DJ Campbell drooled about a "dream season" beforehand and joked that Blackpool's win over Tottenham meant they were better than Spurs' recent victims, Milan. A nightmare afternoon for Ian Holloway's side saw Campbell sent off and Wolverhampton climb out of the relegation zone on a day that began with the news of the death of their former defender, Dean Richards, at the age of 36.
Richards, an £1.85m signing in 1995 who also played for Bradford, Spurs and Southampton, had waged a long struggle against cancer. His memory will be officially honoured a week today when Spurs visit Molineux, but the crowd repeatedly sang his name as Wolves exploited Campbell's folly and the absence of the suspended Charlie Adam to record their biggest Premier League win before the stadium's highest attendance since it was redeveloped two decades ago.
Matt Jarvis's early goal was all that separated the sides when Campbell first elbowed Richard Stearman in the chest and then, as the ex-Leicester colleagues squared up, thrust both hands into his face two minutes before half-time. Referee Neil Swarbrick promptly brandished a red card, and Wolves soon doubled their lead through Jamie O'Hara. Two strikes by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake left Blackpool on a run of seven points from 10 games.
Holloway said Campbell was provoked, having "been kicked however many times" by Stearman. However, he added: "What he did was unacceptable. We got beaten by the better team. It was a stinking day at the office."
Mick McCarthy, his Wolves counterpart, felt fortune was finally favouring his team. "I came away from Blackpool [against Spurs] thinking 'Maybe our luck is changing' after Adam got booked. He's their most influential player."
As for Campbell's rush of blood, McCarthy said: "Certain things change games. It certainly didn't make it any harder them going down to 10."
Blackpool were chasing the game from the second minute. David Edwards initiated a fine move in his own half, then materialised on the right wing to cut inside and move the ball on to Adam Hammill. The newcomer from Barnsley switched it further inside for Jarvis to score from 12 yards.
A goal soon after the break put Wolves in command. O'Hara broke up a Blackpool move in midfield and advanced almost to the "D" before beating Richard Kingson with a low drive.
Ebanks-Blake joined in the spree, side-footing Kevin Doyle's far-post cross to give Wolves the three-goal margin they needed to leapfrog West Bromwich, and the substitute completed the scoring in the final minute, taking Stephen Ward's through-ball before firing across Kingson.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the match: O'Hara
Match rating: 7/10Reuse content