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Cardiff City 0-1 Wolves

Cardiff City 0-1 Wolves

All five of Ruben Neves' goals for Wolves this season have come from outside the areaCardiff City missed two stoppage-time penalties as they lost to Championship leaders Wolves in a dramatic finale.At a packed Cardiff City Stadium, Ruben Neves scored a brilliant second-half free-kick from 25 yards.After being bundled over in the box, Cardiff's Gary Madine saw his low penalty saved by John Ruddy.
Moments later, Junior Hoilett blasted a spot-kick against the bar as Wolves extended their lead at the top of the table to nine points.They need only five points from the final five games of the season to seal a return to the Premier League.
Relive Wolves' dramatic win at Cardiff
The stupefying finish was a stark contrast to what had otherwise been something of a slow burner - an absorbing but unspectacular encounter between two very different but well-matched teams.It was also a demoralising end to the game for Cardiff, who were twice given hope of rescuing a point when referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot - only for their missed penalties to consign them to a first defeat in 14 games.Their despair was in startling contrast to the jubilation of their opponents, whose coaches and substitutes rushed on to the pitch at the full-time whistle, while their travelling supporters celebrated with riotous gusto in the stands.The Wolves celebrations seemed to anger Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, who refused to shake hands with counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo at full-time and said after the game that he "did not want to see" the Portuguese.
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Nuno Espirito Santo joined his players on the pitch to celebrate at full-time
Wolves move closer to Premier League
While Wolves need only two wins to secure promotion, Cardiff remain five points clear of third-placed Fulham in a battle for the second automatic promotion place which promises to go down to the wire.Fulham visit Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and, with the Londoners on an 18-game unbeaten run, Cardiff will be looking over their shoulders.Despite their advantage over Fulham, Warnock has always said the play-offs are Cardiff's target, although this is more than likely a little mischievous from the wily veteran of seven promotions.Cardiff faced Wolves in the knowledge they needed only a point to be guaranteed at least a top-six spot but, like their opponents here, they had their eyes on a bigger and better prize.With a record league crowd of 29,317 gathered under the lights at Cardiff City Stadium, there was a frisson of anticipation for this meeting between the Championship's two leading sides.It was an intriguing clash of styles, with the patient, technically accomplished visitors confronted by an abrasive, functional Cardiff side, built very much in the image of their manager.The hosts looked to fuel the fervent atmosphere with their direct approach, Sol Bamba heading one of their many dangerous set-pieces wide.Wolves, by contrast, sought a more measured approach, dominating possession and slowing the tempo as they built their attacks gradually, with Neves and Diogo Jota both testing home goalkeeper Neil Etheridge with powerful efforts.This was the style which had kept Santo's men at the top of the Championship since October, and it paid dividends once again against their closest rivals for the title.
Stoppage-time drama
After Leo Bonatini rounded Etheridge and struck the post, Neves sent the travelling fans wild with a brilliant curling free-kick from 25 yards.The real drama, however, came in added time.Wolves captain Conor Coady had his head in his hands after Dean adjudged him to have fouled Madine in the area, although he was given a reprieve when Ruddy - diving low to his left - saved the striker's poorly struck spot-kick.Astonishingly, another penalty followed moments later when Aron Gunnarsson was fouled.But just as Wolves thought victory had been snatched away from them, Hoilett smashed his effort against the bar to spark scenes of unadulterated jubilation among the visitors.
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Junior Hoilett misses Cardiff's second stoppage-time spot kickCardiff City manager Neil Warnock: "It was a cracking game, a good advertisement. A great crowd and a fabulous, world-class goal for Wolves. Two good teams and a cracking atmosphere."I'm disappointed we haven't won, let alone get a point. It's one of those days when nothing seemed to go in."We just have to get on with it. We showed we're a decent team. "You're not going to get happy faces. They (Cardiff's players) are all disappointed. It shows how far we've come, playing against the so-called best team in the Championship and we more than held our own."Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "Football is always innovating and it's a fantastic game. That's why we love it so much. It can give and take."We deserve it. If you look at the game, we had chances not to suffer in the end but that's why people voted for John Ruddy in the Championship team of the season and he gave us victory."I was not even thinking about the first penalty (when the second was awarded) but we should control the emotions better, which is my job."
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Cardiff
25Etheridge
2PeltierBooked at 62mins[/i]
4MorrisonBooked at 66mins[/i]
14Bamba
3Bennett
35WildschutSubstituted forMadineat 71'minutes
18PatersonSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 51'minutes
17Gunnarsson
21Bryson
10ZohoreSubstituted forPilkingtonat 84'minutes
33Hoilett
Substitutes
5Ecuele Manga
13Pilkington
19Mendez-Laing
20Damour
28Murphy
32Traore
44Madine
Wolves
21Ruddy
5Bennett
16Coady
15Boly
2Doherty
27SaissBooked at 75mins[/i]
8NevesBooked at 90mins[/i]
3Douglas
18JotaSubstituted forCavaleiroat 67'minutes
19AfobeSubstituted forN'Diayeat 78'minutes
33BonatiniSubstituted forCostaat 58'minutesBooked at 89mins[/i]
Substitutes
4N'Diaye
6Batth
7Cavaleiro
17Costa
24Gibbs-White
30Hause
31Norris
Referee:Mike DeanAttendance:29,317
Match Stats
Home TeamCardiffAway TeamWolvesPossessionHome39%Away61%ShotsHome16Away13Shots on TargetHome3Away6CornersHome8Away3FoulsHome6Away11
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+6' Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.Posted at 90'+6' Penalty missed! Still Cardiff City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) hits the bar with a right footed shot.
Booking
Posted at 90'+6' Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 90'+5' Penalty conceded by Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers) after a foul in the penalty area.Posted at 90'+5' Penalty Cardiff City. Aron Gunnarsson draws a foul in the penalty area.Posted at 90'+5' Attempt saved. Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gary Madine with a headed pass.Posted at 90'+5' Attempt blocked. Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett with a headed pass.Posted at 90'+4' Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by John Ruddy.Posted at 90'+4' Penalty saved! Gary Madine (Cardiff City) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.Posted at 90'+3' Penalty conceded by Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) after a foul in the penalty area.Posted at 90'+3' Penalty Cardiff City. Anthony Pilkington draws a foul in the penalty area.
Booking
Posted at 89' Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for dangerous play.Posted at 89' Dangerous play by Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers).Posted at 89' Neil Etheridge (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 88' Attempt saved. Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Helder Costa.Posted at 87' Attempt saved. Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Willy Boly.Posted at 86' Attempt missed. Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ruben Neves.Posted at 85' Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 85' Foul by Sol Bamba (Cardiff City).Posted at 85' Attempt missed. Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner following a set piece situation.Posted at 85' Attempt missed. Craig Bryson (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sean Morrison with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Substitution
Posted at 84' Substitution, Cardiff City. Anthony Pilkington replaces Kenneth Zohore.Posted at 84' Foul by Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers).Posted at 84' David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 84' Attempt saved. Alfred N'Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro.Posted at 82' Offside, Cardiff City. Sean Morrison tries a through ball, but Sol Bamba is caught offside.Posted at 81' Foul by Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers).Posted at 81' Craig Bryson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 80' Offside, Cardiff City. Aron Gunnarsson tries a through ball, but Sean Morrison is caught offside.
Substitution
Posted at 78' Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alfred N'Diaye replaces Benik Afobe.Posted at 76' Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Barry Douglas.
Booking
Posted at 75' Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 75' Foul by Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers).Posted at 75' Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 75' Attempt missed. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left.Posted at 73' Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 73' Foul by Gary Madine (Cardiff City).
Substitution
Posted at 71' Substitution, Cardiff City. Gary Madine replaces Yanic Wildschut.Posted at 71' Attempt missed. Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
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