Wolves 3 (Bonatini 28, Jota 54, Batth 85)
Bristol City 3 (Flint 43, Diedhiou-pen 58, Reid 82)
The points were shared as Wolves and Bristol City battled it out in a real blood and thunder affair that could have gone either way in the end.
Nuno made two changes to his starting line-up with Alfred N’Diaye, who was making his first start, and Ivan Cavaleiro coming in for Ben Marshall and Romain Saiss who were both named as substitutes.
City kicked-off attacking the South Bank end but it was Wolves that were close to drawing first blood in the third minute when Cavaleiro’s cross was headed out to Ruben Neves who hit a first time volley that drifted wide.
When City won a corner the ball was cleared upfield and within seconds Wanderers had a one of their own. Cavaleiro took the kick and the ball dropped at the feet of Roderick Miranda who was too high with his shot.
Josh Brownhill’s foul on Cavaleiro presented Neves with a free-kick opportunity but his curled effort from 25-yards was a couple of feet over the angle.
Nathan Baker’s late challenge on Diogo Jota resulted in a booking for the City man.
The first real danger to the home goal came in the 24th minute when Jonathan Leko beat three men as he cut into the box before being crowded out at the expense of a corner.
Wolves took the lead in the 28th minute after N’Diaye worked wonders in keeping the ball in on the by-line before delivering a low cross. Ruben Vinagre charged in and hit the ball back into the goalmouth where Leo Bonatini was waiting to divert it past Frank Fielding in the Bristol goal.
Jota had the chance of a second when he chased a through ball from Bonatini but, off balance, he volleyed wide.
Brownhill wasn’t far away with a speculative shot as City built up a head of steam that was to culminate in the equaliser. A free-kick was cleared for the first of consecutive corners and from the second, taken by Callum O’Dowda, John Ruddy punched out but Bailey Wright’s shot was deflected in via Aden Flint.
In stoppage time Jota almost restored the advantage with a tremendous 25-yard volley that Fielding did well to beat away. The ball bounced out to Cavaleiro and he fed Bonatini who fired wide.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Bristol City 1
Three minutes into the new half Brownhill went into the book for bringing down Cavaleiro who was in full flight. Neves’s free-kick needed a full length save from Fielding to keep the ball out.
When Matt Doherty pulled the ball back into the path of Cavaleiro he hit a shot destined for the back of the net until it struck Flint and deflected over the bar.
In the 53rd minute Cavaleiro broke clear and took the ball past the keeper. But he had been forced wide and Baker was able to block and clear the short cross that followed.
But the relief for City proved to be brief as, from Cavaleiro’s corner, Bonatini helped the ball on and Jota was there to convert from close quarters.
City needed just three minutes to pull level with Famara Diedhiou converting from the penalty spot after Vinagre had handled.
Wolves hit back with a vengeance and Flint nearly put through his own goal as he headed Neves’s free-kick behind. Then there were howls of derision from the crowd when the referee turned down penalty appeals after Danny Batth appeared to have been flattened by Wright in the box.
Jota was yellow carded for a foul on Wright shortly afterwards and then City made a change sending Matty Taylor on for Leko.
A low cross from Cavaleiro just eluded Batth and Jota as the ball ran through the goalmouth before the woodwork came to City’s rescue in the 75th minute.
Bonatini chested down yet another Cavaleiro cross and Jota hit a shot that almost broke the crossbar in two.
Both sides made double substitutions with Miranda and Cavaleiro being replaced by Saiss and Bright Enobakhare, whilst City exchanged Brownhill and Diedhiou with Jamie Paterson and Marlon Pack.
City took the lead in the 82nd minute following a Flint corner. Taylor headed against the post and Bobby Reid followed up to stab the ball home.
Marshall went on for Neves for the final few minutes which were incident packed to say the least.
Bonatini’s flick hit Fielding after a cross from Doherty and, from Marshall’s corner, Batth rose to power home the equaliser.
Ruddy had to tip over a 30-yard piledriver from Joe Bryan and then the four minutes of stoppage time saw play swinging from one end to the other.
It was breath-taking stuff.
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre, Neves, Batth (capt), Miranda (Saiss 76), Coady, Jota (Marshall 84), Bonatini, N’Diaye, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare 76).
Unused subs: Norris, Zyro, Price, Deslandes.
Booking: Jota (68 – foul).
City: Fielding, Bryan, Flint, Wright (capt), Baker, Smith, Brownhill (Paterson 76), Diedhiou (Pack 76), O’Dowda, Reid, Leko (Taylor 68).
Unused subs: Steele, Woodrow, Eliasson, Magnusson.
Bookings: Baker (21 – foul), Brownhill (48 – foul).
Referee: S. Martin.