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Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League.

Villa ParkAttendance41,951.

Aston Villa 2

  • D Ings (48th minute)
  • J McGinn (68th minute)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3

  • R Saiss (80th minute)
  • C Coady (85th minute)
  • R Neves (95th minute)

Aston Villa 2-3 Wolves: Ruben Neves' 95th-minute free-kick completes remarkable turnaround

Match report and free highlights as Wolves come from two goals down to clinch dramatic victory at Aston Villa; Ruben Neves' 95th-minute free-kick completes turnaround; Wolves have won three league games in a row for the first time since June 2020

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves' win over Aston Villa

Ruben Neves' deflected 95th-minute free-kick completed a sensational 3-2 comeback win for Wolves against Aston Villa in a pulsating West Midlands derby at Villa Park on Saturday.

The hosts were in a commanding position after Danny Ings' header (48) was added to by John McGinn's deflected effort (68).

But Romain Saiss started the turnaround when he met Daniel Podence's cross (80) and Conor Coady levelled five minutes later from close range as Villa imploded.

There was an element of good fortune about the winner, however, as Neves' firmly struck free-kick cruelly deflected in off Matt Targett handing Wolves a quite memorable derby day victory.

Wolves are now unbeaten in their last six Premier League visits to Villa Park, and the result means they have won three Premier League games in a row for the first time since June 2020 - rising to eighth in the table while Villa slip to 12th.

Ruben Neves is mobbed following his late strike
Image: Ruben Neves is mobbed following his late strike

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Konsa (5), Tuanzebe (6), Mings (6), Cash (6), McGinn (8), Douglas Luiz (7), Buendia (7), Targett (5), Watkins (7), Ings (6).

Subs: Young (5), Nakamba (5), Jacob Ramsey (5).

Wolves: Jose Sa (6), Kilman (6), Coady (7), Saiss (6), Nelson Semedo (6), Neves (7), Dendoncker (6), Joao Moutinho (6), Marcal (5), Traore (7), Hwang (5).

Subs: Jimenez (n/a), Daniel Podence (8), Silva (6).

Man of the match: John McGinn.

How Villa imploded against resurgent Wolves

Villa entered the game unbeaten in their previous three Premier League games at Villa Park this season and having not lost at home since being defeated by Manchester United back in May.

But having secured successive wins over Everton and Man Utd at Old Trafford, Dean Smith's men have now suffered back-to-back losses, adding to the narrow 2-1 reverse at Tottenham before the international break.

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Having lost each of his opening three league games 1-0, there is a growing sense that Bruno Lage has started to adapt to his new surroundings at Wolves, and his side might have found an early breakthrough.

Ruben Neves and Emi Buendia battle for the ball
Image: Ruben Neves and Emi Buendia battle for the ball

A slack pass from Axel Tuanzebe after four minutes allowed Leander Dendoncker to slip Hee-Chan Hwang through on goal but a superb recovery block from Tyrone Mings spared his team-mate's blushes.

It has been 61 years since Wolves kept three successive away clean sheets in the top flight, back in 1960, but that was very nearly wiped out 10 minutes later as McGinn collected Douglas Luiz's pass to fire a speculative drive that flashed just a yard wide of Jose Sa's left-hand post.

This encounter between two sides separated by 21 miles didn't initially point towards a game rife with goalmouth activity; the meetings last season between the pair produced just one goal while this corresponding fixture ended goalless.

Team news

Record signing Emi Buendia was recalled by Aston Villa boss Dean Smith to face Wolves. The £38m buy will make his first start since the end of August with Axel Tuanzebe replacing Kortney Hause in defence.

Adama Traore replaced Francisco Trincao, out with Covid, while Raul Jimenez dropped to the bench with Leander Dendoncker returning for the visitors.

But Adama Traore very nearly provided another moment of individual brilliance to add to his catalogue of solo efforts and a brilliant weaving run that left McGinn, Luiz, Tuanzebe and Mings in his wake resulted in Emi Martinez making a vital save with his feet.

Villa's best chance in the opening period fell to Ings as after McGinn had picked out Buendia, his measured ball inside for the former Southampton striker was aimed back across goal but Jose Sa made a fine instinctive save.

Adama Traore was a constant threat to the Villa defence
Image: Adama Traore was a constant threat to the Villa defence

Wolves were slow in returning for the second period, and they still looked in the dressing room as Villa only needed three minutes to break the deadlock.

The ball was worked down the right channel for McGinn to hold off Saiss, and his cross was met by the alert Ings to plant his header low beyond Sa.

If Lage thought it would enliven his troops, he would have been enraged by the response as not long after Matty Cash chopped inside to fire over, Villa doubled their lead.

Danny Ings embraces Emi Buendia after giving Aston Villa the lead
Image: Ings embraces Emi Buendia after giving Villa the lead

A poor pass towards his own goal by Hwang was intercepted by Watkins and after his initial shot was blocked by Coady, McGinn fizzed his effort into the bottom corner via a deflection off Neves.

"Are you West Brom in disguise?" came the cruel chant from the home supporters, but Wolves were only just starting.

Lage made a double change as Fabio Silva and Daniel Podence were introduced, and it was the latter forward who really grasped control of the game in the final 10 minutes.

Aston Villa celebrate Danny Ings' opener
Image: Aston Villa celebrate Danny Ings' opener

It was he who collected Neves' pass as Villa failed to clear their lines from a corner before crossing low for Saiss to touch home at the far post to halve the deficit.

Villa were panicking and from Wolves' next attack, they were level. Max Kilman saw his initial header smack against the crossbar but Traore's ensuing cross was kept alive at the far post by Dendoncker and Marvelous Nakamba was only able to hook his clearance into the onrushing Coady as the ball trickled over the line.

Former Villa boss Tim Sherwood said on Soccer Saturday: "Villa can only blame themselves. It's been a magnificent comeback from Wolves, but Villa must be kicking themselves - they have been so negative since going 2-0 up."

Worse was to come in the fifth minute of stoppage time for Villa, however, as after Jacob Ramsey was penalised for a foul on Traore, up stepped Neves to fire his free-kick into the bottom corner via a heavy deflection off the hapless Targett.

Ruben Neves' 95th-minute strike struck Matt Targett
Image: Ruben Neves' 95th-minute strike struck Matt Targett

Analysis: Wolves deserve credit for comeback

Hee-Chang Hwang continued up front for Wolves
Image: Hee-Chang Hwang continued up front for Wolves

Tim Sherwood told Soccer Saturday:

"You've got to give Wolves a lot of credit for the way they stuck at it and fought back. Villa were cruising after Danny Ings got them in front. You thought they'd go on from there, especially after McGinn then smashed one in from the edge of the box.

"Perhaps Dean Smith made some changes which he wishes he didn't make. Their three at the back turned into a five and they just sat back. The midfield sat too deep and they conceded the territory. To be fair, Wolves kept going.

"I couldn't say they deserved the win, but they certainly deserved to get a draw. To win it so late is an extra bonus."

What the managers said

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith shares his frustration after his side threw away a 2-0 lead with only 10 minutes left as they lost 3-2 to rivals Wolves.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "I find it difficult to explain because it should have been a victory. We were comfortable and we didn't see that coming. Three set-pieces have cost us three goals. You have to defend better when goals get put in the box in the last 10 minutes. There were frantic clearances so that was a disappointment today.

"In the first half, I thought it was a bit of a chess game. I thought we were better but only had the one big chance and they had one through Adama Traore. In the second half, we spoke about the areas we wanted to play and we did. At 2-0, you can always give them a sniff and we did.

"I never felt there was a momentum shift. There were a few second balls that we didn't pick up. We defended the box quite well in open play but it was the set-pieces.

"The actual free-kick for goal I have no complaints. That happens. It's how they get to that... We had a throw-in which we gave away then Traore comes inside and we give a foul away.

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Wolves boss Bruno Lage gives his thoughts on his sides dramatic last-gasp 3-2 win over rivals Aston Villa, claiming that Wolves deserved the win.

"It's a painful defeat because it's one we should have had. The performance was better than Tottenham but you have to defend the box better. It hurts because it's a football match and I'm a football manager."

Wolves boss Bruno Lage: "I think it was these games I want to continue [having in] my career in England. It was until the 94th minute. It is the kind of environment I want and want to live. We don't deserve to lose. I don't think Villa deserve to lose. It was a good game, a good performance, I think we created a lot of problems for Villa. At 2-0 down we put the guys in front. It's more difficult to mark, we created spaces and in the same way, we had some luck. These three points are very good for us.

Jose Sa congratulates Neves on his dramatic winner
Image: Jose Sa congratulates Neves on his dramatic winner

"We used a false nine so not to give their strong defenders an easy man to mark. They continued to press at 2-0 and I tried to put men on them. That's what we did. In corners or free-kicks, those situations can happen and we scored three goals.

"Every time I believe. It's easy for me to say now I made the right choice. It's easy to say 'I was right' when you win. But you have to take decisions. The other players who start or come on, help the team to win three points.

"We did three good performances in the first three games but did not get any points. The confidence came with hard work. The players are seeing what we are doing and with victories."

Man of the match: John McGinn

John McGinn rifles Villa 2-0 in front on Saturday
Image: John McGinn rifles Villa 2-0 in front on Saturday

McGinn was instrumental in helping Villa establish a two-goal lead they didn't look like relinquishing until the final 10 minutes. It was his cross that Ings converted - one of six key passes he produced during the game, at least four more than any other team-mate.

While there was a slice of luck about his strike, it was nothing less than he deserved following another vibrant display. The Scot's form resembles a positive for Smith as he reflects on this painful defeat.

McGinn has scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for only the second time in his career (72 PL apps), also doing so v Liverpool in October 2020.

What the player said

Conor Coady makes it 2-2
Image: Conor Coady makes it 2-2 at Villa Park

Wolves captain Conor Coady netted just his second ever Premier League goal in his 122nd appearance in the competition and his first since netting against Manchester City in March.

Coady told Sky Sports: "What an incredible win. It was emotional and tough; I didn't think there was much in the game until it all kicked off and went a bit bonkers in the second half.

"We were disappointed to be two goals down. It is a derby and something we were ready for but full credit to Aston Villa, they are a real top team. We know how tough it is coming here.

"The team spirit in our dressing room is incredible. It is a pleasure to be in this changing room. We never stop; we've got an incredible support base."

On his equalising goal: "I could see my family going mental, as the rest of the Wolves fans were. It doesn't matter how they go in; we work on set pieces a lot."

Wolves stage two-goal fightback - Opta stats

Douglas Luiz is set to miss out with a hamstring injury
Image: Douglas Luiz featured despite playing for Brazil on Friday morning
  • Aston Villa threw away a two-goal lead and lost a Premier League home game for only the second time, also doing so against Manchester United in November 2012 (also 2-3).
  • Wolves came from two goals down to win in an away Premier League game for only the second time ever, also doing so against Southampton in January 2020 (also winning 3-2).
  • Since his Premier League debut on August 18th 2014, Aston Villa's Danny Ings has scored 58 goals in the competition, with Harry Kane (163), Jamie Vardy (125) and Raheem Sterling (85) the only Englishmen to score more in that time.
  • Wolves defender Romain Saïss scored his first goal in his last 23 Premier League appearances, with six of his eight goals in the competition coming away from home.

What's next?

Live FNF

Aston Villa visit Arsenal on Friday Night Football in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports; coverage starts at 7pm with kick-off at 8pm.

Wolves are at Leeds the following day on Saturday October 23; kick-off 3pm.

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