Classic encounter: Wolves 3-1 West Brom
Adlene Guedioura wheels away having put Wolves 2-0 up against West Brom. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

With Wolverhampton Wanderers facing arch-rivals West Bromwich Albion in the first Black Country derby since 2012 this weekend, we take a look back at a classic Wolves win against the Baggies in May 2011. 

A brace from Steven Fletcher and an Adlene Guedioura goal gave relegation-threatened Wolves a vital three points against Albion, despite Peter Odemwingie's second-half penalty.

The win lifted Wolves out of the Premier League drop zone with just two games left of the 2010-11 season. 

  • Perfect first-half puts Wolves hearts at ease

In short, this was the biggest Black Country derby since the 2006-07 Championship play-off semi finals.

While the mid-season appointment of Roy Hodgson had sealed West Brom's survival, Mick McCarthy's Wolves had three games to try and climb out of the drop zone they had been stranded in for much of the campaign.

McCarthy sprung a surprise in his team selection by dropping Matt Jarvis, who had been capped by England just five weeks earlier, for Stephen Hunt.

Kevin Doyle was also missing with injury, so utility man Stephen Ward moved from left-back to partner Fletcher upfront. 

Embed from Getty Images

The pre-match tension around Molineux quickly dissipated. Fletcher put Wolves ahead after 15 minutes from a Hunt corner before Adlene Guedioura prodded home at the back post from another set-piece from the Irishman. 

Fletcher nodded a Jamie O'Hara corner wide just before the interval, but Wolves were in complete control as Mike Dean blew for half-time. 

  • Meite mistake ensures Wanderers hold on

Wolves were notable slow starters after the interval in the Premier League under McCarthy, they were given a complete gift just two minutes after the restart.

Kevin Foley's hopeful through ball looked to have been played straight to Albion centre-back Abdoulaye Meite, but the Ivorian let the ball run straight under his foot and allowed Fletcher a simple finish past Scott Carson to give Wolves a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead. 

Embed from Getty Images

They tried to make it hard for themselves though. Guedioura tripped former Wolves trialist Jerome Thomas in the area to allow Odemwingie to reduce the deficit to two. 

In the 35 minutes that followed, Wolves faced wave after wave of blue and white pressure. Thomas hit the crossbar, Simon Cox had an effort well saved by Wayne Hennessey and Somen Tchoyi fired a header over the bar, but Wolves withstood the onslaught to beat Albion for just the second time in 11 games. 

  • Wolves scrape final day survival 

The win proved crucial for McCarthy's side, whose win at Sunderland the following week meant survival was in their hands on the final day.

While Wolves hearts were set racing as they lost 3-2 to fellow strugglers Blackburn, a Roman Pavlyuchenko brace for Tottenham against Birmingham ensured their survival. 

Embed from Getty Images

It all unravelled in 2011-12, however, as they were relegated with just 25 points, and comprehensively beaten twice by their Black Country rivals. The second game, which Albion won 5-1 at Molineux, was the last meeting between the sides in any competition. 

VAVEL Logo