Wolves sign off with emphatic win
Burton Albion 0
Wolves 4 (Jota 5, Saiss 10, Vinagre 41, Bonatini 62)
After the disappointment of the defeat at Sheffield United three days earlier, Wolves bounced back in fine style by beating Burton Albion 4-0 in a one-sided affair at the Pirelli Stadium.
There were four changes to the team that went down at Bramall Lane with Ryan Bennett, Ivan Cavaleiro, Romain Saiss and Ruben Vinagre coming in. Missing out were Alfred N’Diaye and Leo Bonatini, who were named as substitutes, whilst Barry Douglas was ruled out by injury and Conor Coady through suspension. Bennett was making his League debut for Wanderers.
Burton kicked-off attacking the end of the ground that housed 1,500 visiting fans who were cheering loudly after just five minutes. Cavaleiro flicked a pass through to Diogo Jota who raced clear and fired past Stephen Bywater from the 18-yard line.
And just five minutes later it was two. Luke Murphy obstructed Helder Costa near the right-hand corner of the home area and when Bywater fumbled Ruben Neves’s free-kick, Saiss was there to force the ball over the line. It was the Moroccan’s first goal for the club.
There was an opportunity for Burton when Jota fouled Tom Flanagan to the right of the Wolves box. Jamie Allen’s free-kick was deflected out for a corner which, again, was taken by Allen with John Ruddy claiming the ball at the second attempt.
Two Cavaleiro corners came to nothing and then Bywater had to race from his box to clear from Costa who was homing in on a long through ball.
The Brewers were close to pulling one back in the 27th minute when Allen’s 20-yard shot looked destined for the top corner until it was turned over by Ruddy.
When Wolves were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Costa, wide on the right, Cavaleiro’s kick was helped on by Roderick Miranda to Saiss whose shot was blocked by a defender.
Lucas Akins did well to get his head to Hope Akpan’s volleyed cross but he could only divert the ball well wide of Ruddy’s goal.
Jota almost squeezed a low shot home and when the ball bounced back to him, he was only able to find the side netting from a tight angle.
But a third goal wasn’t far away and it arrived in the 41st minute. Vinagre took a return pass from Cavaleiro and he literally danced into the box before coolly slotting the ball past Bywater. Like Saiss,
it was his first goal for Wolves.
Half-Time: Burton 0 Wolves 3
Tom Naylor was an interval replacement for Flanagan for Burton.
Just a minute into the new half Matt Doherty was brought down by Stephen Warnock. It looked a clear penalty but, to the dismay of the Wolves players and their fans behind the goal, the referee awarded the kick just outside the area. Cavaleiro squared the ball to Doherty but his low drive bounced away off a defender.
Five minutes into the half, Bonatini replaced Costa.
Doherty was at his determined best when he won possession near the corner flag and ran into the box before laying the ball back to Cavaleiro whose curling cross to the back post was headed over by Jota.
A second Burton change saw Marvin Sordell taking over from Akpan before Wanderers went four up after a superb build-up in the 62nd minute.
Doherty pushed the ball up the line to Cavaleiro and kept running as his team-mate turned a defender inside out. Cavaleiro played the ball back for Doherty to lash a low cross-shot that Bonatini despatched at the back stick.
A series of substitutions followed with Luke Varney replacing Sean Scannell for the Brewers whilst Nuno switched Jack Price for Neves and Connor Ronan for Jota. Varney had been on the field for ten minutes when he went into the book for a late tackle on Saiss.
The Wolves defence comfortably soaked up any Burton threats and the Molineux men were inches away from a fifth just before the end when Saiss’s header from Cavaleiro’s corner hit the inside of the post and bounced onto the keeper before being cleared.
Brewers: Bywater, Warnock, Allen, McFadzean, Murphy, Scannell (Varney 67), Akins, Dyer, Flanaghan (Naylor 45), Akpan (Sordell 58), Buxton (capt).
Unused subs: Ripley, Lund, Palmer, Barker.
Booking: Varney (77 – foul).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre, Neves (Price 72), Batth (capt), Bennett, Miranda, Cavaleiro, Jota (Ronan 76), Saiss, Costa (Bonatini 51).
Unused subs: Norris, N’Diaye, Enobakhare, Deslandes.
Referee: T. Harrington.