Nottingham Forest 1-2 Wolves: Diogo Jota strikes twice
Last Updated: 17/09/17 3:05pm
Diogo Jota continued his electric form in front of goal to steer Wolves to a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship.
The on-loan Porto player netted twice, either side of a spectacular strike from Muzzy Carayol, to take his tally to four goals in three games and maintain Wolves' promotion charge.
The result left Nuno Espirito Santo's side sitting in the top two, while frustrated Forest found themselves reflecting on a second consecutive home defeat.
It was a cagey first half in which some good football from both sides was only rarely rewarded with clear chance, but the game sprang into life after the break.
Daryl Murphy sent an effort straight at Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy after turning sharply in the box early on, and Ivan Cavaleiro lashed an almost identical effort right at Jordan Smith at the other end.
Jota fired Wolves' clearest opening over the bar after he had been picked out by Cavaleiro's clever cut-back, while Leo Bonatini had a shot sent looping over the bar by a deflection.
Kieran Dowell tested Ruddy with a lofted attempt, after dancing into the Wolves penalty area, but it was a test to which the keeper was equal. Dowell was also denied by a more difficult save from Ruddy, after he had let fly from the edge of the box.
The second half began in dramatic fashion, with Wolves taking the lead inside two minutes. Cavaleiro found room to whip in a lovely cross from the right, which curled across the face of goal to the far post, where Jota was arriving to slide in and steer home a simple, precise finish.
Forest were slow to muster a meaningful response, but good hold-up play from Murphy saw him feed Liam Bridcutt on the edge of the box. Ruddy was again well placed to make a strong save to deny the midfielder.
A quick break following a poor set-piece routine from Forest should have seen Wolves substitute Ben Marshall add to their advantage, but he fired right at Smith with the goal at his mercy.
It was a Forest substitute who was to have an impact, however, as the home side conjured up a spectacular equaliser.
When Carayol collected the ball wide on the left, Ruddy seemed to anticipate a cross and advanced off his line, but the winger had other ideas - looking up before thrashing a driven effort beyond the reach of the stranded keeper and into the back of the net from all of 30 yards.
That goal arrived in the 75th minute, but Forest only had parity for six minutes, as Jota struck again. Bonatini's surging run was at the heart of things, with Matt Mills hacking him down on the edge of the box.
Referee Geoff Eltringham played a good advantage as Jota collected the loose ball, before rolling a simple finish beyond Smith and into the bottom corner.
Mark Warburton: "The first half was a good game of football, it was a game of chess. We knew focus was important. At half-time we knew we had to come out and take care of the football. e knew that if we gave the ball away, they would punish us. And they did.
"All credit to the players, because they got back into the game. It was a great strike from Muzzy, which caught everyone by surprise. e were back in the game at that point and the crowd were urging us on. But then we were loose again with the pass and there is no room for that at this level. There is no lack of work ethic, desire or commitment - but you cannot be loose. We were loose with the ball and we got punished for it."
Nuno: "Jota, like all the other players, is getting better and growing with every game. We want to progress as a team and as a squad, each game is another chance to grow. He can get better; he can improve still. Everyone can get better.
"We learned from the last game, there were no mistakes, we did not give very much away. This shows that we have character; this shows that we are growing. We will take things game by game. But every player needs to keep working to get better. That is important."