Premier League
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Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Aston Villa: Wolves win to move into top half

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Ruben Neves
Ruben Neves has scored 11 of his 14 goals for Wolves from outside the penalty area.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said his side paid for a lack of desire in their West Midlands derby defeat at Wolves.

Villa, who remain 17th in the Premier League - three points above the bottom three - were second best for long periods against the hosts, with Trezeguet's late consolation goal adding a flattering complexion to the scoreline.

And while Villa were without several regular starters, Smith said the media would not be able to "print" what he told his players after a disappointing first half.

"The game seemed bigger to them than it was to us," Smith said.

"We were poor and they [the players] got a reminder at half-time that they must win their duels and compete. You can't give any team a 45 minute head start and all I took from the first half was we were only 1-0 down.

"In the second half we got a better performance but it didn't take much to achieve that."

Wolves, who climbed from 15th up to eighth, to move into the top half of the Premier League for the first time since the opening weekend, were always in control.

Inside a raucous Molineux, Nuno Espirito Santo's side repeatedly carved the visitors open, but had to wait until the stroke of half-time to open the scoring.

Joao Moutinho's clever free-kick, deceived the Villa defence and allowed Ruben Neves to whip a right-foot effort into the bottom right corner from 18-yards.

Adama Traore went close to adding a second for the hosts after the break, while Brazilian forward Wesley curled Villa's best chance over.

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota also missed good opportunities before Jimenez's sweeping right-foot shot confirmed Wolves first top-flight win over Villa since 1978.

Traore terrorises former employers

This was another performance that suggested Wolves are now up and running after their slow start to the season.

Already on the brink of reaching the Europa League knockout stages, Nuno's side are now unbeaten in seven Premier League matches and were worthy winners against out-of-sorts opponents.

It was one-way traffic in the first half as Jota, Jimenez and Matt Doherty all failed to convert chances that could have put the hosts out of sight by the interval.

With the game being played almost exclusively in the Villa half the visitors did not manage an effort on goal until the half-hour mark.

"We played very well, we dominated the game, especially in the first half. I'm happy with the performance and atmosphere," said Nuno.

"We're happy because we made the second goal and could have made more."

Another feature throughout was the sight of Adama Traore, who has been called up to the Spain squad, terrorising the Villa defence.

The 23-year-old, who scored in his one and only start during his time at Villa Park, repeatedly skipped past Matt Targett and his replacement Neil Taylor.

Traore's searing pace also created Jimenez's decisive second goal, with the winger eluding Douglas Luiz, before picking out the Mexican on the left-side of the penalty area.

It capped a fine individual display from Traore, who is now beginning to fulfil the potential he exhibited in Barcelona's 'La Masia' youth system.

Villa flatter to deceive

Aston Villa made the 20-mile trip to Molineux looking to do a double over Wolves having knocked their local rivals out of the Carabao Cup 11 days ago.

However, they delivered a disjointed and disappointing performance and struggled to gain any sort of foothold in the game until the final quarter.

The absence of the injured Heaton and defender Björn Engels were keenly felt at the back, while without Grealish, their was a distinct lack of spark to their attacking.

John McGinn struggled to impose himself in midfield, while Marvelous Nakamba was a peripheral figure and was later replaced by Henri Lansbury.

They were also not helped by an early injury to replacement goalkeeper, Jed Steer, which saw Norwegian Orjan Nyland, make his first appearance for almost 12 months.

While Trezeguet did offer some threat down the flank, the Egyptian did not come to the fore until Villa were chasing an equaliser late in the game.

Man of the match - Adama Traore (Wolves)

Adama Traore
Adama Traore won the free-kick that led to the Wolves first goal and provided an assist for their second goal.

Fortress Molineux - the stats

  • 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.
  • Wolves have only lost one of their past 14 Premier League home games (W8 D5), a 2-5 loss to Chelsea in September.
  • Aston Villa have only kept one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League matches on the road, a 0-0 draw with West Brom in January 2016.
  • Ruben Neves has now scored 14 goals for Wolves in all competitions, with 11 of those coming from outside the box.
  • Among 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.
  • Since the start of last season, Joao Moutinho has provided more Premier League assists than any other Wolves player (11). In fact, only Matt Jarvis (13) and Kevin Doyle (12) have registered more assists in Premier League history for Wolves than Moutinho (11).
  • Aston Villa's Jed Steer made only his second Premier League appearance (which lasted just eight minutes), 1,631 days after his first in May 2015 (v Burnley) - it's the largest gap between two appearances for a Villa player in the competition's history.
  • Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is winless in five league meetings with Wolves (D1 L4), since defeating them 3-0 as Brentford manager in a Championship tie in February 2016.

What's next?

Wolves travel to Bournemouth for their next Premier League match on Saturday 23 November (15:00 GMT). Aston Villa resume their Premier League duties at home to Newcastle on Monday 25 November (20:00 GMT).



Formation 3-4-3

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 16Coady
  • 27SaïssBooked at 12mins
  • 2Doherty
  • 8NevesSubstituted forBennettat 85'minutes
  • 28João MoutinhoBooked at 86mins
  • 19Castro OttoBooked at 90mins
  • 37Traoré
  • 9JiménezSubstituted forCutroneat 90'minutes
  • 18JotaBooked at 74minsSubstituted forNetoat 83'minutes


  • 5Bennett
  • 7Neto
  • 10Cutrone
  • 21Ruddy
  • 26Perry
  • 29Vinagre
  • 49Kilman

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 12SteerSubstituted forNylandat 8'minutes
  • 24GuilbertBooked at 10mins
  • 15Konsa
  • 40MingsBooked at 40mins
  • 18TargettSubstituted forTaylorat 45+3'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 11NakambaBooked at 27minsSubstituted forLansburyat 69'minutes
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 9Wesley
  • 17Trézéguet


  • 3Taylor
  • 5Chester
  • 8Lansbury
  • 14Hourihane
  • 25Nyland
  • 26Kodjia
  • 27El Mohamady
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a fast break.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Aston Villa 1. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the centre of the goal following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Romain Saïss.

  6. Booking

    Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  8. Post update

    Trézéguet (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Patrick Cutrone replaces Raúl Jiménez.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  11. Booking

    João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  13. Post update

    John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ryan Bennett replaces Rúben Neves.

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Aston Villa 0. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adama Traoré following a fast break.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Pedro Neto replaces Diogo Jota.

  17. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Neil Taylor (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Henri Lansbury.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ezri Konsa Ngoyo.


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