With Derby County failing to secure a win, Wolverhampton Wanderers had the opportunity to secure an even bigger lead at the top tonight. After the teams remained deadlocked in the first half of the match between Wolves and Brentford, the league leaders turned on the style in the second with them scoring three goals to see off Brentford.
Despite their captain Danny Batth missing this match after picking up a red card last time around, Wolves had no defensive problem and come away with a clean sheet. Wolverhampton Wanderers now have secured 61 points from their 26 matches and more importantly, they have opened up a monstrous 12 point lead at the top with the second placed team Derby County standing on 49 points.
The magnitude of the lead can be understood when it is noted that the difference between Wolves and Derby is more than the difference between Derby and 10th placed Fulham, who are 10 points behind the Rams.
All in all, it was a happy start to the New Year for the Wolverhampton Wanderers players and the team who will be now confident of claiming the title and automatic promotion come the end of the season. A solid 19th win in just 26 matches was sealed after Neves’s free-kick early in the second half, which opened the floodgates for Wolves to go and kill the match. As Wolves claimed another three points, here is how the players performed.
John Ruddy – 6.5
It was another comfortable evening for Ruddy as he had nothing much to do to secure his 14th clean sheet of the season.
Ryan Bennett – 7
No heroics needed this time from him, as he played a good role in securing the backline.
Conor Coady – 7
A good leadership role played in the absence of Batth.
Willy Boly – 7.5
Not only secured the backline but also played in a couple of delightful balls in behind which the players failed to convert.
Matt Doherty – 7
A good performance as he remained an active opening down the right all match.
Romain Saiss – 7.5
A brilliant array of passes was put on display as he played another good match in terms of linking up the attack.
Ruben Neves – 8.5
A world-class freekick from him curled into the top corner to break the deadlock on the night.
Barry Douglas – 8
A good performance on the night and a good goal smashed in to help his team stretch their lead at the top.
Helder Costa – 5.5
A decent display but missing an easy chance saw him replaced early in the second half.
Leo Bonatini – 6.5
The 12 goal Brazilian had a brilliant run stopped rather easily and was not having the best game tonight,
Diogo Jota – 8.5
Could have had 4 goals on the night had it not been for some heroic defending by Brentford. Still ended up with one for himself 10 minutes from time.
Ivan Cavaleiro – 7
An impact sub as he created the second goal for Wolves
Bright Enobakhare – N/A
Kortney Hause – N/A
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