Championship leaders Wolves survive TWO stoppage-time penalties and move nine points clear

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Neil Warnock and Nuno Espirito Santo clashed in a bitter end of match row after Cardiff missed not one but two injury time penalties to effectively book Wolves’ place in next year’s Premier League.

Warnock was furious that Santo dashed off to celebrate with his players at the final whistle without first shaking hands.

Neil Warnock (left) in a bitter quarrel with Esperito Santo

He told the Portuguese boss to ‘f*** off’ when he tried to make amends on the pitch, and then refused to accept his attempts to apologise behind closed doors.

It was a mad ending to a match settled by a bit of class from Wolves’ £15.8m record buy Ruben Neves whose brilliant 67th minute free kick curled into the top corner from 25 yards.

Neves taking a 25-yard shot

 

Against a Cardiff starting side which didn’t have a single player who cost a transfer fee, it underlined that ultimately you get what you pay for.

Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge, who had made brilliant first half saves from Romain Saiss and Diogo Jota, got a finger tip to the ball but it was too perfectly placed to keep out.

Neil Etheridge had no chance whatsover to save Ruben’s shot

But Warnock was still raging nearly an hour after the final whistle when told that Santo wanted to visit his office.

‘I don’t give a toss what he says. I won’t accept his apology,’ the Cardiff boss said.

‘He’s totally out of order. In British football, you shake the manager’s hand after. It was a great win and they’ve had a great win, so I just thought it showed a lack of class if I’m honest.

‘He can please himself what he can do. I went to shake his hand and he ran off – that’s what he did. If that’s how they’re taught in Portugal, fair enough. But not in Britain.

‘Why would I speak to him? I don’t want to speak to him. He can say anything after the game. I’m talking about when the whistle goes, what he should do, the etiquette, the manners, the class.

‘They’ve won the game for God’s sake. He should shake your hand and say “unlucky”. You don’t have to run off like that and rub your nose in it. A disgrace.’

Nuno maintained: ‘I am sorry, I hope Neil understands, but it is very difficult to control your emotions when you get two penalties in the final minute.

‘The only person I had in my mind was John Ruddy my goalkeeper to give him a big, big hug.

‘I know I must adapt and I must try to do so but it is nothing to do with manners and etiquette. Nobody can say I am not a respectful person.’

The drama unfolded as Cardiff, who had kept their 13 match unbeaten run going with a 94th minute goal at Sheffield United on Monday, threw the kitchen sink at Wolves in search of another late equaliser.

First Wolves captain Conor Coady pushed Anthony Pilkington in the third minute of added time, only for Ruddy to dive brilliantly to his left and tip round Gary Madine’s spot kick.

John Rudy saving Gary Madine’s spot kick

Then with six added minutes gone Ivan Cavaleiro chucked himself into a wild challenge on Aron Gunnarsson and Mike Dean pointed to the spot again, only for Junior Hoilett to send Ruddy the wrong way but hit the underside of the bar.

Junior Hoilett’s spot kick was denied by the woodwork

Wolves are now nine points clear at the top of the Championship, needing five more points from as many games to confirm their return to the Premier League.

‘I have been in football many years and experienced almost everything but today was still new,’ said Nuno.

‘That’s why we love the game. This was a massive result for us, no doubt about it.

 

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