Wolves – Aston Villa was a slow-burner but it got going late on as both teams ended the game with 10 men and a stoppage time penalty kick won it for Villa.
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In a tight, tense West Midlands derby, Anwar El Ghazi’s penalty in the 93rd minute won it for Villa as Wolves came close but couldn’t finish their chances.
With the win, Villa move above Wolves and now sit eighth in the table and will have two games in-hand on the teams around them.
Three things we learned from
1. Villa snatch win to keep good start going: They didn’t get the points their recent displays deserved, but a win at Wolves made up for that. A draw was probably a fair result but Villa snatched all three points in stoppage time thanks to a silly defensive mistakes from Wolves. Villa huffed and puffed in this game and had a few half chances which Rui Patricio saved well. Emiliano Martinez kept them in with a few fine stops of his own and then Villa got a slice of luck that had deserted them in recent weeks. 18 points from their first 10 games of the season is very good going and is halfway to safety in the Premier League for Dean Smith’s side.
2. Not much between top 10 teams: There really wasn’t much in this one. Both teams battled hard, plenty of yellow cards were dished out and it was a scrappy encounter. Wolves should have gone ahead but poor finishing and good goalkeeping held them back, and the main takeaway from this clash is that both Wolves and Villa will be in the top 10 at the end of this season. Another takeaway would be that some of Wolves’ new signings (Nelson Semedo, Fabio Silva and Marcal) are still adapting to the Premier League, while Villa’s new boys have settled in quicker.
3. Fabio Silva shows glimpses he can stand in for Jimenez: Being without Raul Jimenez (he is recovering from a fractured skull and no timetable for his return is set) for the majority of the rest of the season is a tough blow for Wolves but 18-year-old striker Fabio Silva showed glimpses he can step in. The Portuguese starlet is touted as one of the best young talents in Europe and he hit the post in the second half, was dangerous in the air and linked up play well. He was a little raw when it came to putting pressure on Villa’s defense but he showed signs that he could stand in admirably for Jimenez.
Man of the Match: John McGinn – He won the penalty kick late on and was a constant menace in midfield as everything good that Villa did flowed through the Scotland international.
Wolves whipped in plenty of crosses early on as they looked to get Fabio Silva on the end of them, while Villa sparked a few dangerous counters but couldn’t make the most of the opportunities.
Villa then had a huge shout for a penalty kick as teenager Jacob Ramsey pulled the ball back and it appeared to strike Romain Saiss on the arm, but VAR checked it and no penalty kick was given.
Jack Grealish had a shot deflected which led to a long-throw as Ezri Konsa headed just wide. Daniel Podence had a shot well-saved by Emiliano Martinez at the other end as the game was a slow-burner, while Martinez then denied Leander Dendoncker as Villa scrambled to clear the danger. Silva then flicked a header wide as the game got going.
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Villa started the second half well as Douglas Luiz flashed a shot wide, while at the other end Traore forced Martinez into a routine low save. Pedro Neto then flashed a shot inches wide as chances were few and far between. Watkins was denied superbly by Rui Patricio at his near post, as both teams pushed hard late on.
Silva hit the post after good work from Podence as the teenager came so close to a goal, then Martinez denied a header from Saiss and did brilliantly to deny Dendoncker. Douglas Luiz was sent off after forcing his elbow into Podence during an aerial battle, as he received a deserved second yellow and Villa finish the game with 10 men.
Villa then won a penalty kick in stoppage time as Nelson Semedo brought down John McGinn with a clumsy challenge and second half sub Anwar El Ghazi slammed home the spot kick for the win, as there was still time for Joao Moutinho to be sent off after his second yellow.