Villa beat Wolves to maintain top-four gap over Spurs

2 weeks ago 24
Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby gives them the lead against Wolves in the Premier LeagueMoussa Diaby has now scored eight goals for Aston Villa this season

Aston Villa maintained their three-point lead over Tottenham in the race for Champions League football with a win over Wolves at Villa Park.

After Spurs beat Luton earlier on Saturday to briefly go above Villa, Unai Emery's side rose to the pressure and found a way to win despite being far from their best.

Moussa Diaby's thunderbolt shot from the edge of the area, after a cross was half-cleared by Tommy Doyle, fizzed through a couple of Wolves defenders and goalkeeper Jose Sa to open the scoring.

Ezri Konsa sealed the points when his miscued cross from close to the right byeline drifted over Sa and in off the far post.

There was concern for Villa, though, with England striker Ollie Watkins withdrawn at half-time because of a hamstring injury and manager Emery said he would go for a scan on Sunday.

Tottenham have a game in hand on Villa and could yet take control of the race for fourth, but fifth spot may secure top-tier European football next season with the revamped tournament being introduced.

Villa find a way against exposed Wolves

Villa, who have now won as many Premier League games as they managed in the entirety of last season, were nowhere near their peak form.

However, results are key at this stage of the season and there may have to be more days like this.

They started slowly and missed the energy of the suspended John McGinn in midfield throughout.

Watkins had an early goal ruled out for offside, before Wolves wing-back Rayan Ait-Nouri missed a gilt-edge chance.

A cross from the right was flicked into the unmarked Algerian by a Villa defender, but his strike from six yards was turned over the bar by Emi Martinez.

Wolves continued to dominate possession but were hampered. The absence of key forward players Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha meant there was a lack of quality and creativity in the final third.

Diaby's opener came almost out of the blue, stemming from a central free-kick chipped over to Alex Moreno on the left. His cross came off the outstretched leg of Doyle for Diaby to fire home first time.

Wolves manager Gary O'Neil may question his defenders, who were static and made no real attempt to block the shot.

Konsa's goal was extremely fortuitous at the end of a free-flowing move, but come the season's end on 19 May he and Villa may well look back on this as a key day.

Wolves, who had just one shot on target in the second half, have now lost three of their past four games in all competitions with their squad depth again being exposed at the highest level.

Player of the match

Douglas LuizDouglas Luiz

with an average of 8.79

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  2. Squad number3Player nameDiego Carlos

  3. Squad number14Player nameP Torres

  4. Squad number19Player nameDiaby

  5. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  6. Squad number1Player nameE Martínez

  7. Squad number22Player nameZaniolo

  8. Squad number31Player nameBailey

  9. Squad number24Player nameDurán

  10. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  11. Squad number27Player nameRogers

  12. Squad number12Player nameDigne

  13. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  14. Squad number47Player nameIroegbunam

  15. Squad number29Player nameKesler-Hayden

  16. Squad number15Player nameÁlex Moreno

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  2. Squad number20Player nameDoyle

  3. Squad number8Player nameJoão Gomes

  4. Squad number23Player nameKilman

  5. Squad number24Player nameToti Gomes

  6. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

  7. Squad number5Player nameLemina

  8. Squad number6Player nameTraoré

  9. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  10. Squad number2Player nameDoherty

  11. Squad number84Player nameChiwome

  12. Squad number4Player nameBueno

  13. Squad number21Player nameSarabia

  14. Squad number17Player nameBueno

  15. Squad number63Player nameFraser

  16. Squad number62Player nameChirewa

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1E Martínez
  • 4Konsa
  • 3Diego Carlos
  • 14P Torres
  • 15MorenoSubstituted forDigneat 63'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 31BaileySubstituted forKesler-Haydenat 90+7'minutes
  • 8TielemansBooked at 30mins
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 27RogersSubstituted forZanioloat 63'minutes
  • 19DiabySubstituted forIroegbunamat 88'minutes
  • 11WatkinsSubstituted forDuránat 45'minutesBooked at 84mins

Substitutes

  • 12Digne
  • 16Chambers
  • 17Lenglet
  • 22Zaniolo
  • 24Durán
  • 25Olsen
  • 29Kesler-Hayden
  • 47Iroegbunam
  • 71Kellyman

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1
  • 4Bueno
  • 23KilmanBooked at 84mins
  • 24GomesBooked at 90mins
  • 22Nélson SemedoSubstituted forDohertyat 84'minutes
  • 8João GomesSubstituted forTraoréat 84'minutes
  • 20DoyleSubstituted forChirewaat 71'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 3Aït-NouriSubstituted forBuenoat 64'minutes
  • 21SarabiaBooked at 19mins
  • 5Lemina
  • 84ChiwomeSubstituted forFraserat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 6Traoré
  • 14Lemina
  • 17Bueno
  • 25Bentley
  • 37Holman
  • 45Barnett
  • 62Chirewa
  • 63Fraser

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  3. Attempt missed. Nathan Fraser (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Doherty.

  4. Attempt missed. Mario Lemina (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Pablo Sarabia with a cross following a corner.

  5. Substitution, Aston Villa. Kaine Kesler-Hayden replaces Leon Bailey.

  6. Lucas Digne (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Pau Torres.

  8. Foul by Nathan Fraser (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  9. Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Foul by Santiago Bueno (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  11. Jhon Durán (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Attempt blocked. Nicolò Zaniolo (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Toti Gomes (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Foul by Toti Gomes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  15. Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Foul by Toti Gomes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  17. Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Santiago Bueno (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  19. Nicolò Zaniolo (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Substitution, Aston Villa. Tim Iroegbunam replaces Moussa Diaby.

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