Nottingham Forest 1 (Carayol 75)
Wolves 2 (Jota 47, 81)
A double from Diogo Jota saw Wolves through to a fine victory over Nottingham Forest with the three points taking Nuno’s team up into second place in the Championship table behind front runners Leeds United on goal difference.
Romain Saiss came in for Alfred N’Diaye as the only change to the Wolves starting line-up as Forest kicked-off attacking the end of the City Ground that held a sell-out visitors allocation of 2,000.
John Ruddy had little difficulty in claiming Daryl Murphy’s angled shot and home keeper Jordan Smith was equally untroubled as Ivan Cavaleiro fired in the first effort for the visitors.
Jota’s left-foot drive was taken by Smith as the two sides alternated attacks in the early stages and it was Jota again, this time ballooning the ball over the bar, after Cavaleiro had pulled it back into his path.
In the 22nd minute Ruddy needed two attempts to claim a low, 20-yard effort from Kieran Dowell before he plucked a dangerous Tendayi Darikwa cross out of the air.
On the half-hour Jota broke from his own half and fed Cavaleiro but his shot from the 18-yard line was way too high.
Dowell jinked his way into the Wolves box before curling a shot into the arms of Ruddy, but goal attempts from either side were of a premium.
However, Leo Bonatini almost did the trick after the home defence had made a hash of clearing but the striker’s rising drive took a touch off a defender and was deflected inches over for a Cavaleiro corner that was eventually cleared.
Home skipper Matt Mills earned a rebuke from the referee following a challenge that left Cavaleiro on the floor before Ruben
Vinagre played Jota in on the overlap. He took the ball to the by-line and hit a short, low cross that Joe Worrall turned behind at the near post.
Half-Time: Forest 0 Wolves 0
Just a minute and a half into the second period, Wanderers took the lead. Cavaleiro hit a great cross from the right and Jota was waiting at the far post to prod the ball over the line.
Cavaleiro went into the book for tripping Armand Traore and, after Liam Bridcutt had hit a fierce drive straight at Ruddy, Cavaleiro was replaced by Ben Marshall.
At the same time Forest switched Mustapha Carayol for Dowell and, with Vinagre having gone down with an injury, Sylvain Deslandes took his place in defence.
Deslandes was penalised for a push on Ben Brereton to the right of the Wolves box and, when the ball was cleared to Jota on the wing, he went on a tremendous run for the length of the field before cutting in and laying a pass to Marshall who poked the ball straight to Smith.
Forest drew level in the 75th minute when, with everyone expecting a cross from Carayol, he suddenly let fly from all of 25-yards to send a swerving shot past the wrong-footed Ruddy.
But Wolves regained the advantage just six minutes later when Bonatini laid a perfect ball in front of Jota who drew Smith from his line before steering home a right-footed shot.
There was still time for more action, and it needed a fine save from Ruddy to preserve Wolves lead, denying Darikwa on 86 minutes.
But Wolves were also looking threatening on the break, Neves seeing his shot saved by Smith, and N’Diaye, who had come on for Bonatini following the second goal, playing in Doherty only for the Forest keeper to come out to smother.
Another Wolves break in added time saw Marshall’s shot deflected wide and that was the end of the goalmouth incident as the final whistle brought scenes of celebration from Nuno and the staff and players in front of the delighted travelling support.
Forest: Smith, Mills (capt), Traore, Bridcutt, Murphy, McKay (Cummings 70), Osborn, Brereton (Walker 86), Dowell (Carayol 61), Darikwa, Worrall.
Unused subs; Henderson, Lichaj, Fox, Bouchalakis.
Bookings: Mills (82 – foul), Bridcutt (90+3 – foul).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre (Deslandes 61), Neves, Batth (capt), Miranda, Coady, Jota, Bonatini (N’Diaye 83), Saiss, Cavaleiro (Marshall 61).
Unused subs: Norris, Price, Ronan, Enobakhare.
Bookings: Cavaleiro (56 – foul), Marshall (90+1 – foul).
Referee: G. Eltringham.
Attendance: 25,756 (1,993 away supporters).
Wolves Academy Under 18s 1 (McKenna) Stoke City 0 (Premier League Cup)