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Ivan Cavaleiro goal enough for Wolves to reach FA Cup quarter-finals in win over Bristol City

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 17/02/2019 Tom Morgan
Wolverhampton's Ivan Cavaleiro, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol, England, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © AP Wolverhampton's Ivan Cavaleiro, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol, England, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Wolverhampton Wanderers are fast becoming the most unwelcome party guests at Ashton Gate as a narrowly-deserved FA Cup victory put paid to Bristol City's status as the most in-form team in Europe.

Wolves' visit here last season was during equally heady days for Lee Johnson's men. The team had recently beaten Manchester United in the League Cup and were at the time the closest challengers to last year's Championship title winners. That time a last-gasp triumph sparked the beginning of a long and painful death for the home side's promotion hopes.

This time, however, Lee Johnson believes things will be different and he fielded five changes for this FA Cup encounter in a bid to maintain their promotion push.

Unlike last year, there was no repeat of post-match delirium from Nuno Espirito Santo, whose side won largely thanks to more muscle and wit in midfield. Ivan Cavaleiro settled this encounter midway through the first half, and Wolves weathered a late City onslaught to end the Robins' brilliant run of nine wins and a draw, including two prior wins in the FA Cup against Bolton Wanderers and Huddersfield Town.

City had taken a while to settle in against Wolves' industrious 3-4-3 set up. Kasey Palmer, the on-loan Chelsea attacker, was given a roaming licence for the home side in the No 10 role, and appeared the home side's most promising option as they struggled to turn possession into chances. Ten minutes in he latched on to a neat interchange with Josh Brownhill, turning elegantly, but his attempted angled through-ball for Famara Diedhiou was heavy-footed. A similar result ensued when Palmer latched on to a one-two with Dasilva five minutes later.

The vast majority of this contest was fought between these two sides' busy midfields. Josh Brownhill, one of the home side's standout performers this season, had his hands full containing Cavaleiro, who combined well with Jonny Otto, before Adam Webster slid in.

Wolves broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Matt Doherty skinned Jay Dasilva down the right and then sent a low cross into the path of Cavaleiro. The attacking midfielder's shot made was far from fearsome, but it slipped through the grasp of the City keeper Frank Fielding.

Bristol City's English striker Matty Taylor (L) vies with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker (R) during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, south-west England on February 17, 2019. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images) © Getty Images Bristol City's English striker Matty Taylor (L) vies with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker (R) during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, south-west England on February 17, 2019. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

The goal had been the first time either keeper had been called into action, and it felt harsh on City, who had been growing in confidence. The talented young Irishman Callum O'Dowda came close to levelling immediately from the restart, but his angled volley from a Bailey Wright cross flashed over.

Doherty, however, was fast emerging as Wolves' most potent threat. With plenty of room on Wolves' right channel, he darted in to flash an effort against the post.

With Diedhiou isoltated, Palmer continued to be the home side's best chance of revival. He made room for himself as a Niclas Eliasson cross fell invitingly, but his header flashed over.

However, Johnson was clearly unimpressed by what he saw, withdrawing the inexperienced pairing of Eliasson and Morrell in favour of the Matty Taylor and Marlon Pack at half time.

Pack, who won praise last year praised from Pep Guardiola, immediately restored calm in the central midfield as City pressed for an equaliser. On 52 minutes, City would rue a shocking miss. O'Dowda burst down the right, before aiming a neat cut back in to the onrushing Dasilva, one of three on-loan Chelsea players in City's line up. His body language said it all, however, as he leaned back and fired over to the despair in front of the noisy home end. Taylor was also a welcome introduction, but found close range strikes blocked by Wolves' burly back three.

At the other end, Wolves were a finger tip save from doubling their lead. Joao Moutinho sent in a blistering free-kick from 18-yards but Fielding reacted well to tip over.

City would rally, however, and can consider themselves unlucky not to have equalised. The centre-back Adam Webster came desperately close from O'Dowda's corner but his knee sent the ball crashing inches over from six yards.

Bristol City (4-4-1-1): Fielding; Dasilva, Kalas, Webster, Wright; O'Dowda, Brownhill, Morrell (Pack 46), Eliasson (Taylor 46); Kalas; Palmer (Paterson 66); Diedhiou.

Subs: O’Leary, Baker, Watkins, Kelly.

Wolves (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Jonny, Saiss, Moutinho, Doherty (Neves 80); Dendoncker, Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 70), Jimenez (Traore 90).

Subs: Norris, Costa, Vinagre, Ennis.

Man of the match: Doherty.

Gallery: Football's most unlikely cup finalists (Read Sport)

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