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Nottingham Forest 0 Wolves 2 - Report and pictures

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[gallery] Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro were on the scoresheet as Wolves convincingly beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the City Ground.

Costa struck towards the end of the first half from a tight angle to put Wolves ahead, scoring his sixth of the season.

And Cavaleiro wrapped the points up in the second half after good work from Costa and David Edwards.

Wolves were good value for their victory - their second under Paul Lambert - which pulled them clear of the relegation zone.

Analysis

Made in Portugal, enacted in Nottingham.

Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro have enjoyed varying degrees of success in their first five months in English football.

Well right now they look capable of leading Wolves away from the drop zone - and having a bit of fun while they're at it, writes Tim Spiers at the City Ground.

The skilful wingers produced two moments of class to seal this much-needed victory for Lambert's team, who went from being tired, lifeless and shambolic at Cardiff on Tuesday to vibrant, clinical and professional in Nottingham.

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But there was industry here too. Conor Coady excelled at right back and David Edwards was terrier-like in midfield, protecting the back four and defending from the front, winning an endless succession of tackles, one of which led to the game-clinching second goal.

The first half was dire. Almost a complete non-event, reminiscent of some of the dirge served up at the end of last season. Parish council meetings have more drama and suspense.

Wolves, though, gave little away with Lambert utilising the formation that served its purpose in his opening game when claiming a 0-0 draw at Preston, bringing in Bright Enobakhare for his third league start for the club.

Dominic Iorfa and Romain Saiss were unsurprisingly dropped. Jack Price, who also started that Preston game, came in and was his usual tidy self protecting the back four and Danny Batth and Richard Stearman mopped up most of what was thrown at them.

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Despite a lack of attempts on goal (just two) Wolves looked far brighter going forward than in that Preston draw, or against Cardiff last Tuesday.

The quartet of Costa, Enobakhare, Nouha Dicko and Ivan Cavaleiro all looked to run at Forest and take players on.

What was missing was an end product - but Costa provided it with a big of magic just before half time, channeling his inner David Edwards and scoring from an almost impossible angle, showing great footwork.

It was his sixth of the season. Where would Wolves be without him?

Forest inevitably came on strong at the start of the second half. But unlike on Tuesday, Wolves held firm.

They went close to doubling their lead through Cavaleiro, and a Costa free kick. At the other end Ikeme had little to do aside from claiming corners and crosses (one spilled corner led to a moment of panic).

Lambert called for Romain Saiss in an attempt to shore things up, replacing the lively Enobakhare who had shown plenty of nice touches and given Wolves impetus.

It may have been a defensive move but Wolves continued to look the more likely scorers.

They were also winning the ball back in the Forest half with impressive regularity.

David Edwards was the chief instigator and it was no surprise when the Welsh international was involved in Wolves' second and decisive goal.

He won possession, combined with Costa and then teed up Cavaleiro whose finish was low and true.

It sparked wild scenes in the away end. How often has that been the case this season? Wolves have put their fans through the wringer for the past few months but the 2,000 sell-out allocation certainly enjoyed an early Christmas present.

Lambert did too. He sent on youngster Connor Ronan for his professional debut in place of Costa.

Edwards attempted a 25-yard volley. It had turned into that kind of afternoon. Lambert must make sure there are a few more of these in the coming weeks, but for now Wolves will enjoy their Christmas week on the back of a professional and clinical away victory.

Key moments

30 - First chance of the game and it's former Wolves defender Michael Mancienne who almost scores his inevitable goal, heading a cross just over the bar.

40 - GOAL - Helder Costa receives the ball on the right of the box - he switches onto his right foot and beats keeper Vladimir Stojkovic from an impossibly tight angle.

43 - Ben Osborn glances a volley across goal and just wide for Forest.

54 - Mustapha Carayol crosses low from the left and Osborn sidefoots wide from close range.

58 - Bright Enobakhare is brought down inches outside the penalty area. It looks a penalty at first glance. Costa steps up and strikes the free kick well but Stojkovic saves.

63 - Ivan Cavaleiro whistles a great attempt over the bar from 20 yards after he intercepts a poor Forest pass.

67 - Forest don't clear their lines from a free kick - Matt Doherty clips to Cavaleiro who skips past the keeper but can't pull the ball back as he's running out of play.

79 - GOAL - Edwards wins the ball back in the Forest third, he combines with Costa and then plays to Cavaleiro who beats Stojkovic from 18 yards with a great finish.

Teams

Nottm Forest (4-2-3-1): Stojkovic; Mancienne, Mills (c), Worrall, Lichaj; Cash, Kasami (Lica, 80); Carayol (Pereira, 62), Grant (Vaughan, 59), Osborn; Vellios. Subs: Henderson, Hobbs, Ahmedhodzic, Dumitru-Cardoso.

Wolves (4-2-3-1): Ikeme; Coady, Batth (c), Stearman, Doherty; Price, Edwards; Costa (Ronan, 81), Enobakhare (Saiss, 69), Cavaleiro; Dicko. Subs: Burgoyne, Iorfa, Hause, Saville, Bodvarsson.

Goals: Costa (40), Cavaleiro (79)

Attendance: 19,037

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Position in the table

(18, 25 points from 22 matches)

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