Express & Star

Villa 2 Wolves 0 - Report

A goal in each half was enough to secure local bragging rights as Villa beat Wolves in the West Midlands derby.


The visitors at Villa Park enjoyed the better start and came close to taking the lead, but switched off at a set piece before Moussa Diaby smashed home a wonderful effort to give Villa the lead.

Wolves struggled to get into their rhythm in the second half and the hosts made it 2-0 when Ezri Konsa’s cross snuck in at the far post.

The win ends Unai Emery’s winless run of six matches against Wolves, who were the only team the head coach had not beaten in his Premier League career.

For Wolves, it means their attentions now turn to a trip to Burnley on Tuesday, as they look to recover in their hunt for European football.


With Matty Cash missing with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty, Emery handed Diego Carlos a first Premier League start since February 11 in the heart of defence, Konsa shifting across to right-back.

Morgan Rogers retained his place in the starting XI while Diaby was handed a first league start since January in place of Jhon Duran.

Jacob Ramsey did not make the matchday squad having only just returned from a foot injury.

Gary O’Neil made one change to his Wolves side, as 18-year-old Leon Chiwome came in for his first Premier League start and appearance.

Nathan Fraser dropped to the bench, as Matheus Cunha, Craig Dawson, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Hwang Hee-chan and Pedro Neto remain sidelined.

Aston Villa's Leon Bailey and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Max Kilman

A bright start from Wolves saw them find some early openings and Tommy Doyle’s shot from distance came closest, as they looked to silence the Villa Park crowd.

Villa did have the ball in the back of the net when Ollie Watkins was played through and after a strong Jose Sa save, Douglas Luiz scored the follow-up, but it was correctly flagged offside as Watkins began his run a touch early.

Wolves were finding a lot of space on the right, mainly through Nelson Semedo, and Tommy Doyle was finding him with consistently good cross-field passes.

And the visitors then created a chance through that right channel that should have seen them take the lead. This time it was Pablo Sarabia that was found and his cross came all the way through to Rayan Ait-Nouri, with a free shot from five yards, but it was straight at Emi Martinez.

Wolves were the better side after 30 minutes but Villa still carried a threat and should have scored when Watkins was played through on goal, but the forward struck the side netting with his effort.

Pau Torres then flicked a header towards goal, but Sa held it, as Wolves survived some pressure.

After 36 minutes, Villa made their pressure count. A free-kick routine was cleared by the Wolves defence but only as far as Diaby, who shot first time from the edge of the box and saw his powerful effort smash the back of the net.

Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby (left) celebrates scoring the opening goal

Villa took their lead into the break, after a half in which Wolves were the better side for most of it.

As the second half got under way, Carlos came close with a header from another Villa set piece.

Wolves were handed a brilliant opportunity from the edge of the box with a free-kick, but Sarabia looped it harmlessly over the bar.

The visitors then pressed Alex Moreno aggressively and won the ball back, before Mario Lemina headed straight at Martinez from Sarabia’s cross.

Chiwome had his first sight of goal when he got away from Carlos, but the Villa defender did well to recover.

At the other end, Villa then doubled their lead. After breaking forward, the ball was worked to Konsa and his chipped cross went over Sa’s head and creeped over the line at the far post.

Wolves were going through the motions and struggling for any foothold in the game, as Villa pressed for a third goal.

They did create a good chance, however, when Hugo Bueno crossed for Matt Doherty and his header was just over the bar.

In the end, Wolves were unable to test Martinez and Villa coasted over the line to a 2-0 win.

Key Moments

GOAL 36 Diaby smashes home to give Villa the lead.

GOAL 65 Konsa makes it 2-0 with a cross that finds the back of the net.


Villa: Martinez, Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Moreno (Digne, 63), Bailey (Kesler-Hayden, 97), Luiz, Tielemans, Rogers (Zaniolo, 63), Diaby (Ireogbunam, 88), Watkins (Duran, 45).

Subs not used: Olsen, Chambers, Lenglet, Kellyman.

Wolves: Sa, Semedo (Doherty, 85), S.Bueno, Kilman Toti, Ait-Nouri (H.Bueno, 64), Gomes (Traore, 85), Doyle (Chirewa, 71), M.Lemina, Sarabia, Chiwome (Fraser, 85).

Subs not used: Bentley, Barnett, N.Lemina, Holman.