Wolves 4-1 Leeds: Nuno's side go four points clear
Last Updated: 23/11/17 6:07am
Wolves opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after sweeping aside 10-man Leeds 4-1 at Molineux.
Barry Douglas put Wolves on course for their seventh win in eight Championship games when he gave them the lead in the 15th minute before Ivan Cavaleiro doubled their advantage after 26 minutes.
Ezgjan Alioski gave Leeds a lifeline with a classy volley on 48 minutes, but their comeback hopes were dashed on the hour when central defender Ronaldo Vieira was sent off after collecting his second yellow card.
Diogo Jota then restored Wolves' two-goal advantage in the 72nd minute before substitute Helder Costa converted a penalty four minutes later.
The hosts made the perfect start when Douglas broke the deadlock with a stunning free-kick, curling home after Liam Cooper had upended the impressive Cavaleiro.
That goal sparked a spell of intense Wolves pressure with Leo Bonatini inches away from doubling their advantage moments after Douglas headed a cross from Cavaleiro narrowly wide.
And Cavaleiro had his reward for a scintillating first-half display when he finished off a sweeping move with a powerful finish into the roof of the net.
An impudent flick of the outside of his right boot then saw Cavaleiro push an effort just wide, and it took a brilliant volley just after the break from Alioski to haul Leeds back into the match.
He was picked out in the area by a sublime pass from Samuel Saiz and the Macedonian let fly with a volley from 14 yards that gave Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy no chance.
Sensing their chance, Leeds began to pile forward only to see their effort stymied by Vieira's second yellow card for a challenge on Jota.
Jota showed no ill effects from being upended though, making the game safe when he raced onto a headed pass from Bonatini before calmly lifting the ball beyond Andy Lonergan.
Rampant Wolves gave the scoreline an even more emphatic look when Costa struck from the spot after Lonergan had brought down Bonatini.
Nuno: "It doesn't mean anything. I keep repeating myself. It is the feeling of the boys that they still have a long way to go. Now we have to start preparing for Saturday against Bolton and fight again for what we want. It is important that we don't get carried away. The best is yet to come. It is always in the future. We have to work hard every day because perfection does not exist.
"I think against Leeds it was a good performance in the first half but the result does not say how hard it was. It was hard because Leeds are a good team. They came off a good result. But knowing and respecting your opponent makes you better in the game and we did that. We were able to control and then show our quality. The sending-off was the turning point off the game. We took control after that."
Thomas Christiansen: "They were a better side and no doubt they are the first team in this league. We tried to stop them in the first half and we managed that until the first goal and after it was 2-0 it was complicated.
"The second goal we should have stopped. We should have made a tactical foul higher up the pitch. The response came in the second half and the players were motivated to fight back but the red card cost us. I believe that Wolves are a very strong team and that they will be promoted directly."