Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Fulham: League leaders extend Championship advantage with first-half show

Wolverhampton Wanderers extended their lead at the top of the Championship to four points as they overcame a lacklustre Fulham outfit at Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Fulham: League leaders extend Championship advantage with first-half show
Wolves beat Fulham with ease at Molineux on Friday evening | Photo: Getty/ Sam Bagnall - AMA
Wolves
2 0
Fulham
Wolves: Ruddy; Boly (N'Diaye, min. 79), Coady, Bennett; Douglas, Neves, Saïss, Doherty; Cavaleiro (Enobakhare, min. 75), Jota, Bonatini (Marshall, min. 87).
Fulham: Button; Sessegnon, Ream, Odoi, Fredericks; Norwood, McDonald, Johansen; Kebano (Mollo, min. 53), Ayité Soares, min. 63), Fonte (Kamara, min 70).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 9, Saïss. 2-0, min. 26, Bonatini.
REFEREE: David Coote (ENG). Admonished Kebano (min. 1), Sessegnon (min. 25), Saïss (min. 42), McDonald (min. 49), Douglas (min. 52)
INCIDENTS: EFL Championship match between top-of-the-table Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham. The match was played at Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers extended their lead at the top of the Championship on Friday night as they comfortably beat a disappointing Fulham side 2-0 at Molineux.

Nuno Espírito Santo's men now sit four points clear at the top of the table ahead of the weekend's games.

It did not take long for the hosts to open the scoring as Romain Saïss headed home from a corner in the ninth minute. Leo Bonatini then notched in his sixth consecutive league game to all-but secure the points for Wolves in the first-half.

Team News

The Wolves boss made only one change to the team that dismissed of Norwich City 2-0 on Tuesday evening. Romain Saïss came in to the starting line-up in place of Alfred N'Diaye.

Meanwhile, Slaviša Jokanović made three alterations to the XI that fell to a 2-0 defeat to Bristol City last time out. Rui Fonte, Neeskens Kebano and Oliver Norwood replaced Tomáš Kalas, Tom Cairney and Aboubakar Kamara.

Wolves hunt from the off

It was the hosts who enjoyed the first sight of goal at Molineux as former FC Porto midfielder Rúben Neves fired inches wide with a low shot from range.

They did not have to wait long though to open the scoring. Following an excellent corner from Barry Douglas, Romain Saïss sent a thumping header into the back of the net beyond David Button.

Wolves could well have doubled their advantage following good inter-play between Leo Bonatini and Diogo Jota. The latter was unfortunate to see his close range shot curl just wide.

Fulham should have been level only minutes later thanks to an error from Wolves stopper John Ruddy. The goalkeeper flapped at a Ryan Sessegnon free-kick, gifting the ball to Kevin McDonald only yards from goal. The Scottish midfielder failed to connect properly though and the ball looped over the crossbar.

Floyd Ayité then tested Ruddy from range but the Englishman collected comfortably.

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Nuno's men double the lead

Fulham's problems from set-pieces continued and Wolves were soon two goals to the good.

Following a poor challenge from Sessegnon, Douglas again whipped the ball into the visitors' penalty area. Brazilian forward Leo Bonatini gleefully dispatched the ball with his head into the far corner to extend the advantage and notch his tenth goal of the Championship season. The on-loan Al-Hilal striker had now scored in his sixth consecutive league game.

The 23-year-old could have had his second just after the break but could not stretch far enough to poke Ivan Cavaleiro's chipped pass into the net. Ayité was guilty of the same following a good combination with Rui Fonte. The Togolese wide-man bypassed the Wolves' defence but somehow side-footed wide.

Chances go begging

Bonatini was then at the fore-front once again. From yet another corner, he headed low but was well-stopped by Button. Jota latched onto the rebound but got his feet in a tangle and the ball went bobbling wide.

The Golden Boys continued to go close throughout the second period. Jota wasted the opportunity to stretch the advantage as he shot straight at a Fulham body before Saïss curled into the hands of the goalkeeper from just inside the area. Bonatini then headed an excellent Matt Doherty cross over the bar.

Wolves impressed throughout the evening and could have come away from Molineux with a far more emphatic victory. Jokanović however wil be bitterly disappointed in seeing his side remain in 16th in the Championship table whilst the hosts continue to fly high as they lead the way in the English second tier.