2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Ivan Cavaleiro (16')
  • Matthew Doherty (88')

Wolves return to the top of the table after victory at Reading

Wolves returned to the top of the Championship with a hard-earned 2-0 victory at lowly Reading.

After a slow start and two early scares, Wolves made the breakthrough when Ivan Cavaleiro waltzed free into the home area to jab home from close range.

Reading dominated large chunks of the second half but lacked penetration against a well-drilled Wolves defence.

Defender Matt Doherty then sealed victory for Wolves when cutting in from the right to score with two minutes remaining.

Wolves lost top spot in the Championship on Friday night, when Sheffield United moved above them after a 3-1 win at Burton.

But they still went into the match at Madejski Stadium in good form, with seven wins from their previous nine league matches.

Struggling Reading, beaten play-off finalists last season, had staged something of a revival prior to the international break.

They had won three of their last five games, including victories over Nottingham Forest and Derby in their past two outings.

It was Reading who began the stronger and they almost went in front in the first minute.

John Swift tried an ambitious effort from 30 yards that bounced awkwardly in front of Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Although Ruddy got a hand to the ball, it rebounded on to a post and away to safety.

Ruddy had another let-off not long after, when he tried to clear a back pass from centre back Conor Coady.

The attempted clearance struck the onrushing Mo Barrow and ricocheted narrowly past an upright.

Wolves were fortunate to survive both incidents but settled into their rhythm thereafter and went ahead in the 16th minute.

Diogo Jota split the home defence with a superb pass and Cavaleiro rounded keeper Vito Mannone before tucking into an empty net.

Reading replied with a 25-yard free kick from Swift but it flew high and wide.

In an entertaining and free-flowing first half, Mannone saved well from Cavaleiro and Reading striker Yann Kermorgant jabbed wide after a goalmouth scramble.

Reading created the opening chance of the second period, when Leandro Bacuna's cross fell nicely for Barrow, but the winger lost control at the vital moment.

Wolves still looked dangerous on the break, with Jota drawing a comfortable save from Mannone from long distance.

Top scorer Leo Bonatini, with 10 goals this season, also tried his luck but was marginally off target.

Wolves needed good fortune again as Reading launched a fierce late onslaught.

But they held firm after Ruddy saved well from Barrow and Willy Boly cleared off the line from Sone Aluko's follow-up shot.

Right back Doherty sealed it for Wolves in the 88th minute with an angled low drive past Mannone.

English League Championship Standings

1 Sheffield United 12 +8 25
2 West Bromwich Albion 12 +14 24
3 Leeds United 12 +13 23
4 Middlesbrough 12 +8 22
5 Nottingham Forest 12 +4 19
6 Sheffield Wednesday 12 +1 19
7 Brentford 12 +6 18
8 Derby County 12 +2 18
9 Norwich City 12 0 18
10 Blackburn Rovers 12 -1 18
11 Swansea City 12 +3 17
12 Wigan Athletic 12 -2 17
13 Bristol City 12 +2 16
14 Stoke City 12 -1 16
15 Aston Villa 12 0 15
16 Bolton Wanderers 12 -5 15
17 Birmingham City 12 +1 14
18 Queens Park Rangers 12 -10 14
19 Rotherham United 12 -10 11
20 Millwall 12 -6 10
21 Reading 12 -5 9
22 Preston North End 12 -6 9
23 Ipswich Town 12 -7 9
24 Hull City 12 -9 8

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