Aston Villa collapsed from a two goal advantage these evening, gifting Midland’s rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers all three points.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa returned to action this weekend, with a mid-afternoon kick-off at Villa Park against West Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. The home side elected to play with a back five once again, with South American stars Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz also selected despite appearing in games last night for Brazil and Argentina.
Wolves were gifted a chance within the first four minutes, with Hwang Hee-Chan almost allowed an opportunity on goal – as the South Korean attempted to pass the ball into the net – but Tyrone Mings was there to save Tuanzebe’s blushed and blocked the attempt.
Aston Villa had a good chance of their own in the 12th minute, after a set-piece routine set Ezri Konsa for a header on goal – but Jose Sa was able to catch the ball well at his near post. A minute later, and John McGinn set himself for a left footed volley from around 35-yards out, which slid just past the post.
In the 22nd, Matty Cash did well to beat his man down the right before putting an early ball into the box that Emiliano Buendia connected with, but his shot slipped just wide. Douglas Luiz swept a thundering half-volley over the bar just thirty seconds later.
Danny Ings had the best opportunity of the game so far in the 27th, with Buendia playing a perfectly waited ball between the Wolves defence for Danny Ings, who’s shot was parried wide well by Jose Sa for a corner.
At the half hour mark, Adama Traore almost scored a wondergoal against his former club. He rode challenges from Buendia, Luiz, Tuanzebe and then rounded Tyrone Mings before he fired at goal – where Martinez stood strong to produce a block with his feet.
Just before half time, Matty Cash fired over the bar from just outside of the box.
The two sides went in at the break level.
Neither side made any changes in the second half, with Aston Villa attacking towards the Holte End for the final 45 minutes.
Aston Villa took the lead in the 48th minute, as John McGinn made an exceptional run down the right hand side, utilising his strength well, before playing a ball into the box, curling away from goal, where Danny Ings was able to head into the bottom left corner.
Ruben Neves was booked in the 51st minute as Ollie Watkins nipped in to steal a hospital ball aimed at Neves, and the Portuguese midfielder caught the Villa forward late.
Tyrone Mings was the next player to pick up a booking for time wasting as he stalled ahead of a free-kick in Aston Villa’s half.
In the 67th minute, Dean Smith opted to make his first change – replacing Douglas Luiz, who had produced a resolute display – with Marvelous Nakamba.
Just seconds later, and Aston Villa had doubled their lead. A poor pass from Hwang Hee-Chan let Ollie Watkins fire a shot towards goal, which deflected into the path of John McGinn, who swept a shot from outside of the box towards goal. It took a deflection on the way, and left Jose Sa rooted to the spot as it hit the back of the net.
A number of changes would follow, with Emi Buendia replaced by Jacob Ramsey for Aston Villa, while Wolves brought Fabio Silva and Daniel Podence into the fray. Moutinho and Marcao were those to be replaced.
As Aston Villa made their third and final change, replacing Matty Cash with Ashley Young, Wolves managed to bring one back just ten minutes before time. A well worked move across the box via Neves and then Podence found Saiss, who slotted past Martinez to give Wolves a glimmer of hope.
With six minutes remaining, Wolves equalised. A similar situation to the first, but this time Axel Tuanzebe failed to clear well and the ball ended up nestling in the back of the net either from Coady or from Tuanzebe’s failed clearance.
In the final seconds of added time, Aston Villa conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Neves’ attempt deflected off Aston Villa’s wall, while Martinez had already dived, as the ball bounced into the bottom left corner.
Disappointing. From a two goal lead to getting nothing from the game.