Championship
Wolves1Middlesbrough0

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Middlesbrough

Leo Bonatini goal
Leo Bonatini coolly puts Wolves ahead in front of a crowd of 29,692 at Molineux

Brazilian Leo Bonatini scored on his debut to give Wolves an opening-day Championship win against Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old striker, on loan from Al Hilal, pounced on a sloppy pass from defender Daniel Ayala and slotted a fine finish past Darren Randolph.

Boro forward Martin Braithwaite should have levelled at Molineux before the break, but headed wide while unmarked.

Britt Assombalonga was denied by goalkeeper John Ruddy as Boro pressed late on and Wolves held on for victory.

Wolves' new manager Nuno Espirito Santo handed starts to seven summer acquisitions, including the Championship's record signing Ruben Neves in midfield.

Finding a prolific striker was one of Nuno's priorities ahead of the campaign, after midfielder Dave Edwards and winger Helder Costa, missing through injury, topped Wolves' scoring charts last season.

And it was former Brazil under-17 player Bonatini who made the difference with the most composed of strikes after some terrible defending.

Ayala attempted to pass the ball to Ben Gibson, but it was woefully short allowing Bonatini to nip in and place his effort into the bottom corner.

Middlesbrough also struggled to find the back of the net in 2016-17, scoring just 27 times as they were relegated from the Premier League.

New boss Garry Monk started three of his new forwards - Ashley Fletcher, Assombalonga and Denmark international Braithwaite - but they could not find a way through a resolute Wolves defence.

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo:

"It was a tough game and in the first half we played very well. We controlled the game and this is the way we should work.

"I think that we deserved the three points and we are pleased with the boys.

"We are still not the final product and every game will be better. This is the line that we want from the boys, always progress, always get better."

Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk:

"In the first half Wolves were the better team and we made too many mistakes and obviously one of them led to a goal.

"But I thought we were the better team in the second half and we upped our level of urgency. We need that at the start of games.

"We had the best chances in the game and on any other day we could have taken one or two of them. That is football and is sometimes the way that it works out."

Line-ups

Wolves

  • 21Ruddy
  • 25MirandaBooked at 28mins
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2Doherty
  • 27Saiss
  • 8Neves
  • 3Douglas
  • 26EnobakhareSubstituted forEdwardsat 78'minutes
  • 18JotaSubstituted forGrahamat 84'minutes
  • 33BonatiniSubstituted forDickoat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Edwards
  • 5Bennett
  • 6Batth
  • 9Dicko
  • 11Graham
  • 20Ronan
  • 31Norris

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 22Christie
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 16HowsonSubstituted forGestedeat 81'minutes
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 58mins
  • 10Braithwaite
  • 14de RoonSubstituted forForshawat 65'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 18FletcherSubstituted forBamfordat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 2Fabio
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 11Bamford
  • 20Fry
  • 34Forshaw
  • 39Gestede
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
29,692

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Middlesbrough 0.

Booking

Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough).

Jordan Graham (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Hand ball by David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Matt Doherty tries a through ball, but David Edwards is caught offside.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Jordan Graham (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jordan Graham replaces Diogo Jota.

Attempt missed. Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Rudy Gestede replaces Jonny Howson.

Attempt saved. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. David Edwards replaces Bright Enobakhare.

Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough).

Attempt blocked. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by John Ruddy.

Attempt saved. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick Bamford with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Clayton following a set piece situation.

Foul by Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Barry Douglas with a cross.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Adam Clayton.

Attempt blocked. Bright Enobakhare (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Barry Douglas with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by George Friend.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Forshaw replaces Marten de Roon.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Marten de Roon tries a through ball, but Adam Clayton is caught offside.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Conor Coady.

Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

Booking

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Nouha Dicko replaces Léo Bonatini.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Ashley Fletcher.

Attempt missed. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bristol City11003123
2QPR11002023
3Cardiff11001013
4Ipswich11001013
5Nottm Forest11001013
6Preston11001013
7Sheff Utd11001013
8Wolves11001013
9Aston Villa10101101
10Derby10101101
11Fulham10101101
12Hull10101101
13Norwich10101101
14Sunderland10101101
15Bolton00000000
16Leeds00000000
17Birmingham100101-10
18Brentford100101-10
19Burton100101-10
20Middlesbrough100101-10
21Millwall100101-10
22Sheff Wed100101-10
23Barnsley100113-20
24Reading100102-20
View full Championship table

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