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Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League.

Villa Park.

Aston Villa 0

    Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

    • L Dendoncker (62nd minute)

    Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves: Leander Dendoncker scores only goal as Wolves push for top four

    Highlights and report as Wolves move to within two points of the top four, while Villa remain in the relegation zone

    Saturday 27 June 2020 22:33, UK

    preview image 2:19
    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolverhampton Wanderers' win against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

    Wolves kept up their 100 per cent record since the Premier League's return with a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

    Wolves waited just over an hour for their opener as Leander Dendoncker fired into the bottom right corner from 15 yards (62), and the visitors deserved the victory on balance, also going close in the first half through Diogo Jota as he capitalised on Orjan Nyland's error.

    The result keeps Wolves in the race for an unprecedented top-four finish, leaving them two points off Chelsea having played a game more, while Villa remain in deep trouble, 19th in the Premier League but level on points with 17th-place West Ham.

    Player ratings

    Aston Villa: Nyland (5), Konsa (5), Hause (6), Mings (6), Targett (NA), Nakamba (5), Hourihane (5), Luiz (6), Grealish (6), Samatta (5), Davis (6)

    Subs: Taylor (5), McGinn (6), Elmohamady (5), Trezeguet (NA), El Ghazi (NA)

    Wolves: Rui Patricio (6), Doherty (6), Boly (7), Coady (7), Saiss (7), Jonny (7), Dendoncker (7), Moutinho (6), Neves (6), Jota (6), Jimenez (7)

    Subs: Traore (7), Neto (NA)

    Man of the match: Raul Jimenez

    How Wolves ground another win and clean sheet

    Villa started the game with more of the ball but very little bite, and were forced into an early change as Matt Targett was replaced by Neil Taylor after feeling his hamstring.

    Leander Dendoncker celebrates putting Wolves ahead
    Image: Leander Dendoncker celebrates putting Wolves ahead

    Wolves came closest in the first half as Nyland did his best to gift the visitors a goal; the Norwegian goalkeeper bizarrely miscued his throw out straight to Jota, but he snatched at it and blazed harmlessly over the bar from the edge of the box, despite having time to drive at goal.

    The second half continued in the same vein, before explosive former Villa winger Adama Traore was brought on after an hour to target sub left-back Taylor.

    Traore played a hand in Wolves' opener shortly after, making a nuisance of himself before spreading to Raul Jimenez; the Mexican then found Jonny in the box, who wrestled for the ball and set up Dendoncker, and the midfielder expertly found the bottom left corner from just inside the box.

    More on this story

    Raul Jimenez takes a shot as Kortney Hause challenges the Wolves striker
    Image: Raul Jimenez takes a shot as Kortney Hause challenges the Wolves striker

    That's how it stayed, with little in the way of clear-cut chances, meaning Wolves have won three from three since the restart, conceding no goals.

    Team news

    • Three Villa changes; McGinn, El Ghazi and Trezeguet out for Nakamba, Hourihane and Davis
    • Former Villa midfielder Traore started on the bench, with Dendoncker coming in

    Defensively, Wolves were brilliant, restricting Villa to a lot of the ball on the edge of the final third, but little inside any area of danger. For Villa, their lack of urgency or ideas is a worry going into the final six games, with tough fixtures against Liverpool (away) and Man Utd (home) up next.

    What the managers said...

    Aston Villa's Dean Smith: "We're the only team to play four games in 11 days and three in the last six. We could do with a bit more help on that, why it's not played on Sunday or Monday to give both teams a chance to recover I don't know. It's ridiculous to ask the players to play that amount of games in a short space of time.

    "There's a lot of belief in the dressing room and we'll be working hard. We'll stay up by fighting, working hard, being as solid as we have been and when we are fresh hopefully showing a bit more quality in the final third."

    Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: "We have a good week now to recover. It's a tough cycle, this was a third game in a week and we know what is in front of us. We have to prepare ourselves for the next challenge.

    "We know what is in front of us, we know how we do things. The how is more important, how we prepare ourselves for the next one. We have to reinvent ourselves for a tough challenge."

    Opta stats

    • Wolves have completed a league double over Aston Villa for the first time since the 1962-63 campaign.
    • Wolves are unbeaten in Premier League games this season that have been level at half-time (W4 D8 L0), the only side with such an unbeaten record in the division.
    • Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last six Premier League games, failing to score in four of those matches. The Villans only failed to find the net in five of their first 26 league games this season.
    • Wolves have kept four successive clean sheets in the top-flight for the first time since the 1981-82 season (five shutouts between October-November 1981).
    • Aston Villa have conceded more Premier League goals than any other side in 2020 so far (24), with their only clean sheet coming against Sheffield United in the first game of the restart.

    What's next?

    Live Renault Super Sunday

    Live Premier League

    Villa now go to champions Liverpool on Sunday, July 5 at 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports. Wolves host Arsenal on Saturday, July 4 at 5.30pm, also live on Sky Sports.

    Back-to-back Super 6 winners?

    Back-to-back Super 6 winners?

    Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for a sixth time this season on Saturday. Play for free.

    Back-to-back Super 6 winners?

    Back-to-back Super 6 winners?

    Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for a sixth time this season on Saturday. Play for free.

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