Bristol City vs Wolves: Ivan Cavaleiro edges Nuno Espirito Santo’s side into FA Cup quarter-finals

Bristol City 0-1 Wolves: The Premier League side were forced to survive by the skin of their teeth after a late City onslaught came inches from an equaliser

Jason Mellor
Ashton Gate Stadium
Sunday 17 February 2019 15:57
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There is just no stopping Wolverhampton Wanderers at the moment.

Wolves have now not only gone seven games undefeated but the resurgent Molineux club are also looking forward to an FA Cup quarter-final for the first time since 2003.

While Ivan Cavaleiro’s first-half goal ultimately decided this an increasingly intense tie, Wolves wing-back Matt Doherty continues to be an FA Cup talisman for manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Doherty has not only scored three of Wolves’ last five FA Cup goals but also set up the other two as the Ireland international demonstrated attack is indeed the best form of defence.

Billed as ‘Unfinished Business’ on the front of the matchday programme, the tie revived memories of Wolves last visit to Ashton Gate in December 2017, when they ran out 2-1 winners following a dramatic comeback.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo upset the locals when he celebrated wildly after being sent to the stands when Ryan Bennett nodded in a late winner as his team took a huge stride towards promotion against a team who lost their next seven games.

On this occasion, City, buoyed by a nine-match winning streak, gave as good as they got beyond the 28th minute when Wolves’ Premier League pedigree finally told in front of 3,407 travelling fans packed behind John Ruddy’s goal in the Atyeo Stand.

The Championship promotion contenders were picked off when Doherty, nursed Conor Coady’s angled ball before beating left-back Jay Dasilva and then teeing up Ivan Cavaleiro who smashed a low shot beyond Frank Fielding from 15 yards out.

This time Nuno’s celebration was uncharacteristically muted as his side had looked comfortable, a simple clenched-fist salute before a quick embrace with his backroom staff.

There was no time to go overboard as City came right back at Wolves and Callum O’Dowda acrobatically volleyed just over but the visitors were clearly in the mood to finish off their opponents who were vying for an FA Cup quarter-final berth for the first time since 1974 when they lost to Liverpool.

Ivan Cavaleiro scored the game’s only goal

Like his club, there seemed to be no stopping Doherty, whose late equaliser against Shrewsbury kept Wolves Cup hopes alive in the previous round, and he almost double the lead following a one-two with Raul Jimenez but his shot rebounded off a post.

With Jimenez too much of a handful for the City defence, the pressure on City’s goal intensified and after a neat bit of interplay with the striker, Leandar Dendoncker’s powerful strike brought out a fine save by Fielding.

City had their moments but on-loan Chelsea duo Kasey Palmer and Jay Dasilva both wasted chances either side of half-time. Palmer nodded Bailey Wright’s cross wide before the unmarked left-back shot high and wide after O’Dowda’s pull-back.

Lee Johnson’s side were not going to go down without a fight and it took a fine Ruddy save to deny substitute Matty Taylor from close-range.

Matt Doherty put in another talismanic performance for Wolves

Fielding kept City in the running for FA Cup glory with a fine fingertip save to push over Jonny Otto’s 25-yard free-kick and that set up a tense finale as the hosts, who have beaten the likes of Manchester United in the West Country and given Manchester City a run for their money, pushed Wolves all the way.

That was largely down to the half-time introduction of substitute Marlon Pack who not only beefed up the City midfield but was only denied an equaliser by Bennett’s goalline clearance before drawing the best out of Ruddy who kept out his 22-yard daisy-cutter with a fine diving save.

Morgan Gibbs-White, on as a substitute for Cavaleiro, should have put the visitors out of sight late on but shot straight at Fielding and that set a nerve-jangling finale.

Ruddy came to his Ruddy came to his side’s rescue when he expertly saved Jamie Patterson’s deflected free-kick before a final fright when O’Dowda’s corner was diverted over by City defender Adam Webster and then after another Bennett goal-line clearance, Fielding joined a final onslaught in the Wolves penalty box. This time, though, there was to be no late drama.

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