Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Coventry City 1
Never mind the quality, look at the league table. Wolverhampton Wanderers are back on top of the Championship after somehow seeing off a Coventry City side who did more than enough to win.
If the short term was all about the result after two straight league defeats (“our best win of the season,” announced home boss Mick McCarthy), only a fool would have left Molineux on Saturday without some worries about Wolves’ long-term health.
That the Sky Blues did not get the result they deserved was down to Wolves’ controversial winner.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake did well to provide the cross that led to Michael Kightly smashing in a shot that was parried by Kieren Westwood. But, from there, things descended into farce as Ebanks-Blake, having sneaked back on, suddenly rematerialised from behind Westwood to help the Coventry keeper palm the ball into his own net.
Referee Steve Bennett, seemingly so bemused that he went on to rattle up a totally unnecessary eight bookings, insisted that he was within the rules in allowing it. In which case he should be on the phone to Herr Blatter and recommending that the laws be changed.
To further illustrate the hopelessness of the modern ‘offside’ law, Wolves then had cause bemoan their fortune when the luckless Chris Iwelumo ended his forgettable week by having one incorrectly chalked off. And even Kightly’s equaliser just before the break had an element of offside about it.
Kightly latched on to Andy Keogh’s cross and surged past Westwood before turning it in from an acute angle. Yet, had it not been Kightly but Iwelumo, stood almost next to him, that collected Keogh’s cross, then the linesman’s flag would have gone up. Crazy!
Coventry’s opener was scored by the recalled Michael Mifsud it inevitably set up by Freddy Eastwood.
Carl Ikeme twice produced vital blocks to deny Leon Best and Mifsud at 1-0. And, even after Wolves had turned it round Ikeme kept City out, making a string of brave blocks.
Scorers: Mifsud (6) - Coventry; Kightly (42); Ebanks-Blake (58) - Wolves
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (4-4-2): Ikeme; Foley, Stearman, Collins, Ward (Shackell 85); Kightly, Henry, David Jones, Keogh (D Edwards 80); Ebanks-Blake (C Edwards 80), Iwelumo. Subs: Hennessey (gk), Vokes.
COVENTRY CITY (4-4-2): Westwood; Osbourne, Ward, Dann , Fox; Tabb, Gunnarsson (Beuzelin 68), Doyle, Mifsud (Morrison 68); Eastwood, Best. Subs: Marshall (gk), Hall, Simpson
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)
Bookings: Wolves – Kightly, Foley, Henry, Iwelumo (fouls); Coventry - Doyle, Eastwood (fouls), Tabb (ungentlemanly conduct), Best (dissent)