Wolves 2-0 Fulham: Nuno's side extend Sky Bet Championship lead
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 04/11/17 8:23am
Wolves extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham on Friday evening.
Romain Saiss and Leo Bonatini, who netted for the sixth league game in a row, both headed home from set-pieces in the first half at Molineux as Nuno Espirito Santo's side moved four points clear of Cardiff in second ahead of the rest of the weekend's action.
Romain Saiss returned for suspension for Wolves while Oliver Norwood, Neeskens Kebano and Rui Fonte came in for Fulham. Tom Cairney was out of the squad due to injury.
For Fulham, though, it was another frustrating night as they lost their second game in a row, and they're now without a win in five as they remain 16th in the table.
Wolves took command of the game in the first half with two goals from superb Barry Douglas deliveries. The first an inswinging corner, which saw Saiss rise at near post to turn home after nine minutes; the second a free-kick, which was converted by the head of Bonatini 17 minutes later.
Fulham had a lot of the ball but their only real chance fell between the two goals, when a Ryan Sessegnon free-kick was uncharacteristically spilled by John Ruddy, but Kevin McDonald couldn't take advantage at the far post, steering the ball over the bar.
Bonatini had a great chance to add his second and Wolves' third five minutes after the break, but he only could only scuff his volley wide from 12 yards after Ivan Cavaleiro had dinked the ball into his path. Fulham then broke up the other end as Floyd Ayite played a one-two with Rui Fonte, but it was a similar result as Ayite stumbled and shot wide.
Bonatini then had another glorious opportunity to put the game to bed, again from a Douglas corner, but his glancing header after 66 minutes was brilliantly saved by David Button, before Diogo Jota stumbled at the far post with the goal at his mercy.
Wolves: Ruddy (6), Bennett (7), Coady (7), Boly (7), Doherty (7), Douglas (8), Neves (7), Saiss (7), Cavaleiro (7), Jota (7), Bonatini (7)
Subs: N'Diaye (n/a), Enobakhare (n/a), Marshall (n/a)
Fulham: Button (7), Fredericks (5), Odoi (5), Ream (5), Sessegnon (6), McDonald (6), Johansen (5), Norwood (5), Ayite (5), Kebano (4), Fonte (5)
Subs: Soares (n/a), Mollo (n/a), Kamara (n/a)
Man of the match: Barry Douglas
And Bonatini had another glorious opportunity presented to him eight minutes later as Matt Doherty whipped a pearler of a cross into his path, but he could only head over on the dive.
But they wouldn't pay for any of those errors as they saw out the game to earn the three points to put them further in control in the Championship.
Man of the match - Barry Douglas
In a game dominated by Wolves, it was ultimately two deliveries by Douglas that made the difference. A fine inswinging delivery from a corner and a set-piece that set them on their way.
Nuno: "I'm happy with the result and the performance. For a third game in a [week] it was incredible, there was no time to totally recover and the boys go and work the way they did, so we must be proud. [Douglas'] free-kicks are one of the things we work on but the game goes beyond those situations and I think we created enough of them to score.
"We were looking for [a third goal] as 2-0 is always dangerous against a team of Fulham's quality and it would have made us more relax, but it's three points now and the international break, so let's recover well because there's a long way to go [Bonatini] is a quality player but his work is more than just the goals. He works for the team and he's the first defender we have."
Slavisa Jokanovic: "Wolves showed their quality. They created the first chance and scored the first goal, then did the same in a similar situation for the second. They didn't give us any chances and they controlled the game, we played around them but didn't have the quality to finish.
"The delivery for both [goals] was fantastic and it's a credit for them, but in both boxes we didn't find any solutions. Our changes didn't give us any power and the international break will be very good as we must reflect on our situation and be ready for the next challenge."
Both sides have two weeks off during the international break, but are back in action on Saturday, November 18 when Wolves travel to Reading and Fulham host Derby, live on Sky Sports Football.