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Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves

Three changes for Wolves derby clash GALLERY: Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves 📸
Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves

Aston Villa fell to a 1-0 defeat against midlands neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Leander Dendoncker’s low 62nd-minute strike proved the difference between the two sides amid an evenly-balanced derby encounter at Villa Park.

Villa were let off the hook just before half-time when Ørjan Nyland’s attempted throw slipped out of his hands, Diogo Jota, with time and space, failing to capitalise as he fired off target from the edge of the penalty area.

The hosts pressed for a leveller but could find no way through a stubborn Wolves defence.

Defeat, in the club’s fourth match since the resumption of Premier League football, leaves Villa on 27 points from 32 matches.

Dean Smith made three changes for the encounter, handing a place in his starting XI to Keinan Davis, who lined up alongside Ally Samatta in attack.

There were also recalls for Conor Hourihane and Marvelous Nakamba in midfield, with John McGinn, Trezeguet and Anwar El Ghazi dropping to the bench.

But Villa were forced into a change with just 11 minutes on the clock as Matt Targett limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, replaced by Neil Taylor.

Amid a positive start from the hosts, it was Wolves who enjoyed the first sight of goal as Nyland got down low to keep out Raul Jimenez’s near-post header from Joao Moutinho’s free-kick.

Matt Doherty fired into the side-netting midway through the first half, before Villa skipper Jack Grealish tested Rui Patricio from distance at the other end.

Villa were then handed a huge let-off just before the break as Nyland’s throw slipped from his grasp and straight to Jota, but he could only blast over the crossbar when presented with the golden opportunity 20 yards out.

Hourihane saw his goalbound shot blocked following a well-worked Villa move to draw a closely-fought first half to a close.

The second period continued in much the same fashion, with Villa boss Smith turning to McGinn and Ahmed Elmohamady on the hour mark.

But it was the visitors who bagged the only goal of the game just after the hour mark, Dendoncker picking up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and firing a low left-footed effort across Nyland and into the far corner.

Villa pushed for an equaliser, with Trezeguet and El Ghazi introduced in the latter stages, but they could not find the cutting edge to seal a share of the spoils.

Villa: Nyland, Konsa (Elmohamady 60), Mings, Hause, Targett (Taylor 11), Nakamba (Trezeguet 82), Luiz, Hourihane (McGinn 60), Grealish (c), Davis (El Ghazi 82), Samatta.

Subs: Reina, Drinkwater, Jota, Vassilev.

Who’s next?

Villa face the tough task of facing newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, July 5 (ko 4.30pm).

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 27th June 2020