Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
- Boro up to third in the table
- Sixth home win in a row
- Bamford scores 17th league goal
- Wolves three points off play-offs
Middlesbrough maintained their push for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a hard-earned win over high-flying rivals Wolves.
Boro raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening 11 minutes, Jelle Vossen side-footing the first from close range following Patrick Bamford's pass.
Bamford added the second when full-back Tomas Kalas ghosted into the box before squaring for the striker to lash home.
Wolves pulled a goal back when Bakary Sako broke in the box and scored.
|17 April: Norwich City (away)||18 April: Ipswich (home)|
|25 April: Fulham (away)||25 April: Wigan (away)|
|2 May: Brighton (home)||2 May: Millwall (home)|
The win lifts Boro to third in the Championship table, above Watford who play on Wednesday at Nottingham Forest. Wolves are three points off the top six.
The Teesside club are one point outside the automatic promotion places with three matches remaining.
They travel to second-placed Norwich on Friday for a game which could have huge consequences in the race for automatic promotion.
Middlesbrough then face lowly Fulham on 25 April before finishing their league campaign at home to struggling Brighton on 2 May.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka had to endure several anxious moments before victory was confirmed against Wolves but the Spaniard will be pleased with his side's lightning start.
They were ahead after three minutes when Chelsea loanee Bamford selflessly pulled the ball back for Vossen to fire past Carl Ikeme.
Boro who found the net again after 11 minutes when Czech full-back Kalas - also on loan from Stamford Bridge - ghosted into the right side of the box before squaring for Bamford to score.
Wolves pulled a goal back when Edwards picked out Sako with a long ball across field, and the Mali international broke into the box before thumping a left-footed effort past Dimi Konstantopoulos.
The visitors should have levelled midway through the second half when substitute Scott Golbourne picked out Rajiv van La Parra in space at the back post, but his first-time effort rattled the bar.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka: "We're third with three games to go and this was the aim at the beginning of the season.
"The first half was amazing, we played very well. But in the second half they showed they're a strong team. Now we have to rest and to learn from the last three or four games, and get ready for Friday night.
"We made mistakes and we can't make these mistakes if we want to be a Premier League team."
Wolves manager Kenny Jackett: "We played against a ruthless Middlesbrough side, in both boxes. Again defensively we need to improve.
"Middlesbrough are very good, they have the best defensive record in the league, but we're disappointed with the goals against. We fought back and all the way to the end, but it was Boro's night.
"But that fighting spirit and that effort is something we have to continue with and that we need in the last three games."
- 39WoodgateSubstituted forOmeruoat 62'minutes
- 8ClaytonBooked at 89mins
- 27AdomahSubstituted forAmorebietaat 80'minutes
- 21VossenSubstituted forNsueat 74'minutes
- 6BatthBooked at 38mins
- 5StearmanBooked at 25mins
- 30HauseSubstituted forGolbourneat 45'minutes
- 19PriceSubstituted forDickoat 63'minutes
- 17van La ParraSubstituted forJacobsat 77'minutes
- 4EdwardsBooked at 89mins
- 10SakoBooked at 45mins
- Neil Swarbrick
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Fernando Amorebieta with a headed pass.
Foul by Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Dimitrios Konstantopoulos (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Benik Afobe.
Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).
Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by George Friend.
Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.