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Wolves 2-0 Birmingham City

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    Wolves forward Diogo Jota has scored 16 goals on his debut season in the Championship

    Promoted Wolves edged to within a point of the Championship title as a goal in each half beat 10-man Birmingham City in a typically competitive Midlands derby at Molineux.

    Matt Doherty’s low right wing cross set up Diogo Jota’s close-range opener.

    Substitute Benik Afobe’s neat chip settled the outcome late on.

    But it was a miserable day for Blues captain Harlee Dean, who was sent off against Wolves for the second time this season after slicing down Helder Costa.

    Wolves were promoted to the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2012 on Saturday, after Fulham could only draw with Brentford.

    They will be champions if they avoid defeat at lowly Bolton on Saturday.

    Garry Monk’s Birmingham remain in relegation danger, two points clear of 22nd placed Barnsley, who have a game in hand, with three matches left.

    It might have been a different story for Blues but for John Ruddy’s superb early double save when Lukas Jutkiewicz fed in free-running Maxime Colin, who just escaped the linesman’s attention on the edge of the box.

    Ruddy’s first acrobatic block was followed by an even better stop when he quickly readjusted to turn away Colin’s second effort.

    Instead, it was Wolves who went in front when Romain Saiss sent Doherty clear down the right and his hard, low cross curled wickedly out of keeper David Stockdale’s reach, allowing Jota to steer in from three yards.

    Atletico Madrid loanee Jota was then denied by Stockdale at the near post early in the second half before the contest swung even further in Wolves’ way when Dean was red carded for bringing down Costa when he was clean through on goal.

    Jutkiewicz went close to an equaliser when he had a left foot shot tipped over, before substitutes Leo Bonatini and Afobe were denied at the other end.

    But Afobe brought the show down when he was fed into the box by Alfred N’Diaye and dinked the ball over the advancing Stockdale.

    As well as captain Dean’s red card, Blues also had Jonathan Grounds and Michael Morrison booked for heavy challenges on Jota.

    And Wolves old boy David Davis was probably lucky to escape getting a yellow card as well, for his early challenge on Saiss – although he did not escape vitriolic jeers from the home fans.

    Former Brentford defender Dean’s season could now be over with his second dismissal of the season likely to result in a four-match ban – although Blues are set to appeal the decision.

    Birmingham City manager Garry Monk told BBC WM: “We came to try and make it more difficult for them and, had we taken our chances, we might have made it more difficult for them.

    “The sending off didn’t help. You need things to go for you when you’re playing a quality side like Wolves.

    “Harlee made an attempt to play the ball and just mistimed his challenge. The ruling is that should have been a yellow card, not red, so we’ll be looking for that to be rescinded.

    “We now have three massive games to come. But you can see the payers are fighting and are committed.”

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43686450

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43686450

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