LONDON (Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers stretched their lead at the top of the Championship to four points on Wednesday as their exhilarating ride under Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo continued with a 4-1 win over 10-man Leeds United.
Wolves, widely praised for their fine football as they hunt promotion to the Premier League, delivered another rousing night at their Molineux home with goals from Barry Douglas, Ivan Cavaleiro, Diogo Jota and Helder Costa.
Douglas curled home a free kick after 15 minutes before Wolves’ Portuguese contingent got into their stride with international Cavaleiro finishing off a fine team move 11 minutes later.
Ezgjan Alioski pounced three minutes after the interval to narrow the deficit but Leeds’ growing threat was extinguished when Ronaldo Vieira’s second yellow card for a foul on Jota forced them to play with 10 for the final half-hour.
The brilliant young Portuguese Jota took advantage of poor defending to make it 3-1 after 76 minutes before his fellow countryman Costa converted a penalty after Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan brought down Leo Bonatini.
The victory took the Midlands side to 41 points, four clear of their nearest pursuers Cardiff City and five ahead of Sheffield United.
Middlesbrough, seeking to bounce back into the top-flight after their relegation in May, moved into the playoff positions in sixth place with a 2-0 win over Birmingham City, thanks to a first-half double from Britt Assombalonga.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Toby Davis