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Aug 10, 2014

Edwards header earns Wolves win

Wolverhampton WanderersWolverhampton Wanderers
Norwich CityNorwich City
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David Edwards' goal gave Wolves a winning start as they returned to the Championship.

Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards gave last season's League One title winners the perfect start to life in the Championship as his second-half header earned them a deserved 1-0 win against 10-man Norwich City at Molineux.

Edwards capped an impressive display in the 64th minute as a disappointing Norwich struggled at the start of their quest to make an instant return to the Premier League.

Norwich were run ragged by Wolves winger Rajiv van La Parra and his skills proved too much for the Norwich left-back Martin Olsson who was sent off on the hour after collecting two yellow cards for fouls on the Dutchman.

After being shown his yellow card, Sweden defender Olsson appeared to push referee Simon Hooper.

Wolves dominated the match for long spells and the tone was set as early as 22 seconds into the game when Kenny Jackett's side should really have taken the lead.

But Edwards was wasteful on this occasion - blazing over the bar when well placed in the area after being picked out by Bakary Sako.

While Norwich briefly threatened in the opening exchanges when Nathan Redmond flashed a shot wide, it was Wolves who continued to carry more a threat although they were struggling to find an end product to their build-up play and greater possession.

Van La Parra, on his debut following his summer switch from Heerenveen, and striker Nouha Dicko carried the greatest threat for Wolves.

Olsson found the pace and movement of Van La Parra a real problem and one particularly crude 27th-minute challenge earned him a booking from referee Hooper in a sign of what was to come later.

Dicko looked poised to finally make Wolves' pressure pay on the stroke of half-time when Sako whipped in a low left-wing cross.

But a despairing lunge from Norwich captain Russell Martin cleared the ball with Dicko ready to pounce.

Sako was then frustrated himself seconds later with a desperate block from Bradley Johnson deflecting his shot away for a corner.

Sako was becoming more of a threat as the game progressed and again he looked to have teed up Dicko in the 51st minute only for the ball to fly inches past the outstretched foot of the former Wigan marksman as he waited to pounce at the far post.

That let-off belatedly sparked Norwich out of their slumbers and they finally managed to force Wolves back on to the defensive - albeit only briefly.

Former Wolves midfielder Andrew Surman saw his 53rd-minute shot blocked and 60 seconds later Lewis Grabban, making his debut following his 3 million pound move from Bournemouth, forced Carl Ikeme into a smart save.

Any hopes Norwich had that the tide had turned in their favour proved to be short-lived as their task then became all the harder when Olsson saw red for a second rash challenge on the tricky Van La Parra.

Sako's free-kick was well saved but Wolves pressure finally told four minutes later when man of the moment Van La Parra floated over a right-wing cross that the unmarked Edwards headed home.

Sako should have given the final scoreline a more emphatic look eight minutes from time only to fire straight at John Ruddy from 14 yards after good work by Dicko.

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