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Prolific Bonatini gives Wolves edge over Birmingham

London (AFP) – Leo Bonatini’s 12th goal of the season was sufficient to give Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-0 win over struggling Birmingham City on Monday for their sixth successive victory.  

Bonatini’s first-half effort — which was given thanks to goal line technology — saw Wolves restore their four point lead over Cardiff, who beat Norwich 3-1 on Friday, and a 10 point advantage over third-placed Bristol City.

Birmingham — who finished with 10 men as Harlee Dean was sent off for a second bookable offence seven minutes from time — remain third from bottom.

The visitors took the lead in the eighth minute as Bonatini scored from close range after David Stockdale had saved twice.

Birmingham defender Michael Morrison thought he had cleared it off the line but the technology proved otherwise.

The hosts were fortunate to have 11 men on the pitch a minute later when Marc Roberts scythed down Diogo Jota, but got away with a booking.

Wolves wasted several chances to extend their lead, substitute Helder Costa guilty of the worst miss as one on one with Stockdale he overplayed his hand with some neat footwork only for the goalkeeper to clear.

Birmingham manager Steve Cotterill tried to inject some urgency into his front line with 23 minutes remaining by sending on Che Adams, who has been the most potent of his strikers this term having scored five of his side’s paltry 10 league goals. 

His arrival sparked Birmingham’s best period of play but their hopes of getting something from the match disappeared seven minutes from time when Dean shoved Jota to the ground.

Seeing that referee Simon Hooper had witnessed it, Dean then hurriedly acted as peacemaker but it didn’t earn him any sympathy from Hooper and he trudged off forlornly for an early shower.

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