Great strike is a winner at Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday 0
Wolves 1 (Neves 34)
A super strike from Ruben Neves gave Wolves victory over Sheffield Wednesday at a freezing Hillsborough on Friday evening.
It was a fourth consecutive away win for Nuno’s men and they created a new club record in not having conceded in the four games – at Reading, Norwich, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.
Wolves had just the one change with Ruben Vinagre replacing the injured Barry Douglas. The visitors kicked-off attacking the Kop end of the ground and twice in the opening minute the home defence had to clear crosses from Matt Doherty.
The first shot of the game came from Ivan Cavaleiro who was wide with a low effort from just outside the box.
A clever backheel by Cavaleiro gave Diogo Jota the chance to get to the bye-line but his short and low cross struck a defender and bounced gently into the arms of keeper Joe Wildsmith.
It looked as if Wanderers were going to fall behind in the 21st minute after Jordan Rhodes nodded down a cross from the right. Adam Reach came charging in unchecked but from 15-yards he thumped the ball well wide.
John Ruddy made a routine save from Gary Hooper’s header before Jota and Jacob Butterfield were booked in a four minute spell for late challenges
Butterfield’s yellow card, for clipping Cavaleiro, led to Wanderers moving ahead in the 34th minute.
Cavaleiro swung the free-kick into the heart of the Wednesday area and when it hit the back of Willy Boly’s head the ball dropped to Neves who, from 22-yards, hit a sweet shot that arrowed into the corner of the net.
Ryan Bennett went into the book after a brief confrontation with Rhodes who was perhaps a little fortunate to escape with just a rebuke from the referee.
Just before the break, Joost van Aken missed a clearing header giving Cavaleiro the chance to push into the box where his intended pass to Jota was unceremoniously booted clear by Liam Palmer.
Half-Time: Owls 0 Wolves 1
Wednesday won three corners in the opening minutes of the half but all were competently dealt with by the visiting defence.
Hooper met a dangerous cross from Reach at the back post but his attempt to nod the ball across the face of goal was thwarted by Boly who headed clear.
After Morgan Fox had been cautioned for pulling back Cavaleiro, Doherty set up a chance for Leo Bonatini by pulling the ball back into the striker’s path.
As he attempted to spin on the ball, Bonatini lost his footing and slipped to the floor. But he was quickly on his feet again hitting a shot on the turn narrowly wide.
The home team made a double switch in the 64th minute replacing Rhodes and Butterfield with Afdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao respectuvely.
Just a minute later Joao sent a powerful header inches over the bar after a cross from Palmer but the referee awarded a foul in Wolves’ favour for a push.
In the 67th and 72nd minutes, Nuno made two changes the first of which saw Danny Batth replacing Vinagre. Then Helder Costa took to the field in place of Bonatini.
Boly had to boot a cross from Joao over his own crossbar as Wednesday looked to get back into the game, and at the other end Jota’s superb pass put Bennett in on goal but, instead of taking a shot himself, he tried to find a team-mate allowing a defender to intercept and clear.
After Neves had been booked for a foul on Reach, Wednesday were reduced to ten men when Fox chopped down Costa and was shown a second yellow. It was the third Wolves game in succession that an opposition player had been dismissed for a double yellow.
As the contest approached its conclusion, Cavaleiro fired narrowly wide, Romain Saiss was just off target with a diving header and Neves volleyed over the bar before the final whistle signalled another three points in the Wolves account.
Owls: Wildsmith, Jones, Van Aken, Fox, Rhodes (Nuhiu 64), Butterfield (Joao 64), Loovens (capt), Hooper, Palmer, Reach, Wallace.
Unused subs: Keen, Matias, Pudil, Abdi, Venando.
Bookings: Butterfield (33 – foul), Fox (59 – foul).
Sending-Off: Fox (85 – foul – second bookable offence).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre (Batth 67), Coady (capt), Boly, Bennett, Cavaleiro (N’Diaye90+1), Saiss, Bonatini (Costa 72), Neves, Jota.
Unused subs: Norris, Gibbs-White, Miranda, Enobakhare.
Bookings: Jota (33 – foul), Bennett (43 – retaliation), Neves (82 – foul).
Referee: D. Bond.