Burnley put an end to any lingering fears of relegation with a win at Molineux that leaves Wolves on the brink of the drop to League One.
Danny Ings's left-footed strike gave Burnley an early lead which was doubled by Martin Paterson's close-range effort eight minutes after the break.
After Michael Duff's red card, Wolves substitute Nouha Dicko pulled one back.
But defeat leaves Wolves needing to beat Brighton, while hoping Barnsley and Peterborough both lose.
There was a mood of resignation at Molineux long before the final whistle precipitated a pitch invasion from around 500 fans. They protested against owner Steve Morgan before being quickly dispersed by police.
Happier hunting ground
Wolves had won 20 of the previous 27 meetings between the two sides. But the Clarets have improved that record recently - this was their third win at Molineux in six visits.
The home side had earlier made a bright start but were stunned on eight minutes when Burnley scored with their first real attack, Ings curling home a low left-foot shot from the corner of the box.
Wolves did not fold, however, and caused several moments of panic in the Burnley box.
But it was the visitors who came closest to scoring again when Ings's low cross was allowed to travel across the goal-line without anyone able to apply the finishing touch.
And, eight minutes into the second half, the worried Wolves fans' worst fears were realised when, after Ings's cross caused havoc in the six-yard box, Paterson swivelled to net Burnley's second.
Wolves boss Dean Saunders responded by making a double substitution on the hour, gambling on Bakary Sako, supposedly fit again after a hamstring injury that had looked to have ruled him out for the season, and Dicko.
Wolves' plunge to within a point of relegation came as Doncaster Rovers, the club Dean Saunders left in January to take over at Molineux, clinched promotion from League One.
"I am pleased for them that they have won the league," said Saunders.
"I walked into a mess there and had to sort that out. They cleared the decks and have come back up to the Championship and it's onwards and upwards for them."
And 10 minutes later he went for one last throw of the dice by bringing on Northern Irish teenager Liam McAlinden for his professional debut in place of Stephen Hunt.
McAlinden almost produced instantly when he curled a left-foot shot just wide with his first touch, then Karl Henry and Tongo Doumbia both fired just wide before young Burnley midfielder David Edgar made a superb block tackle to clear a six-yard box scramble.
Dicko briefly offered hope when he volleyed in from four yards with two minutes of normal time left but it turned out to be too little, too late as Wolves suffered their ninth defeat in 19 matches under Saunders.
Wolves manager Dean Saunders:
"I'm devastated we haven't got the right result. We've let two terrible goals in. And it's stacked up against us, but we're not dead yet.
"It's out of our hands now, which it wasn't before today, but stranger things have happened. Something happens every year. We've just got to try and make sure it happens to us.
"But we should never be in the position that we are in. Forget this game, we have got ourselves in a terrible position."
Burnley boss Sean Dyche:
"There is a big expectation here at Wolves. The demand from the fans about what the club should be can affect players and performances and make it awkward for the home team. Our game plan was to try and make the crowd nervous and hopefully make the opposition nervous.
"But we have our own expectations and I'm pleased with the way that the side found the clarity of thought to play rather than get involved in a scrap. There were some very good individual performances and obviously I was very pleased tactically at how we managed with 10 men.
"People who have seen us a lot will know that we have had some unbelievable bad luck. I've never seen as many big decisions go against us, we've had injuries and we have six contracts up. But we have managed to guide that group over the line."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +3:23
A cross is delivered by Karl Henry.90:00 +3:04
Roger Johnson takes a shot. Save by Lee Grant.90:00 +2:32
Corner taken by Bakary Sako.90:00 +2:19
Matt Doherty has a volleyed shot. Blocked by Jason Shackell.90:00 +1:21 Booking
Booking Lee Grant goes into the referee's book.90:00 +1:07
Effort on goal by Kevin Doyle from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.90:00 +0:46
Karl Henry sends in a cross, clearance made by Jason Shackell.89:08 Substitution
Substitution Marvin Bartley replaces Sam Vokes.87:29
The assist for the goal came from Liam McAlinden.87:29 Goal scored
Goal! - Nouha Dicko - Wolves 1 - 2 Burnley Nouha Dicko scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wolverhampton 1-2 Burnley.87:06
Matt Doherty takes a shot. Save made by Lee Grant. Corner from the left by-line taken by Bakary Sako,86:12
Shot by Bakary Sako from a long way out goes over the net.85:15
Nouha Dicko sends in a cross.84:41
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tongo Doumbia by Junior Stanislas. Matt Doherty takes the direct free kick.81:58 Substitution
Substitution Junior Stanislas replaces Martin Paterson.81:27
Karl Henry crosses the ball, clearance made by Kieran Trippier.81:20
The ball is sent over by Matt Doherty, Chris McCann manages to make a clearance.81:01
The ball is swung over by Matt Doherty, clearance by Danny Lafferty.79:03
Roger Johnson produces a cross. Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Ings on Jack Robinson. Strike comes in from Bakary Sako from the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Nouha Dicko, clearance by Kieran Trippier.77:55
Tongo Doumbia takes a shot. Blocked by Dean Marney.76:39
A cross is delivered by Jack Robinson, Effort from the edge of the area by Tongo Doumbia goes wide of the left-hand post.75:37
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jack Robinson by Sam Vokes. Jack Robinson restarts play with the free kick.75:00
The ball is swung over by Nouha Dicko, clearance made by Danny Lafferty.73:56
Effort from outside the penalty box by Karl Henry goes wide right of the goal.73:14
Kevin Doyle sends in a cross, clearance by Kieran Trippier.72:46
Martin Paterson has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.72:19
The ball is swung over by Jack Robinson, Jason Shackell makes a clearance.71:33
Danny Lafferty takes the direct free kick.71:33 Booking
Booking Matt Doherty is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.71:26
Matt Doherty challenges Martin Paterson unfairly and gives away a free kick.70:44
Chris McCann fouled by Nouha Dicko, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jason Shackell.69:30
Liam McAlinden has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.67:47
Lee Grant restarts play with the free kick.67:47 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Hunt goes off and Liam McAlinden comes on.67:47 Booking
Booking Booking for Nouha Dicko for unsporting behaviour.67:37
Nouha Dicko challenges Danny Lafferty unfairly and gives away a free kick.64:54
Strike on goal comes in from Bakary Sako from the free kick, Jason Shackell gets a block in.64:54 Dismissal
Dismissal Michael Duff receives a red card for second bookable offence.64:32
Foul by Michael Duff on Kevin Doyle, free kick awarded.63:21
Corner taken left-footed by Bakary Sako to the near post, Headed effort from inside the area by Jack Robinson misses to the right of the target.61:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Lafferty by Stephen Hunt. Jason Shackell takes the direct free kick.58:21 Substitution
Substitution Nouha Dicko joins the action as a substitute, replacing Bjorn Sigurdarson.57:38 Substitution
Substitution Bakary Sako is brought on as a substitute for Stephen Ward.57:38
Dean Marney takes a shot. Blocked by Tongo Doumbia. Effort from deep inside the area by Sam Vokes misses to the right of the goal.55:32
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson by Sam Vokes. Free kick taken by Dorus De Vries.52:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Martin Paterson - Wolves 0 - 2 Burnley Martin Paterson grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wolverhampton 0-2 Burnley.51:20
The ball is crossed by Danny Lafferty, clearance made by Jack Robinson. Corner taken by Danny Ings from the right by-line to the near post, Kaspars Gorkss makes a clearance.50:15
Sam Vokes is ruled offside. Dorus De Vries takes the direct free kick.47:16
Unfair challenge on Stephen Hunt by Martin Paterson results in a free kick. Tongo Doumbia restarts play with the free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +2:38 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +1:46
Corner from the right by-line taken by Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle takes a shot. Jason Shackell manages to make a clearance.45:00 +1:11
Inswinging corner taken by Stephen Hunt from the right by-line played to the near post, Danny Lafferty makes a clearance.44:57
Kaspars Gorkss takes the free kick.44:57 Booking
Booking The referee shows Dean Marney a yellow card.44:35
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Marney on Karl Henry.43:42
Unfair challenge on David Edgar by Kevin Doyle results in a free kick. Jason Shackell takes the direct free kick.42:37
Corner from the right by-line taken by Stephen Hunt, clearance made by Jason Shackell.42:13
Kaspars Gorkss fouled by Sam Vokes, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Robinson restarts play with the free kick.40:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Robinson on Danny Ings. Kieran Trippier takes the free kick.37:51
The ball is crossed by Stephen Ward, Header from close range by Matt Doherty misses to the right of the goal.36:56
The ball is swung over by Stephen Ward, Kevin Doyle takes a shot. Save by Lee Grant.35:41
A cross is delivered by Stephen Hunt, Bjorn Sigurdarson has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the right of the goal.30:45
The assistant referee signals for offside against Martin Paterson. Dorus De Vries restarts play with the free kick.29:37
The ball is crossed by Kieran Trippier, Dorus De Vries makes a save.26:58
Stephen Ward crosses the ball, blocked by Danny Ings. Bjorn Sigurdarson takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Jason Shackell. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Bjorn Sigurdarson, Headed effort from inside the box by Matt Doherty misses to the right of the target.26:47
Centre by Stephen Ward, clearance made by Jason Shackell.26:37
The ball is delivered by David Edgar.22:53
Kaspars Gorkss gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Ings. Free kick taken by Dean Marney.22:18
Unfair challenge on Karl Henry by Dean Marney results in a free kick. Jack Robinson restarts play with the free kick.21:19
Sam Vokes takes a shot from 12 yards. Save by Dorus De Vries.20:19
Stephen Ward produces a cross, Danny Ings manages to make a clearance.19:39
The ball is swung over by Stephen Ward, Jason Shackell makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stephen Hunt from the right by-line, clearance made by Jason Shackell.18:49
Free kick crossed left-footed by Stephen Hunt from left channel, Jason Shackell manages to make a clearance.18:49 Booking
Booking Booking for Michael Duff.18:41
Michael Duff challenges Kevin Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick.16:42
Stephen Hunt crosses the ball, clearance made by Danny Lafferty. Tongo Doumbia produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the target.15:29
Danny Lafferty crosses the ball, Headed effort on goal by Dean Marney from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.15:12
Kieran Trippier sends in a cross, clearance by Roger Johnson.13:45
The ball is crossed by Kieran Trippier.12:41
The assistant referee flags for offside against Kevin Doyle. Free kick taken by Lee Grant.11:36
Sam Vokes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Hunt.7:04
The assist for the goal came from Kieran Trippier.7:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Danny Ings - Wolves 0 - 1 Burnley Danny Ings scores a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wolverhampton 0-1 Burnley.6:53
Kieran Trippier delivers the ball,6:11
Danny Lafferty takes a shot from long distance which goes wide of the right-hand post.5:54
Corner taken right-footed by Danny Ings from the right by-line to the near post, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.5:40
Danny Ings takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.5:10
Corner taken right-footed by Danny Ings.4:43
The ball is sent over by Karl Henry, save by Lee Grant.3:42
The ball is crossed by Karl Henry, Kieran Trippier manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Stephen Hunt played to the near post, Danny Ings manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Bjorn Sigurdarson from the right by-line, Jason Shackell makes a clearance.3:34
Kevin Doyle delivers the ball, clearance made by Danny Lafferty.3:10
Tongo Doumbia takes a shot. Save by Lee Grant.0:02
Dean Marney concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Doyle. Stephen Hunt crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Dean Marney.0:00
The game gets underway.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers