Middlesbrough 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers: 9-man Wolves Snatch 3 Important Points
Wolves continued their winning ways and took one step closer to being crowned Championship winners, with a big win over Middlesbrough. They broke down Tony Pulis’ defence in quick succession in the first half to pull away from the 6th placed Middlesbrough, who will now be looking over their shoulders at Bristol City and Millwall as they fret about their playoff position.
Wolves were ruthless, clinical, and always looked likely to win this game even when they were reduced to 9 men. When they struck in the 32nd minute through Helder Costa, they followed it with a quick second through Cavaleiro to put the game out of sight.
They did try to sabotage themselves in the second half by getting two silly red cards which means they will be without key players for the next two fixtures.
A good performance all-round from the team at the top of the Championship. Middlesbrough with be ruing their defensive lapses and their lack of clinical edge when they had the numerical advantage.
Wolves Player Ratings
John Ruddy – 7/10
Ruddy was having a lovely game until Wolves went down to 9 men. He then found himself slightly busy for the last 20 minutes. He still did what he needed to do and kept the clean sheet well.
Ryan Bennett – 7/10
Didn’t have a standout game but did manage to keep a clean sheet after they went down to 9 men, which deserves credit.
Conor Coady – 7/10
Coady was another Wolves defenders who really came to life after the two red cards. Not a standout performance but deserves credit for the clean sheet.
Willy Boly – 8/10
The best Wolves defender on the pitch – 4 tackles, 5 aerial battles won and the header on target that led to the second goal. A complete performance.
Matt Doherty – 5/10
Doherty was having a solid game until he decided to get himself sent off! Sabotaging his team when they were already a player down is complete lack of discipline.
Barry Douglas – 9/10
Douglas and Doherty are absolutely essential to the way Wolves play, marauding down the wings in those wing-back positions. The ball Douglas played for the first goal was absolutely delightful and the delivery from the corner for the second really showed why he is an essential part of the Wolves machine.
Ruben Neves – 5/10
Neves was having a good game, testing Randolph from long range and spraying the ball around well, until a moment of madness in the second half that left his team with 10 men. A stupid decision to make such a reckless challenge after already being yellow carded let his whole team down.
Roman Saiss – 7/10
Saiss had a decent game. His performance was nothing remarkable and his pass rate was lower than usual. However, he dug deep and carved out the victory with some good defensive work late on.
Helder Costa – 8/10
An excellent finish on the volley for Wolves’ first goal and looked tricky all game for the Middlesbrough defence. Absolute quality both on and off the ball.
Ivan Cavaleiro – 7/10
Won’t have an easier finish than the one he got for the second Wolves goal today but looked a threat all game, up and down the wing.
Benik Afobe– 6/10
Didn’t have the best of games and was sacrificed early for the change of system after Ruben Neves’ red card. Will have better games.
Alfred N’Diaye – 6/10
Replaced Cavaleiro after Neves’ red card and looked alright in the midfield. Defended quite well but did nothing special.
Leo Bonatini – 6/10
Came on in the 62nd minute and spent most of the game defending, which is not his strength.
Morgan Gibbs-White – 6/10
Replaced Costa in the 84th minute and did nothing of note.