ANWAR EL GHAZI’S late penalty broke Wolves’ hearts on an ill-tempered afternoon at Molineux.
Ref Mike Dean dished out NINE yellows and two red cards as the game exploded into life late on.
John McGinn won a penalty in the dying stages of the game[/caption]
Douglas Luiz was shown a second yellow card[/caption]
Only Arsenal and the bottom three have managed fewer than the 11 Premier League goals scored by Nuno Espirito Santo’s team this season.
And without sidelined striker Raul Jimenez they simply didn’t have the finishing touch needed to break down their Midlands rivals.
And even the 85th minute dismissal of Douglas Luiz for a second yellow card couldn’t turn the match in Wolvers’ favour.
Instead, Villa snatched victory from the jaws of a draw when McGinn was hauled down by Nelson Semedo and Mike Dean pointed to the spot in the late stages.
El Ghazi made no mistake as he stepped up to smash the penalty into the bottom right corner.
Villa were clearly worried by the electric pace of Adama Traore and doubled up on the Spanish winger as soon as he threatened to go one of his trademark runs.
Yet it still didn’t stop him from going past Jack Grealish and Matt Targett to deliver a cross which Daniel Podence was unable to meet with enough power.
And Traore wasn’t Wolves only source of danger as Nuno’s team tried to improve on their miserable strike record.
Douglas Luiz was cautioned for tripping Fabio Silva when the teenaged striker launched a promising counter-attack.
And they could have been ahead after 13 minutes if Daniel Podence had shown a bit more determination to reach Pedro Neto’s cross ahead of Emiliano Martinez.
But the Portuguese lightweight clearly didn’t fancy a full-on collision with the Villa keeper, who wasn’t impressed by Podence leaving his foot in after he had already collected the ball.
Podence and Grealish seemed to be having a private competition as to which of them could hit the deck most often.
Wolves had the better chances in the second-half[/caption]
Conor Coady had to swap shirts after the ball hit him in the face giving him a nosebleed in the second-half[/caption]
Mike Dean had a busy afternoon at Molineux[/caption]
Most read in Football
Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Latest updates from Old Trafford
Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Follow all the updates from the Emirates
Icardi's wife Wanda vows to take legal action against comedian after horse joke
Chelsea can beat any side left in last 16 of Champions League… bring on Barca
NEYM YOUR PRICE
PSG 'demand more than £92m for Neymar this summer' and hope to renew deal
USE YOUR HEADS
Listen to Cech's dementia charity single as hero pleads: DON'T ban heading
Villa’s main man might be the most sinned against player in the Premier League but is in danger of gaining a reputation of looking for a free-kick every time he takes possession.
At one point in a fractious first-half he even squared up to muscle-man Traore before quickly thinking the better of it.
With neither team able to establish any kind of rhythm, it was 32 minutes before the game’s first meaningful attempt on goal when Ezri Konsa headed narrowly wide from Matt Cash’s monstrous throw.
Podence drew the first save of the afternoon with a fierce low shot which required a strong hand from Martinez.
And the Villa keeper was quickly back in action to parry a first-time effort from Leander Dendoncker before Tyrone Mings dived in to tidy up.
But it was Wolves who came closest to breaking the deadlock midway through the second-half when Fabio Silva struck the base of a post following more good approach play by Podence.
Bertrand Traore of Aston Villa collides with Marcal[/caption]
It was an ill-tempered affair between the Midlands rivals[/caption]
There were very few chances in the scrappy first-half[/caption]
Emi Martinez was caught with a stray boot as he rushed out to win the ball off Fabio Silva[/caption]