Wolves beat Aston Villa to boost their top four dreams as Leander Dendoncker’s solitary strike was enough to seal victory in a Midlands derby.
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Wolves are in fifth on 52 points, just two points off fourth-place Chelsea, while Villa are in 19th place on 27 points and haven’t won in the Premier League since January.
With six games to go, Villa are still in touching distance of safety with Watford, West Ham and Bournemouth all around them. Dean Smith’s side are running out of time to safe themselves from relegation and Wolves totally outclassed them at Villa Park.
Wolves – Aston Villa was very one-sided and the hosts struggled throughout.
1. Wolves in total control: This was as easy a 1-0 win as you’ll see. Wolves had four or five decent chances throughout and took one of them and that was that. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now won 2-0, 1-0 and 1-0 in their three games after the restart and they’ve done it with minimum fuss. They are just two points off fourth-place Chelsea and remain right in the Champions League battle. Wolves have momentum and are having a superb season.
2. Villa’s attacking woes continue: They’ve scored two goals in their four games since the restart and Villa just haven’ looked dangerous going forward. Jack Grealish saw a lot of the ball but struggled and had their only shot on target of the game, from outside the box in the first half. That sums it up. Davis and Samatta worked hard up top but couldn’t put Wolves’ defense under pressure and Villa are playing games hoping for a draw when they need a win in this situation. They now face Liverpool, Man United, Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham in the final six games of the season and will they won any of those clashes?
3. Traore off the bench a treasure: Traore has come off the bench in the second half of wins at West Ham and Villa and he’s had the desired impact on both occasions. He was involved in Wolves’ goal and the last thing you want to see if you’re an opposition defender is Traore coming off the bench to run at you.
Leander Dendoncker – He scored the winner on his return to the team and his midfield runs were dangerous, while he also did so much defensive work to stop Grealish getting on the ball in dangerous areas. Superb all-round display from the Belgian midfielder.
Matt Targett was forced off early through injury as Neil Taylor replaced him, as Wolves grew into the game and create a few decent chances. Joao Moutinho’s clever free kick to the near post was flicked on target by Jimenez by Orjan Nyland saved down low.
Wolves went close again soon after as Matt Doherty smashed a shot into the side-netting, then Jimenez broke free down the right and flashed a ball across the six yard box but Diogo Jota just couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
Jack Grealish had a deflected shot on target which Rui Patricio saved as Villa were solid enough but created very little in attack.
Jimenez then went close again with a dragged effort across goal and Wolves should have been 1-0 up as Nyland made a huge error as the ball slipped out of his hand but Jota could only fire over.
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In the second half Wolves pushed hard to take the lead and the opener came via Dendoncker just after Adama Traore came on. Traore had an immediate impact and found Jimenez.
His ball into the box was kept alive brilliantly by Jonny and Dendoncker swept home into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.
Dendoncker flicked wide at the back post as Wolves pushed for a second, as Villa left gaps on the break but they never really came close to grabbing an equalizer.