Wolves 2 QPR 1: Wolves head Championship by 13 points after Alfred N’Diaye and Helder Costa put Hoops in their place

RUNAWAY Championship leaders Wolves are now 13 points clear at the top of the table as goals from Alfred N’Diaye and Helder Costa did for QPR.

Derby’s home draw with Norwich mean they remain a very distant second behind Nuno Espirito Santo’s explosive side.

 Alfred N'Diaye puts Wolves ahead in the 12th minute


Alfred N’Diaye puts Wolves ahead in the 12th minuteCredit: PA:Press Association

But Wolves did have to withstand a severe second-half examination from Rangers, who replied through Conor Washington.

He scored in the 51st minute and Matt Smith, Pawel Wszolek and Ebere Eze all came close to grabbing an equaliser.

The Hoops, who had won on their last three visits to Molineux, were chasing an unlikely double after beating Wolves 2-1 at Loftus Road in October.

The visitors made a bright start but N’Diaye popped up with his second goal of the season. after 12 minutes.

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 N'Diaye celebrates his strike with Diogo Jota


N’Diaye celebrates his strike with Diogo JotaCredit: PA:Press Association
 Wolves go two up through Helder Costa


Wolves go two up through Helder CostaCredit: PA:Press Association

Willy Boly’s long ball picked out Ivan Cavaleiro, who found himself in acres of space on the left wing.

When Cavaleiro sent the ball into the area, the on-rushing N’Diaye was on hand to bundle the ball home from six yards.

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Cavaleiro created Wolves’ 21st minute second after he exchanged passes with Diogo Jota and raced clear of the flat-footed Rangers defence.

He looked set to score himself as he closed in on goalkeeper Alex Smithies but instead unselfishly fed Costa, who had the simple task of turning the ball into an unguarded net.

 Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman and Costa in the thick of the action


Queens Park Rangers’ Luke Freeman and Costa in the thick of the actionCredit: PA:Press Association
 QPR boss Ian Holloway suffers the first-half blues


QPR boss Ian Holloway suffers the first-half bluesCredit: PA:Press Association

The introduction of giant striker Smith at the interval significantly increased QPR’s attacking threat.

Smith made an instant impact when his shot from a corner was parried by John Ruddy into the path of Washington, who spectacularly volleyed the ball home from six yards.

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Two minutes later, Smith was agonisingly inches away from drawing Rangers level when his drive flew over the bar.

QPR were then denied an equaliser after 70 minutes following a superb save from Ruddy, who dived low to his right to turn away a 20-yard drive from Wszolek.

Wolves substitute Benik Afobe, twice, and Matt Doherty then squandered golden chances from close range to make the game safe.

There was still time for a frantic finale that saw Ruddy save from Washington and the follow-up from Eze cleared off the line by Coady.

The Sun Wolverhampton