Aston Villa 2-0 Wolves: Moussa Diaby and Ezri Konsa score in each-half as Unai Emery's side move back into the top four in the Premier League... as visitors suffer setback to Euro hopes


Everything is going right for Ezri Konsa at the moment. Already buzzing from winning his first England caps last week, he followed up by scoring his first goal since 2021 with a mis-hit cross that totally flummoxed Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and ended up in the back of the net.

Aston Villa were relieved Konsa’s fortuitous strike was added to Moussa Diaby’s power-packed opener so the game could be put bed and allowed them to reclaim fourth place having been overtaken by Spurs for a couple of hours.

West Midlands rivals Wolves have never been the kindest opponents. The last time Villa beat their neighbours in the Premier League at home was back in 2003 when a young Gareth Barry was among the scorers.

Now they are back in despite a shaky start. Wolves carried a threat until they were in front of Emi Martinez and clearly missed their injured forwards Hwang Hee-Chan, Pedro Neto and Matheus Cunha with 18-year-old Leon Chiwome asked to lead the line on his Premier League debut.

Moussa Diaby opened the scoring for Aston Villa with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box

Moussa Diaby opened the scoring for Aston Villa with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box

The Villa forward put the finishing touch on a well-worked set piece in the 36th minute

The Villa forward put the finishing touch on a well-worked set piece in the 36th minute

‘The only disappointment was the result. Performance-wise, it was an unbelievable effort,’ said the Wolves boss Gary O’Neil;. ‘We gave Villa loads of problems. If we’d had certain players, our expected goals would have been goals.’

In contrast, Villa were ruthless even though top scorer Ollie Watkins didn’t reappear after half-time on doctors orders after feeling discomfort in his hamstring.

‘It was an important win. We’ve lost three times recently at Villa Park but though we were soft in the first 20 minutes, we recovered and played with discipline,’ said Emery.

‘We are fourth but we can’t be comfortable with that with eight games to go. Tottenham is behind us. Manchester United have the potential to make up points. We have to stay focussed.’

Wolves should have taken an early lead when Santiago Bueno’s cross reached Rayan Ait-Nouri at the far post before the defender’s shot was blocked by Emi Martinez’s left leg.

‘Ninety-nine times out of a hundred that is a goal in the Premier League. He had a lot of the net to aim for,’ grimaced O’Neil who also saw Pablo Sarabia denied from edge of the box.

At the other end, Watkins shot into the sidenetting when put through by Youri Tielemans before Diaby broke the deadlock after 36 minutes.

Douglas Luiz clipped a free-kick into Leon Bailey’s path and when the resulting cross was half-cleared to Diaby on the edge of the box, Villa’s £52million record signing fired unerringly past Sa.

Erzi Konsa sealed the win for the home side when his miscued cross drifted in off the far post

Erzi Konsa sealed the win for the home side when his miscued cross drifted in off the far post

Douglas Luiz had the ball in the net but Ollie Watkins was offside in the build-up

Douglas Luiz had the ball in the net but Ollie Watkins was offside in the build-up

Duran replaced Watkins at the interval and Wolves again threatened through Mario Lemina and Chiwome.

Unai Emery sent on Lucas Digne and Nicolo Zaniolo midway through the second half to try and regain control and it worked immediately.

Zaniolo found Diaby who moved the ball on to Konze. The overlapping right-back tried to dink a cross to Duran at the far post but caught it with the wrong part of his foot and it lofted at an angle over Sa’s head into the corner.

He unconvincingly claimed to TV afterwards it had been part of a cunning plan. ‘Yeah, definitely,’ he replied when asked if he’d meant it. The next sentence was more revealing. ‘Whether it was a cross, it went in in the end so it’s my goal.’

Emery will hope Watkins will be able to recover in time for the midweek visit of Manchester City.

Defender Matt Doherty almost grabbed a late consolation for the visitors with a header

Defender Matt Doherty almost grabbed a late consolation for the visitors with a header 

and was withdrawn at half-time

England striker Ollie Watkins was withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring problem

Rayan Ait-Nouri wasted a great chance for the visitors in the first-half at Villa Park

Rayan Ait-Nouri wasted a great chance for the visitors in the first-half at Villa Park

‘He felt something around the hamstring. He was telling us he could carry on but the doctors told us it was better not to risk him so we decided to stop him playing in the second half. We will check on him. Hopefully it’s not too bad.

O’Neil wouldn’t say his situation at Wolves is more serious. The club registered only 19 senior players at the start of the season – only 11 of them were available for yesterday’s visit.

He would like to have more options next season. ‘We need to learn from all the situations we have faced,’ he said ‘I understand the financial restrictions in play at the football club but the injuries have really depleted us.

‘Ideally next season we need to carry a slightly bigger squad.’



Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Tottenham predicted lineup vs Luton Town today

Tottenham can go level on points with Aston Villa in fourth place…

The Beautiful Game: Meet the real-life football players who inspired Netflix’s film and their harrowing true story

‘The Beautiful Game’ – the latest Netflix film based on an inspirational…

Man City vs Arsenal: Preview, predictions and lineups

Manchester City host Arsenal on Gameweek 30 of the 2023/24 Premier League…

Man Utd in Dan Ashworth ‘stalemate’ with Newcastle

Share this @internewscast.com Manchester United and Newcastle United have hit a stalemate…