The woodwork kept out three possible goals at Villa Park this evening, as Villa and Wolves laboured to a goalless draw.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa hosted Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park this evening, fresh off their loss to Sheffield United midweek.
The game was incredibly open in the early stages of the game, and Ollie Watkins was denied by the woodwork for the seventh time this season with a strike from outside of the box that bounced off the bar.
Neither side were able to keep prolonged possession of the ball in the midfield, with both sides struggling to string passes together.
Aston Villa had struck the woodwork again in the fifteenth minute as a quickly worked free-kick found Traore, whose ball trickled into the back post. Ezri Konsa poked a toe towards the ball, which bounced off the woodwork and out.
Morgan Sanson was booked for a trip on Pedro Neto in the 26th minute as he tried to make amends for losing the ball on the edge of Wolves’ box.
The game petered out a little, but Aston Villa continued to look the stronger of the two sides as the game headed towards the end of the first half.
Aston Villa enjoyed plenty of opportunities to get at the Wolves goal, but they just weren’t falling for the home side, and the teams went in level ast the break.
Aston Villa had the first opportunity of the half once more in the second, with Ollie Watkins forcing a corner out of Wolves’ defence in the 48th minute.
Emiliano Martinez was called into action for the first time just a minute later as Pedro Neto managed to counter from the corner, but Targett kept pace with the winger and forced him into shooting from a wide angle – making the save easier for Martinez.
Wolves had their own close opportunity in the 56th, as Coady headed against the post at the end of a corner, before Romain Saiss flicked the ball over the bar from on top of the goal line.
The hour mark saw Aston Villa’s first change, with the booked Morgan Sanson making way for Ross Barkley’s arrival onto the pitch.
After this, Wolves had a prolonged spell of dominance as Aston Villa’s wind seemed to be knocked from their sails.
As Wolves continued to pressure Aston Villa’s backline, Emi Martinez was forced into denying Coady after a poor pass from Barkley let the Wolves defender free in the Villa box, but the Argentinian produced a strong save.
The 77th minute saw Trezeguet replaced by Keinan Davis, whilst Wolves replaced Willian Jose with Fabio Silva.
With 8 minutes remaining, Bertrand Traore was replaced by Jacob Ramsey, as Aston Villa’s third and final change.
Both sides kept pushing for an opening throughout the game, but it would end as a goalless draw.