Championship
Middlesbrough1Wolves2

Middlesbrough 1-2 Wolves

Matt Doherty
Wolves had been shown only two red cards this season before Ruben Neves and Matt Doherty's dismissals

Wolves beat Middlesbrough to restore their six-point Championship lead despite being reduced to nine men following two second-half red cards.

Helder Costa's sweetly hit volley and Ivan Cavaleiro's close-range header gave Wolves a two-goal lead.

But Boro dominated after Ruben Neves and Matt Doherty were shown second yellow cards for rash challenges.

Patrick Bamford rifled in to give his side hope, and Stewart Downing fired agonisingly wide in added time.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side, whose lead had been cut to three points by Cardiff's 3-1 win over Burton Albion earlier on Friday, had looked on course for a routine three points after a typically strong first-half showing, capped by their two goals.

And the visitors felt aggrieved shortly after the break when Costa was played through on goal, only for last man George Friend to clip his heel from behind, with no foul given.

Three minutes later, Neves was shown his second yellow card for a reckless lunge on the Boro full-back, before Doherty was sent off after clattering into Friend's head with a raised arm.

John Ruddy saved well to deny Boro's Adama Traore at the near post, and Willy Boly and Conor Coady also made crucial blocks to preserve their side's lead.

Bamford's goal gave Middlesbrough hope, but they could not force a second and the defeat kept them sixth in the table, level on points with seventh-placed Bristol City and one ahead of Millwall and Sheffield United.

There was more controversy after the final whistle, as Wolves boss Nuno did not shake Tony Pulis' hand, celebrating next to the Boro manager before running to join his players.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"I thought that we didn't deserve to be 2-0 down, I thought the two goals in such a short time didn't reflect really the first half.

"I'd have jumped up in the air but I wouldn't have done it in front of the other manager, but that's up to him.

"If he wants to do that, that's fine, it's not a problem with me. He's not my mate, so it's not as though I've lost a friend."

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo told BBC WM:

"The players lost control of their emotions and I think it is the job of the referee to speak to them and calm them. My players are used to dialogue. The referee was not a dialogue person today.

"We are not an aggressive team that gets a lot of cards. What happened today requires a lot of analysis from us.

"When we had the same number of players on the pitch as Middlesbrough we showed we are a better team and they are a good side."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 5ShottonBooked at 61minsSubstituted forCranieat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forAssombalongaat 70'minutes
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 11minsSubstituted forHowsonat 63'minutes
  • 27Besic
  • 37Traoré
  • 11Bamford
  • 19Downing

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 14Cranie
  • 16Howson
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison
  • 30Baker

Wolves

  • 21RuddyBooked at 40mins
  • 5BennettBooked at 73mins
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2DohertyBooked at 71mins
  • 27SaissBooked at 66mins
  • 8NevesBooked at 56mins
  • 3Douglas
  • 17Hélder CostaSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 84'minutes
  • 19AfobeSubstituted forBonatiniat 63'minutes
  • 7CavaleiroSubstituted forA N'Diayeat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4A N'Diaye
  • 6Batth
  • 24Gibbs-White
  • 29Vinagre
  • 30Hause
  • 31Norris
  • 33Bonatini
Referee:
Stuart Attwell
Attendance:
27,658

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamWolves
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home17
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2.

Booking

Martin Cranie (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Martin Cranie (Middlesbrough).

Alfred N'Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Goal!

Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Adama Traoré.

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough).

Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Romain Saiss.

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Muhamed Besic with a cross.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Alfred N'Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Willy Boly.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morgan Gibbs-White replaces Hélder Costa.

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by John Ruddy.

Attempt saved. Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Muhamed Besic.

Foul by Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Martin Cranie (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Barry Douglas.

Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

Attempt missed. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adama Traoré with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Ryan Bennett (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Bennett (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for a bad foul.

Foul by Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Martin Cranie replaces Ryan Shotton.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Britt Assombalonga replaces Adam Clayton.

Booking

Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves39267671343785
2Cardiff38247761322979
3Fulham392012768412772
4Aston Villa38209961372469
5Derby381614856381862
6Middlesbrough391881355381762
7Bristol City391614956441262
8Millwall3916131048371161
9Sheff Utd39187145244861
10Preston39151594941860
11Brentford391413125547855
12Leeds39158165254-253
13Ipswich38157164748-152
14Norwich391313134146-552
15QPR391211164556-1147
16Nottm Forest39137194356-1346
17Sheff Wed391014154553-844
18Hull38912175359-639
19Reading39912184557-1239
20Bolton39912183458-2439
21Barnsley39713193958-1934
22Birmingham3896232857-2933
23Sunderland39613204269-2731
24Burton3979232870-4230
View full Championship table

Top Stories