Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Derby County: Neves shines again as Wolves march towards promotion

Wolverhampton Wanderers comfortably saw off Derby County 2-0 at Molineux to move within one win of automatic promotion to the Premier League

Diogo Jota opened the scoring for the hosts with an early first-half goal but the win was capped off thanks to an unbelievable strike from Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves that will be replayed over and over. 

Jota opens the scoring

Neves had the attention taken away from his free-kick winner at Cardiff City on Friday night due to late drama, but he would certainly shine as the brightest star in this surprisingly uncompetitive game.

It would be another one of Wolves high profile summer signings who would open the scoring at Molineux however when Jota put the Sky Bet Championship leaders ahead after just five minutes.

Willy Boly stepped out of defence and played a hopeful, lofted through ball in behind the Derby defence. 

Jota ran onto this ball unopposed with the Derby defenders looking for offside, but Chris Baird was late to push up the field and played Jota onside allowing him to control the ball and lift it past Scott Carson into the net.

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Neves headlines again

The first goal came in the sixth minute of the first half and in the exact same minute of the second half, Neves doubled the Wolves lead in some style.

A corner from the left was headed out only as far as Neves who was 30 yards out, the former FC Porto man then flipped the bouncing ball up onto his right foot volley and saw the ball sail into the left top corner leaving Carson no chance. 

This was Neves seventh goal of the season, with all of them coming from outside the penalty area and it capped off a fine man of the match display.

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Comfortable night for the leaders

The early goal from Jota no doubt eased any potential nerves for Wolves and set Derby back, but it was still a big surprise how easy this game turned out for Wolves bearing in mind where Derby are in the league table. 

Neves was the biggest threat for Wolves even without his spectacular goal, as he led the team in shots on goal. He tested Carson twice in the first half, originally with a 30-yard strike which dipped low and had to be beaten out and then from an edge of the box free kick, which the Derby keeper had to tip over the bar. 

Derby meanwhile, barely threatened the Wolves goal despite having some good attacking talent on the pitch throughout. John Ruddy picked up his 21st clean sheet of the season and this was arguably his easiest of the campaign.

David Nugent was a frustrated figure up front on his own but was their biggest threat with a couple of decent efforts from outside the box that were not too far off the target. 

Wolves marching on

Wolves were by no means at their best in this game, but they didn't really have to get out of second gear in this match.

Neves' goal was worth the admission money alone to be honest and it's put Wolves within two points of promotion and four points off sealing the title.

As for Derby, they remain in fifth place in the league table, with a two-point cushion ahead of seventh spot as well as a game in hand over their playoff rivals, but that does come against Cardiff City who are after the other automatic promotion spot.