Wolverhampton Wanderers Gain Premier League Status

Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers marked their promotion to the English Premier League with a commanding 2-0 win over struggling Birmingham City on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had already been guaranteed a lucrative place in the top flight 24 hours earlier when promotion rivals Fulham were held to a draw by Brentford.

Diogo Jota got the party started at Molineux as his 17th goal of the season put Wolves on course for victory after 21 minutes.

Birmingham were reduced to 10 men in the 52nd minute when Harlee Dean was sent off for his challenge on Helder Costa.

Wolves substitute Benik Afobe made the game safe three minutes from time.

Wolves, back in the Premier League after a six-year absence, need one more point to be sure of going up as second-tier champions.

Their superior goal difference over second-placed Cardiff City means that honour is almost secured already.

While Wolves look to a bright future, their local rivals Birmingham are in danger of dropping into the third tier.

They are only two points clear of the relegation zone and have managed only one point from their last three games.

Wolves were indebted to goalkeeper John Ruddy for preventing Birmingham from taking the lead in the 11th minute.

Lukas Jutkiewicz prodded a pass through the Wolves defence and the ball was collected by Maxime Colin.

Colin only had Ruddy to beat from 12 yards but saw his shot beaten away and when the rebound flew straight back to Colin, his second attempt was also saved by Ruddy.

Wolves finally mounted a threat of their own when Ruben Neves tried his luck from 30 yards only to see his shot comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper David Stockdale.

But, while Stockdale was able to deny Neves, he was powerless to prevent Jota breaking the deadlock four minutes later.

Matt Doherty crossed from the right and his centre into the six-yard box was an invitation that Jota was not going to turn down as he bundled the ball into the net from close range.

Birmingham’s task became even harder when Dean was dismissed for bringing down Costa as he raced towards the penalty area.

Jutkiewicz was then denied by Ruddy five minutes from time before Afobe ended their challenge, lifting the ball over Stockdale after a pass from ex-Dundee United man Barry Douglas.

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