first_imgTopics Football League: Cardiff keep up the pressure as Shrewsbury slip at Rochdale match reports Share on Twitter Middlesbrough Share on Pinterest Pinterest Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo celebrates with Romain Saiss at full time. Photograph: Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images Share on LinkedIn Championship Share on Messenger Twitter Read more “I’m really disappointed; nine men behind the ball can make it difficult for you but we lacked a bit of quality,” said Pulis, whose midfield sat deep and lacked invention.Boro’s manager suffered the indignity of a seemingly out of control Nuno declining to shake his hand at the final whistle before provocatively, manically, jumping up and down in celebration in front of him.It was needless and hardly classy, and stewards, sensing potential trouble, surrounded the pair. Pulis, though, played things down. “It don’t make no difference to me,” he said. “It would have been different if I’d known him but I don’t know the fellow.”Nuno claimed the indiscipline stemmed from the referee’s perceived failure to send off George Friend for a supposedly “professional” foul on Hélder Costa that many neutrals interpreted as a dive on the forward’s part.“A bad decision caused the emotions,” said a manager whose otherwise elegant side’s often rough treatment of Traoré in a game of two red cards and eight yellows showed Wolves know how to play tough. “It was difficult to keep calm. Both teams lost control. It was crazy.” And his celebration? “I jumped in the air. I was very happy.”An absorbing first half was littered with evidence revealing precisely why Wolves are cantering to the title, not to mention why Traoré is arguably the division’s most dangerous attacking force and why Neves’s excellent central midfield skills will surely enhance the Premier League.By the end of it Darren Randolph had made a couple of exceptional saves following subtly swerving long-range Neves shots and the visitors had scored twice.After Randolph saved from Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro performed wonders to keep the ball in play, permitting it to fall to Barry Douglas, whose audaciously chipped, high-calibre pass was volleyed home, left-footed, by Costa.The second goal arrived from a corner after Randolph could only parry Willy Boly’s header and Cavaleiro headed in the rebound but, until then Wolves had looked unusually fragile whenever Traoré had run at Boly, the left-sided element of Nuno’s back three.Boro though failed to capitalise when Neves was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in as few minutes. Newly booked for dissent, he then slid recklessly into a lunge on Friend.Minutes earlier Nuno had turned incandescent in the wake of the Friend/Costa non-sending off but replays suggested contact was minimal and Stuart Attwell’s decision correct.Bamford, set up superbly by Traoré, lost his footing while shaping to shoot, and Doherty lost his composure, catching Friend’s head with an elbow as they challenged for a high ball and seeing a second yellow card and dismissal.Even though Bamford’s stunning volley eventually eluded John Ruddy and Stewart Downing shot wide, Nuno’s nine men somehow held on. “It’s massive,” Nuno said. “A massive win.” Share on Facebook Facebook Share via Email Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp Wolverhampton Wanderers Rúben Neves and Matt Doherty were sent off as Wolves lost their tempers on Teesside but even the reduction to nine men failed to prevent Nuno Espírito Santo’s side from extending an apparently unassailable lead at the top of the Championship.While three wins would guarantee Wolves promotion, Tony Pulis’s Middlesbrough cling to sixth place on goal difference. If they are to reach, let alone win, the play-offs, a team increasingly built around the attacking talents of Adama Traoré will need to be rather more ruthless than this. Although the largely isolated Patrick Bamford registered his ninth goal in seven games with a brilliant 94th-minute volley, it was too little too late.last_img

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