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Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Aston Villa

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.

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.

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