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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: WOLVES

30 September 2017

Albion suffered a second home defeat of the week as Wolves ran out 4-0 winners following a rampant first half showing at the Pirelli Stadium which saw Diogo Jota, Romain Saiss and Ruben Vinagre put the visitors in complete control before the break.

Substitute Leo Bonatini added a fourth just after the hour mark to send Wolves back into the Championship top two while Albion sit just a point outside the relegation places heading into the enforced break.

The three changes made by manager Nigel Clough were in part forced upon him following the loss of John Brayford and Ben Turner through injury. Despite being missing two of his most influential defenders Clough opted to stick with a back three moving Stephen Warnock into the back three allowing Lloyd Dyer to come in on the left. Tom Flanagan, after impressing last time out against Manchester United returned at right wing back. Clough also opted to push Lucas Akins further forwards into a central attacking in place of Marvin Sordell, a move which allowed Hope Akpan to come into a central midfield role.

Wolves took just five minutes to get themselves ahead. The bounce of the ball in midfield deceived Luke Murphy and in a flash Ivan Cavaleiro was laying the ball forwards for the run of JOTA who ran on, outpacing Kyle McFadzean before calmly slotting home past Bywater.

An already difficult looking afternoon got even harder on eleven minutes when Wolves doubled their lead. A free kick on the angle of the box looked routine for Bywater but he failed to hold on to it cleanly and big midfielder SAISS was there almost on the line to poke it home.

Saiss was then well placed to keep his side two goals in front when Warnock went in a teasing cross and the Wolves man just got there ahead of Jake Buxton to divert the ball wide of the post at the expense of a corner.

Albion made a fist of trying to get back into it and a superb run from Dyer, latching onto a pass from Akins produced some last ditch defending inside the Wolves box to concede a corner before Jamie Allen showed good awareness on the edge of the box to whip in a shot that John Ruddy had to palm away from underneath his crossbar.

Chances continued to come for the Brewers and on 33 minutes a free kick swung in by Allen wasnt particularly well dealt with by the Wolves back line and when Akpan lashed a shot across the box Akins could not quite divert it on target from six yards.

Wolves were still looking dangerous when their slick passing got them running at the Burton defence and Jota was sniffing out a second goal on 39 minutes but after turning inside and seeing his initial effort blocked he was quickly onto the loose ball firing it just into the side netting much to the relief of Bywater coming across to cover.

The relief was short lived for Albion who finally succumbed to a third goal on 41 minutes. Wolves Portuguese connections were heavily involved once again as VINAGRE played a one two with Cavaleiro before confidently slotting home inside the near post.

For the second game running Albion were going into half time on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against another excellent footballing side.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Albion swapped Tom Flanagan for Tom Naylor at the break but it was still Wolves with all the forward momentum immediately after the restart. Full back Matt Doherty was felled right on the edge of the box by Warnock with referee Tony Harrington deciding that contact was outside the box and only awarding a free kick. Cavaleiro tried to tee up Doherty from the free kick but Albion blocked effectively to clear the danger.

Dyer looked to inject some pace and incision into the Burton attack with a darting run into the box on 52 minutes onto to be blocked at the near post. The introduction of Sordell for Akpan was also a change intended to add some pace to the Albion attacking options.

Wolves did not need a helping hand but they got one on 61 minutes as they raided with pace and precision to net a fourth goal of the afternoon. Doherty was quick to seize on a pass from Warnock that failed to reach it's intended target of Dyer on the left and linking with Cavaleiro the break was on down the right. Doherty continued his run into the box and was then able to set up BONATINI for a comprehensive finish into the roof of the net.

A third change saw Luke Varney introduced for Scannell and he hadnt been on the pitch long before he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Saiss, the first of the game.

Wolves introduced youngsters Jack Price and Connor Ronan, resting some of their with Jota and Neves given a breather for the closing stages.

The changes made little difference in the end as Wolves had already bared their teeth in savaging the Brewers and sending them into the international break on the back of two disappointing defeats, albeit against sides who will undoubtedly be contesting the promotion race come the end of the season.

Skipper Danny Batth almost added a fifth late on heading against the post from a corner and seeing the ball rebound out off Bywater before finally being cleared. A fifth would have been definitely harsh on Albion.


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