Championship
Wolves2Derby0

Wolves 2-0 Derby County

Ruben Neves
All six of Ruben Neves' goals for Wolves this season have been from outside the box

Ruben Neves scored the goal of a lifetime as Wolves comfortably beat Derby County to move within two points of promotion to the Premier League.

Fellow Portuguese star Diogo Jota also scored as the Championship leaders damaged Derby's hopes of securing a play-off place.

Jota's neat early lob set Wolves on the way to a 15th home win of the season.

Neves then hammered a stunning 30-yard volley into the top corner shortly after the break to seal victory.

Wolves will secure a return to the Premier League if they beat local rivals Birmingham City on Sunday, but it could happen even sooner if second-placed Fulham fail to beat Brentford at home on Saturday.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side will laim the Championship title if they pick up another four points from their remaining four fixtures.

Derby remain in fifth place on 68 points, within reach of a clutch of chasing clubs, but still with a game in hand - last month's controversial postponement against Cardiff City.

Wolves began the night still needing a further five points to win back the Premier League place they lost in 2012. And, at a near-capacity Molineux, there never appeared much doubt that they would claim them.

It took just six minutes for them to take the lead when defender Willy Boly's angled 40-yard lofted pass foxed the Rams defence sufficiently to leave Jota unmarked inside the penalty area 12 yards from goal.

And, with his back to goal, and only Carson for company, he impudently flicked the ball in the air before gently lifting a left-foot lob past the stranded keeper.

It could have been more by half-time. Instead, it took another six minutes at the start of the second half to truly light up a cold, wet night in the Black Country.

Taking delivery from a Derby half clearance 30 yards out, Neves flicked the ball up, took careful aim and drilled his dipping right-foot volley just under Scott Carson's bar.

'This is the spirit that we want'

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo:

"All the players are developing and getting better from what they were before. Neves still has a lot to improve. Not only Neves, all the squad.

"This is the spirit that we want. Day by day they have to work hard to improve. This was a good performance.

"The boys did well, they were well balanced and well organised. They did a very good job. We did not concede chances to a very good team. I am very pleased with the approach of the players.

"The game on Sunday means a lot to our fans and it means a lot to us. We have to be cautious. I am boring saying this bit - this is the truth."

Derby manager Gary Rowett:

"That's the best goal I've seen for a long while. It was sensational. I have said it before but for me Neves is the best player I have seen in the Championship.

"He is too good for the Championship. He is a Champions League player.

"At one point I thought should I applaud that? It would have felt wrong but that is how good it was.

"We found Wolves were a class above us. I don't like saying that because we have got some very good players in our team."

Neves volley in pictures

Neves volley
Ruben Neves flicks the ball up and strikes . . .
Neves volley
The ball flies towards goal from at least 30 yards . . .
Scott Carson
Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson has no chance . . .
Wolves celebrate
His Wolves team-mates are stunned by what they had just seen

Line-ups

Wolves

  • 21Ruddy
  • 5BennettBooked at 61mins
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2Doherty
  • 8Neves
  • 27Saiss
  • 3Douglas
  • 7CavaleiroSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 82'minutes
  • 18JotaSubstituted forBonatiniat 74'minutes
  • 19AfobeSubstituted forCostaat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4N'Diaye
  • 6Batth
  • 17Costa
  • 24Gibbs-White
  • 30Hause
  • 31Norris
  • 33Bonatini

Derby

  • 1Carson
  • 14Wisdom
  • 16Pearce
  • 33Davies
  • 12Baird
  • 44Huddlestone
  • 36LedleySubstituted forPalmerat 73'minutes
  • 19Weimann
  • 23VydraSubstituted forHansonat 85'minutes
  • 10Lawrence
  • 28NugentSubstituted forJeromeat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Forsyth
  • 6Keogh
  • 7Palmer
  • 21Roos
  • 26Hanson
  • 32Jerome
  • 45Thomas
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
28,503

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamDerby
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home12
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.

Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Hanson (Derby County).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Jamie Hanson replaces Matej Vydra.

Delay in match Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) because of an injury.

Hélder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Curtis Davies (Derby County).

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Cameron Jerome replaces David Nugent.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morgan Gibbs-White replaces Ivan Cavaleiro.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Tom Lawrence (Derby County) because of an injury.

Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Derby County).

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Léo Bonatini replaces Diogo Jota.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Kasey Palmer replaces Joe Ledley.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Joe Ledley.

Foul by Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Joe Ledley (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Hélder Costa replaces Benik Afobe.

Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Derby County).

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Romain Saiss.

Attempt blocked. Tom Huddlestone (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Matej Vydra (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Ryan Bennett (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Ryan Bennett (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Matej Vydra (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro.

Attempt blocked. Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Barry Douglas (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Andreas Weimann (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Tom Lawrence (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. David Nugent (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matej Vydra.

Foul by Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Matej Vydra (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner following a corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves42288676364092
2Fulham422312772413181
3Cardiff41248962352780
4Aston Villa4222101066402676
5Derby411814960402068
6Millwall4218141054391568
7Middlesbrough421991459411866
8Bristol City4217141159481165
9Sheff Utd42198155749865
10Brentford4217131258471164
11Preston421615115244863
12Ipswich42168185052-256
13Norwich421414144652-656
14Leeds42159185460-654
15QPR421411175363-1053
16Hull421114176461347
17Sheff Wed421114175059-947
18Nottm Forest41137214359-1646
19Reading421012204661-1542
20Birmingham42117243261-2940
21Bolton42912213464-3039
22Barnsley41813204261-1937
23Sunderland42615214574-2933
24Burton42711243077-4732
View full Championship table

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