Goal in each half seals Norwich victory
Norwich City 0
Wolves 2 (Boly 18, Bonatini 72)
Wolves were back to their best at Carrow Road where goals from Willy Boly and Leo Bonatini paved the way for a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Norwich City and a place back at the top of the Championship table.
Following the defeat against Queens Park Rangers, Nuno made three changes with Boly, Alfred N’Diaye and Ryan Bennett coming in for Danny Batth, Roderick Miranda and the suspended Romain Saiss. It was Boly’s first game since the end of August.
An early free-kick conceded after Barry Douglas’s challenge on Ivo Pinto wide on the right gave James Maddison the chance to float the ball into the box where Bonatini was on hand to boot clear.
Ruben Neves featured in Wolves’ first attack with a sweetly struck effort from 20-yards that Angus Gunn turned around the post.
The 13th minute proved to be an unlucky one for City as Marley Watkins’ header from Maddison’s free-kick struck the far post before going behind.
A short corner from Ivan Cavaleiro gave Douglas the chance to cross and when it was headed out to Matt Doherty he charged in and hit a tremendous shot that had ‘goal’ written all over it until the ball struck a defender and went behind.
But the relief for the Canaries was brief as, in the 18th minute and from Douglas’s corner, the unmarked Boly headed into the net from six-yards out.
It was almost two when Bonatini intercepted a backpass and rounded Gunn but, from the tightest of angles, he put the ball over the bar.
Watkins went into the book after a late challenge on Conor Coady before, in the 31st minute, Doherty played Diogo Jota through only for his low shot was blocked by Timm Klose.
Klose was then wide with a header after a corner from Maddison and the Swiss defender was in the thick of things again at the other end as he threw himself in the way of a Bonatini effort.
N’Diaye was yellow carded after clipping the heels of Jos Murphy and the half ended with a run from Doherty that took him into the Canaries box before two defenders converged on him to clear the danger.
Half-Time: Canaries 0 Wolves 1
Within two minutes of the resumption there was a great chance for Wolves as Cavaleiro, Bonatini and N’Diaye led the charge in a three against two break.
Cavaleiro, in the middle of the trio, slipped the ball to N’Diaye whose angled shot lacked the power to unduly concern Gunn.
Wolves were looking dangerous and when Doherty’s low cross had been cleared to the far side, Murphy was booked after clattering into the back of Douglas.
Ruddy fielded a header from Harrison Reed’s cross before Bonatini missed a good chance after a great piece of work from Jota who cut inside and passed to the striker who flicked the ball wide of the far post.
A series of substitutions followed with Marco Stiepermann, Cameron Jerome and Christoph Zimmermann replacing James Husband, Murphy and Tom Trybull for the home side, and Bright Enobakhare took over from Cavaleiro for Wanderers.
Neves was booked for a foul on Maddison who was then denied by Conor Coady who brilliantly blocked a dangerous looking shot.
Wolves were close again in the 69th minute after Doherty and Enobakhare combined to set up Jota whose shot struck Pinto flush in the face before going behind.
After Ruddy had made light of a 20-yard effort from Watkins, Wolves went two up in the 72nd minute. Douglas’s free-kick was headed out of the box by Jerome only for Doherty to run in and nod it back into the danger area. Bennett knocked it down and Bonatini was there to shoot across Gunn inside the far post.
Before play resumed Douglas was booked presumably for leaving the field to get a drink. Then Jack Price went on for Bonatini.
Bennett was booked for a foul on Jerome and the final substitution from the visitors saw Helder Costa going on in place of Jota.
As the game approached its closing stages, Boly sliced the ball over his own bar in attempting to clear Jerome’s ball into the box, then Klose headed over from a Maddison corner.
Enobakhare almost got a third in the 90th minute with a great turn but he was dispossessed by Grant Hanley before he could get his shot away.
In the five minutes of stoppage time Reed and then Stiepermann were booked for fouls on Neves and Price respectively.
Canaries: Gunn, Pinto (capt), Husband, Reed, Vrancic, Murphy (Jerome 60), Watkins, Klose, Trybull (Zimmermann 65), Maddison, Hanley (Stiepermann 60).
Unused subs: McGovern, Martin, Hoolahan, Cantwell.
Bookings: Watkins (25 – foul), Murphy (52 – foul), Reed (90+4 – foul), Stiepermann 90+5).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, Coady (capt), Bennett, Boly, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare 60), Neves, Bonatini (Price 75), Jota (Costa 84), N’Diaye.
Unused subs: Norris, Marshall, Vinagre, Hause.
Bookings: N’Diaye (41 – foul), Neves (63 – foul), Douglas (73 – leaving the field of play), Bennett (80 – foul).
Referee: D. England.