Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa: Hosts extend unbeaten Premier League run with derby win
Report and highlights as Aston Villa's injury woes deepen with two enforced changes in the first half
Last Updated: 10/11/19 6:28pm
Wolves took the West Midlands bragging rights as they beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Premier League, extending their unbeaten run to seven top-flight games.
It was a terrible first half for Aston Villa, who were forced into two substitutions due to injury. The first was inside seven minutes as Jed Steer was taken off, before Ruben Neves' (41) fine finish deservedly put Wolves ahead.
Matt Targett then picked up an eye injury in added time and was unable to continue as two of Dean Smith's three changes were used before the break.
Villa performed better in the second half but just as they were getting on top, Raul Jimenez (84) swept home to double Wolves' lead, scoring in a third successive game in all competitions. It was a nervy finish for the hosts too as goal-line technology awarded Trezeguet a 92nd-minute goal, but Villa could not complete the comeback.
The win sees Wolves extend their unbeaten Premier League run to seven games - the first time they have done so in England's top flight since 1974 - and sends them into eighth on 16 points. Aston Villa remain in 17th and have now lost their last three league games.
How Wolves took the derby spoils
It was the worst possible start for Aston Villa, who were already missing Tom Heaton due to a calf injury, as replacement goalkeeper Steer was injured early on. It looked to be an innocuous move as he tracked back to keep a Matt Doherty shot out - which ended up hitting the bar - but as he landed onto the floor after stretching to make the save, his hand shot up for the medics. Not long after, he hobbled off the field with third-choice stopper Orjan Nyland coming on.
Wolves dominated the first half chances and went close in the 20th minute. Neves scooped a wonderful ball into the area, picking out Jonny on the left. However, his strike pinged off Frederic Guilbert into the middle of the area for the waiting Jimenez, but his effort just skimmed past the post.
Wolves: Patricio (6), Dendoncker (7), Coady (7), Saiss (6), Doherty (7), Neves (7), Moutinho (7), Jonny (7), Traore (8), Jimenez (7), Jota (7).
Subs used: Neto (n/a), Bennett (n/a), Cutrone (n/a).
Aston Villa: Steer (n/a), Guilbert (6), Konsa (6), Mings (7), Targett (4), McGinn (7), Nakamba (6), Luiz (6), El Ghazi (6), Wesley (5), Trezeguet (6).
Subs used: Nyland (6), Taylor (7), Lansbury (6).
Man of the match: Adama Traore.
The host had a plethora of other chances - Jimenez and Diogo Jota both going close - but they eventually made the breakthrough in the 41st minute. A crunching tackle from Tyrone Mings on Adama Traore gave Wolves the free-kick and Joao Moutinho surprised the pack inside the box by taking it short to the waiting Neves at the top of the area. He then floated the ball through the area with some real power, lifting it into the middle of the net as Molineux erupted.
Aston Villa suffered another injury blow in first-half added time. Targett was caught in the face by Doherty and looked to have an issue with his vision with the medics deciding he could not continue. He was replaced by Neil Taylor in the second minute of injury time as Villa were already two substitutions down at the break.
- Wolves named the same Premier League XI from last weekend. From the Europa League win on Thursday, there were three changes. Max Kilman, Ruben Vinagre and Pedro Neto dropped to the bench with Romain Saiss, Jonny and Diogo Jota back in the side.
- Jack Grealish once again missed out for Aston Villa through injury with goalkeeper Tom Heaton also out of the side with a calf issue. Jed Steer took his place in one of two changes from last weekend with Ezri Konsa coming in for Bjorn Engels (hip).
Wolves had two huge chances to double their lead at the start of the second half. In the 50th minute, Traore pinged an effort off the woodwork before Nyland was forced into a wonderful save 15 minutes later as Jota send a thunderous strike his way, but he raised his arms high to push the effort over the crossbar.
Aston Villa started to pile the pressure on as the half wore on, although did not have many clear cut chances and it was Wolves who then doubled their lead. Neves won the ball back at the top of his own area before setting Traore away down the right-hand side. He skipped past Douglas Luiz before getting into the area and cutting the ball back for the waiting Jimenez, who swept home for his 13th goal of the season.
But Villa were not to go quietly and scored a bizarre goal in the second minute of added time. Trezeguet volleyed home a corner, which beat Rui Patricio at the near post before Ryan Bennett hacked the ball away on the line. However, the Villa midfielder was screaming for it to stand and he was rewarded when goal-line technology confirmed the ball had crossed the line - by some way too - but Villa could not find another to take a point from Molineux.
Man of the match - Adama Traore
Traore went into Sunday's game with something to prove. He had a torrid time as an Aston Villa player, making just 11 appearances with no goals, and would have wanted to follow his first Spain call-up in midweek with a good performance against his former side.
And, like many players in the Wolves side, Traore did do well. He had a hand in both goals, winning the free-kick for the opening before using his lightning quick pace to hit Aston Villa on the break and provide the assist for Jimenez's goal. He also provided seven crosses for his team - all of which came from open play - and won 75 per cent of his duels, which was the highest in the Wolves team.
What the managers said
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "I think we dominated the game and the first half was very good play. We achieved the goal late, we had a lot of chances and clear moments where we could harm Villa.
"They didn't do much and in the second half, there was a little bit of a change and they went for it more. They took control of some parts of the game and created some problems so we had to adjust.
"But we had the better chances and we were waiting for the moment to be clinical and achieve that second goal that allows you to manage better. It came late but the team stuck to the organisation. I'm not sure what happened with the [Villa] goal and if there is one thing bad, that was the moment.
"Every time we recovered the ball, we had a chance to break and if we produce a lot of moments like that, we must be clinical because that's what defines the moment of the game and puts it to bed."
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: "The first 45 minutes was probably the worst we've had. We didn't win any duels, any second balls and we kept giving them the ball back so they kept attacking us. The only thing I got out of the first half was that we were only 1-0 down.
"In the second half, I thought we came out and at least made a game of it. We had some chances, they had some chances on the counter as well and the second goal was the one that killed the game really.
"I felt like it would have been us that got the next goal, we kept pushing and we had a good go in the second half, but you can't give anyone a 45 minute head start and we did that to Wolves today.
"I think it was an Achilles problem for Jed, he's had one before and it's sickening for him really, his first start of the season in the Premier League and after a few minutes, he's having to go off. Orjan came on and did well, we're lucky that we have four international goalkeepers at the club and we're in a good place with goalkeepers but I hope it's a speedy recovery."
- Wolves picked up their first top-flight home victory against Aston Villa in 10 games (W1 D3 L6), since a 3-1 win in May 1978.
- Ruben Neves has now scored 14 goals for Wolves in all competitions, with 11 of those coming from outside the box.
- Amongst Premier League players, only Raheem Sterling (14) has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Wolves' Raul Jimenez (13), who netted on his 50th Premier League appearance.
There is now an international break for the Premier League with Wolves next in action on Saturday, November 23 when they travel to Bournemouth. For Aston Villa, they will need to wait until Monday, November 25 when they take on Newcastle live on Sky Sports.