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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wolves brush aside Brentford to move 12 points clear

Wolves opened up a 12-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a commanding 3-0 win against Brentford at Molineux.
Nuno Espirito Santo's men made it 10 wins from their last 12 games thanks to second-half goals from Ruben Neves, Barry Douglas and Diogo Jota.
Brentford, who had gone into the game on the back of three successive victories, were kept in contention by goalkeeper Daniel Bentley before Neves gave Wolves a deserved lead in the 57th minute with his third goal of the season.
Douglas, who had been on target in Wolves' 2-1 win at Bristol City on Saturday, doubled his side's advantage two minutes later before Jota added a third 10 minutes from time - his 11th of the campaign.
Rampant Wolves were inches away from making a flying start when they hit the woodwork after just two minutes.
Helder Costa made strides down the right wing and his cross was met by Leo Bonatini who rattled the foot of the post from six yards.
Neves then tested Bentley from 20 yards 60 seconds later as Wolves launched a determined search for an early breakthrough.
Brentford had another escape in the 12th minute when Douglas whipped in a corner and Jota's header was cleared off the line by Nico Yennaris.
Bentley came to Brentford's rescue again with a stunning stop to beat away a close-range drive from Matt Doherty and saved them again in the 24th minute when he first came out of his goal to deny Costa and then held on to the follow-up from Jota.
Brentford did briefly manage to give themselves some respite when Sergi Canos tried his luck from distance and Yoann Barbet saw his header deflected narrowly wide as half-time approached.
But it was Wolves who remained in the ascendancy and they were again denied by Bentley after 38 minutes, with the visiting goalkeeper spectacularly tipping away a first-time volley from Jota.
Bentley's heroics continued at the beginning of the second half when, barely 20 seconds after the re-start, he saved from Bonatini.
It only looked to be a matter of time before Wolves' pressure paid off, and it finally did when Jota was fouled by Ryan Woods and Bentley was left clutching fresh air when Neves free-kick flashed past him from 25 yards.
Having waited so long to make their pressure pay, Wolves quickly added a second when Douglas left fly from 16 yards after being teed-up by a cross from Ivan Cavaleiro.
Jota then gave the scoreline a more emphatic look when he scrambled the ball home from close range after Doherty had collected a corner from Cavaleiro.