Wolves 3-0 Reading: Championship leaders get back on track
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 13/03/18 11:46pm
Wolves got their Premier League promotion push firmly back on track with a convincing 3-0 Sky Bet Championship win against Reading at Molineux.
Matt Doherty struck in each half, either side of a 58th-minute goal from Benik Afobe, as the league leaders earned a much-needed victory after a run of just five points from their previous five games.
Wolves, who had been hammered 4-1 by Aston Villa in their last outing, dominated proceedings against struggling Reading.
The Royals have now failed to win any of their last eight games and have picked up only one victory in 17 league matches to slip perilously close to the relegation zone.
Reading had an early chance to their mark when Modou Barrow was fouled on the edge of the area by Willy Boly in the third minute.
Pelle Clement played a shot free-kick to Sone Aluko, who saw his shot deflected over the bar by Romain Saiss.
Reading struggled to get hold of the ball after that as Wolves pressed for a breakthrough and it almost came via Helder Costa in the 17th minute.
Costa was picked out by a long through ball from Ruben Neves and he let fly from just outside the penalty area only to see his goal-bound drive beaten out by Reading goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.
Wolves' impetus was then briefly halted in the 24th minute when 14-goal Diogo Jota was forced off the pitch with an ankle problem and was replaced by Ivan Cavaleiro.
Despite the loss of Jota, Wolves remained in the ascendancy and Jaakkola again came to Reading's rescue in the 31st minute after a Cavaleiro corner when he tipped away a header from Afobe.
But there was nothing that Jaakkola could do when Wolves finally made their pressure pay off through Doherty, who had also been on target in their 2-0 win against Reading in November.
Another long pass from Costa picked out Barry Douglas and his header to the centre of the penalty area was headed home by the unmarked Doherty from 12 yards five minutes before half-time.
Doherty then turned provider in the 48th minute to tee-up Afobe, but the on-loan Bournemouth striker wasted an excellent chance to put the game beyond Reading when he dragged his weak shot wide from close range.
Fortunately for Afobe he soon got a chance to make amends and this time was clinical - making no mistake when he buried his low shot from eight yards after a mazy run by Costa.
Doherty then set the seal on a comprehensive victory with a cool finish from the edge of the area in the 73rd minute after exchanging passes with Cavaleiro.
Nuno: "Today I think it was a deserved win and a well-played game. It was a good game, a good performance and a good result. I think our fans enjoyed the game, I think we were in control of the game.
"We managed every situation well, we defended well and we didn't give anything to Reading who are a good team. I challenge you to look at the schedule and see how important the home factor is in this league. This is what we are looking for, to be consistent again on Saturday."
Jaap Stam: "Of course I am fed up with losing. I can't do anything about that (my position) and if they want to make changes you need to go to the owners. I spoke to them (the owners) this morning At the end of the day they are very supportive with what they are doing.
"In the situation we are in I hate it as well. I want to go forward as well, I want to win my games as well. I know what we need to bring to the game. But the ones who start need to show it on the pitch. I don't think players are not deliberately not doing their best. But sometimes in the situation we are in it is very difficult to change your game. They need to try."