Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sky Bet Championship.
Sunday 16 October 2016 09:26, UK
Steve Bruce will have to wait for his first win as Aston Villa boss as he watched his new side play out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Midlands rivals Wolves.
It took just 15 minutes for the Bruce era to get off to a perfect start as Jonathan Kodjia dispatched a spot-kick following a contentious decision by the referee over an incident involving Jack Grealish.
But 20 minutes later, Helder Costa equalised with a penalty of his own after Aly Cissokho had acrobatically handled his original effort, somehow escaping a booking.
Despite an overwhelmingly dominant second half, the visitors couldn't force a winner despite seven unanswered shots on target; Villa have now drawn six of their last seven and continue to flirt with the relegation places.
A confident start from Villa was nearly compromised by a catalogue of fouls by Cissokho, who needlessly handed possession to the opposition on several occasions inside the opening 10 minutes.
But Wolves failed to capitalise and it was Villa who took the lead through a set-piece situation - and a soft one at that.
As Grealish made his way into the area, he was crowded out and fell to the deck. It was interpreted by the referee as a trip by Dominic Iorfa, but replays suggest Grealish tripped without undue contact; Kodjia stepped up and hit a low penalty into the bottom-right corner.
Wolves settled the play down and were denied a penalty after the ball struck inadvertently struck James Chester's hand, but 15 minutes before the break, they were awarded one of their own after Costa's shot was handled by Cissokho; man-of-the-match Costa made no mistake from 12 yards.
Kodjia went close soon after the equaliser as he hit a sweet volley from Adomah's knockdown, but the dipping shot was pushed over by Ikeme at full stretch.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Grealish found himself at the centre of the action again as his kick on Conor Coady sparked a melee and Villa seemed lucky to still be at full strength with an hour gone as Chester tripped Costa on his way to goal.
Wolves dominated the second half from start to finish, with seven shots on target, but despite mistakes in the Villa defence, they were without real clear-cut chances.
Alan Hutton's mis-kick allowed substitute Cavaleiro a free shot at goal, but the mistake happened so fast, he had little time to adjust his footing and get a proper shot away.
Nouha Dicko had a chance to win it in the final ten minutes as he sneaked in behind the Villa defence, but although he succeeded, the angle was far too acute for the returning frontman and his shot went over the bar.
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