2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Hélder Costa (15')
  • Benik Afobe (41', 56')
  • Lloyd Dyer (44')

Wolves ease to win over Burton to take step closer to promotion

Wolves took another step closer to promotion and the Sky Bet Championship title with a convincing 3-1 win against relegation-threatened Burton at Molineux.
The victory saw Wolves move six points clear of second-placed Cardiff. Helder Costa gave them the lead in the 15th minute with Benik Afobe scoring for the second successive match to double their advantage after 41 minutes.
Lloyd Dyer gave Burton some hope on the stroke of half-time before Wolves again opened up a two-goal advantage when Afobe grabbed his second in the 56th minute as Wolves eased to their third win in four games.
While the win kept Wolves on course for the Premier League, Burton are facing an increasingly uphill battle to avoid exiting the division in the opposite direction, having now won only one of their last 12 league games.
In extremely blustery conditions, Wolves made the perfect start through Costa. Burton's offside trap had worked well until a through ball from captain Conor Coady sprung it.
Coady's well placed ball over the top of the Burton defence fell perfectly for Costa. Burton goalkeeper Stephen Bywater came off his line to try to narrow the angle but Costa lifted the ball past him and into the far corner of the net.
It would have been easy for Burton to quickly fold after that setback. But they went in search of an equaliser and Marvin Sordell was unfortunate to see his shot blocked by a packed Wolves defence in the 24th minute.
While Burton were full of fight, Wolves carried the greater threat and they doubled their advantage through Afobe four minutes before half-time.
Once again, Burton were undone by a long through ball this time from Ruben Neves. Afobe was as clinical as Costa, rifling his shot past Bywater and into the far corner of the net.
That looked to have put the game out of the reach of Burton, but Dyer handed them a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.
Wolves failed to fully clear a Sordell corner and when the ball broke to Dyer on the edge of the area, he let fly with a low drive that took a deflection which left goalkeeper John Ruddy flat footed as the ball flew past him.
Burton's comeback hopes did not last long though, as Wolves regained their two-goal cushion at the start of the second half when Afobe rolled home his second goal from 12 yards after being set up by Ivan Cavaleiro following his run into the penalty area.
That ensured Wolves moved six points above Cardiff as Burton remained in the bottom three.

English League Championship Standings

1 Sheffield United 10 +14 23
2 Norwich City 10 +7 20
3 Reading 10 -4 18
4 Burnley 10 +7 17
5 Luton Town 11 +3 16
6 Sunderland 10 +5 15
7 Queens Park Rangers 10 +3 15
8 Blackburn Rovers 10 -2 15
9 Rotherham United 9 +6 14
10 Bristol City 10 +3 14
11 Watford 10 0 14
12 Wigan Athletic 9 -2 13
13 Millwall 10 -3 13
14 Stoke City 10 0 12
15 Preston North End 10 -1 12
16 Swansea City 10 -2 12
17 Birmingham City 10 -2 12
18 Cardiff City 10 -4 11
19 Blackpool 10 -5 11
20 Hull City 11 -12 11
21 West Bromwich Albion 10 +1 10
22 Middlesbrough 10 -2 10
23 Huddersfield Town 9 -4 7
24 Coventry City 7 -6 3