Wolves move closer to Premier League return despite red cards

Championship review: Ireland defender Matt Doherty one of two Wolves players to be sent off

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo (centre) celebrates after the final whistle during the Sky Bet Championship match against Middlesbrough  at Riverside Stadium. Photograph:  Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo (centre) celebrates after the final whistle during the Sky Bet Championship match against Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

 

Wolves moved closer to a Premier League return as they survived the dismissal of two players to claim a 2-1 win at Middlesbrough.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side need just three more wins to guarantee promotion after first-half goals from Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro secured them a dramatic win at the Riverside.

The visitors were reduced to nine men with 19 minutes left as Republic of Ireland defender Matt Doherty was sent off for two bookable offences, a quarter-of-an-hour after Ruben Neves was also dismissed for picking up two bookings in the space of three minutes.

Middlesbrough spent the closing stages of the game camped in the Wolves box, but while Patrick Bamford scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time, they were unable to claw their back to level terms. As a result, they remain in the final play-off position, with their superior goal difference keeping them ahead of seventh-placed Bristol City.

Cardiff had earlier closed to within three points of Wolves after beating relegation-battlers Burton 3-1 to extend their winning run to eight games.

Kenneth Zohore, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Callum Paterson all scored for the hosts, while Darren Bent was on target for Burton.

Zohore put Cardiff ahead after 16 minutes, rifling in following good work from Junior Hoilett out wide.

Burton, who sit 23rd in the table, hit back five minutes later through Bent but the hosts were back in front before the break as Mendez-Laing found the net in first-half stoppage time.

The Bluebirds extended their advantage in the 64th minute when Paterson scored his fourth goal of the month to make sure of the points.

Shaun Williams scored after just 27 seconds as Millwall beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in the early kick-off to maintain their playoff push.

The win extends the Lions’ unbeaten run to 13 league matches and takes them within one point of the top six with seven matches remaining.

Williams’s first-minute header put Neil Harris’s men in charge before Lee Gregory’s 10th goal of the season doubled their advantage before the break.

Quickfire goals from Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney in the second half inspired third-place Fulham to a 2-0 win at Norwich.

Meanwhile, Bristol City missed the chance to break into the playoff spots but claimed a share of the spoils in their 2-2 draw with struggling Barnsley thanks to Josh Brownhill’s late goal.

Kieffer Moore headed 21st-place Barnsley ahead after seven minutes but City were back on terms in the 31st minute through Famara Diedhiou.

Moore was involved again as Barnsley regained the lead in the 78th minute as his cross was turned home in style by Brad Potts.

But Brownhill headed the away side level in added time.

New Reading manager Paul Clement made a good start as his side secured a first win in 10 matches with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

An early individual goal from Sone Aluko eased Reading’s relegation fears, although they had substitute Yann Kermorgant sent off for a second bookable offence late on.

Sheffield United and Brentford both had a man sent off as they drew 1-1 at Griffin Park.

Chris Basham put the Blades in front 10 minutes into the second half, only for Chris Mepham to level things up 13 minutes later.

And immediately after Mepham’s equaliser, United goalkeeper Jamal Blackman and Ryan Woods were shown straight red cards for clashing as the Brentford man attempted to grab the ball.

Atdhe Nuhiu netted a brace as Sheffield Wednesday beat playoff hopefuls Preston 4-1.

Lucas Joao and fit-again Fernando Forestieri were also on the scoresheet for the Owls, while Louis Moult scored for the visitors.

Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez scored for Leeds as they beat Bolton 2-1.

Adam Le Fondre’s second-half effort kept the visitors in the game but Leeds managed to hold on to seal all three points.

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