2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Diogo Jota (6')
  • Rúben Neves (51')

Wolves move closer to promotion as Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves strike vs. Derby

Wolverhampton Wanderers took another step closer to promotion after goals from Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves earned the runaway Championship leaders a 2-0 win against Derby at Molineux.

Wolves can now secure a return to the Premier League on Saturday after an absence of six years.

They will be promoted if second-place Fulham do not beat Brentford. A Fulham win would leave Wolves needing a victory against Birmingham City in front of their own fans on Sunday to reach the top-flight with three games to spare.

The victory over Derby has given them a massive 11-point lead in the table.

Jota scored his 16th goal of the season in the sixth minute before Neves let fly -- with a goal of the season contender -- from 35 yards out in the 51st minute.

While the victory has left Wolves in sight of the top flight, playoff-chasing Derby are looking anxiously over their shoulders.

They currently sit in fifth place with a two-point cushion over seventh-place Middlesbrough, but crucially have a game in hand to play against promotion rivals Cardiff City.

Derby threatened after only two minutes when Andreas Weimann lifted his shot over the bar from Chris Baird's corner.

But Wolves soon took control as Derby were caught completely flat-footed when Wolves central defender Wily Boly lofted the ball over the defence from the halfway line.

His pass was latched onto by Jota, who controlled the ball before lifting it beyond stranded Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson.

That sparked a spell of intense Wolves pressure, and they would have doubled their advantage nine minutes later but for Carson.

This time the former England international was able to come to Derby's rescue when he palmed away a 20-yard drive from Neves.

Derby then survived another scare in the 19th minute when Benik Afobe's header from Ivan Cavaleiro's cross was marginally too high.

Carson then frustrated Wolves -- and Neves again -- with another save 11 minutes before half-time.

Wolves won a free kick on the edge of the Derby area after Jota had been stopped in his tracks by Weimann.

Neves stepped forward and his shot was goalbound before Carson tipped it on to the roof of the net.

Having been denied twice, Neves looked determined to get on the scoresheet and did so in spectacular style.

A Barry Douglas corner was cleared straight to Neves.

He teed the ball up with one touch and his second saw the ball whistle past Carson's outstretched hand.

English League Championship Standings

1 Leeds United 46 +42 93
2 West Bromwich Albion 46 +32 83
3 Brentford 46 +42 81
4 Fulham 46 +16 81
5 Cardiff City 46 +10 73
6 Swansea City 46 +9 70
7 Nottingham Forest 46 +8 70
8 Millwall 46 +6 68
9 Preston North End 46 +5 66
10 Derby County 46 -2 64
11 Blackburn Rovers 46 +3 63
12 Bristol City 46 -5 63
13 Queens Park Rangers 46 -9 58
14 Reading 46 +1 56
15 Stoke City 46 -6 56
16 Sheffield Wednesday 46 -8 56
17 Middlesbrough 46 -13 53
18 Huddersfield Town 46 -18 51
19 Luton Town 46 -28 51
20 Birmingham City 46 -21 50
21 Barnsley 46 -20 49
22 Charlton Athletic 46 -15 48
23 Wigan Athletic 46 +1 47
24 Hull City 46 -30 45