, though, and Holmes squandered a good chance shortly after the hour mark when he sliced an effort wide of the target.

Leo Bonatini was the next to come close for Wolves, though, and the hosts' hopes of seeing out the victory improved even further with just 17 minutes remaining when Moore was giving his marching orders having come off his line and collided with both Jota and referee Darren Bond.

Wolves immediately took full advantage of that from the resulting free kick when Cavaleiro's effort took a deflection off the wall on its way past substitute keeper Jake Eastwood.

Deadline-day signing Benik Afobe was brought on for his second Wolves debut moments later, and he almost marked his return to the club with a goal when he roses highest to meet Matt Doherty's cross, only to plant his header narrowly wide of the target.

The hosts never looked in any danger of letting their lead slip in the closing stages, though, as Wolves made it back-to-back wins, while Sheffield United have now lost successive matches for the first time since December.

WOLVES (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, N'Diaye, Neves, Douglas; Costa (Bonatini, 65'), Jota (Gibbs-White, 81'), Cavaleiro (Afobe, 77')

SHEFFIELD UNITED (3-5-2): Moore; Basham (Leonard, 71'), Stearman, O'Connell; Baldock, Evans, Holmes (Donaldson, 71'), Fleck, Stevens; Clarke, Wilson (Eastwood, 76')

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Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo at the EFL cup against Manchester City on October 24, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32226457243372
2Cardiff CityCardiff32187748272161
3Aston Villa32178748291959
4Derby CountyDerby321610648262258
5Fulham321510754361855
6Bristol City32141174738953
7Preston North EndPreston32121463931850
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd31154124437749
9Middlesbrough321461240301048
10Brentford32121194540547
11Leeds UnitedLeeds32136134441345
12Ipswich TownIpswich32136134442245
13Norwich CityNorwich32129113235-345
14Millwall321012103734342
15Queens Park RangersQPR32109133544-939
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds32813113438-437
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest32113183550-1536
18Reading3188153441-732
19Birmingham CityBirmingham3286182244-2230
20Bolton WanderersBolton3279162851-2330
21Hull City31611144247-529
22Barnsley31610153045-1528
23Sunderland32511163457-2326
24Burton Albion3268182458-3426
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