Flying Fulham see off stuttering Wolves
Fulham underlined their promotion credentials with a 2-0 win over Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage.
The hosts extended their home winning streak to eight games and are unbeaten in the league in 2018, closing to within a point of fourth-placed Derby County.
Rising star Ryan Sessegnon scored their first in the 38th minute, being in the right place at the right time yet again, and the second came from Aleksandar Mitrović in the 71st minute with some lovely individual brilliance to cap off a well-contested match.
Wolves managed just two shots on target and have dropped 12 points in their past eight games in all competitions, winning just three.
Slaviša Jokanović recalled Tomas Kalas, Floyd Ayite and Ryan Fredricks, which proved to be a good choice by the Fulham boss as Fredricks makes a crucial block from Helder Costa’s shot four minutes in, with Wolves quick out of the blocks.
The visitors did not have it all their own way early on, though, as good link-up play between Tom Cairney and Matt Target saw the ball end up at the feet of Sessegnon, who cut in to shoot but was crowded out by the Wolves rearguard.
In the 13th minute a shot from Cairney deflecting directly into the path of Mitrovic who managed to chip it over goalkeeper John Ruddy only to see his effort cleared by Wolves captain Conor Coady.
After a bad clearance from Ryan Bennett, Stefan Johansen and Mitrovic worked together once more to get the ball into the Wolves box, and a sloppy hold by Ruddy allowed Sessegnon to tap in for his 13th goal this season.
Wolves came out for the second half even more fired up than before, and the first booking of the contest came in the 48th minute after an obvious pull-back by Targett on the counter-attacking Costa.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo added attacking impetus in the 64th minute, with Diogo Jota and Morgan Gibbs-White coming on for Costa and Alfred N’Diaye, while Sheyi Ojo replaced Ayite for the hosts.
The changes were to no avail for the visitors, however, as Fulham doubled their lead seven minutes later. Mitrovic electrified the home fans on a bitterly cold evening with a shot from 25 yards out that went straight into the bottom corner.
A minute later, Johansen nearly made it 3-0 with an effort which narrowly skimmed past the post.
Five minutes from time, Wolves missed a golden opportunity when, with an open goal in front of him, Jota scooped the ball over the bar from five yards out.
With only two minutes of stoppage time added, Fulham’s fans celebrated in the freezing temperatures as their team sealed victory over the table-topping West Midlands outfit and kept up their own push for promotion to the top flight.