​Wolves have climbed into the top half of the table thanks to goals from Rúben Neves and Raúl Jiménez against West Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Sunday.


The hosts came flying out the blocks and were only denied an opener by the woodwork from Matt Doherty's looping cross towards the back post, while the Video Assistant Referee failed to intervene when the Ireland international appeared to be tripped inside the area.


The game looked destined to remain goalless at half-time, but a smart free-kick routine which was set up by João Moutinho allowed his Portugal teammate Neves to break the deadlock with a trademark shot from outside the box.

Wolves were denied by the crossbar for a second time shortly after the break, but the woodwork couldn't keep Jiménez's late strike from nestling into the corner of the net. 


Trézéguet pulled one back in added time but it was too little too late for Aston Villa, with Wolves seeing out the rest of the match to secure three points for the first time in over a month.


Wolverhampton Wanderers


Key Talking Point


It was a confident performance for the hosts as they picked up their first win in the Premier League since beating Manchester City on 6 October, although at times it might have felt like lady luck just wasn't on their side.


Matt Doherty saw an early effort hit the bar, while some last-ditch defending throughout the first-half kept out the likes of Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez, but eventually, Rúben Neves found a way through Villa's defences which helped to open up the game.

Raul Jimenez

As the visitors stepped out to look for an equaliser, that only opened up even more space for Wolves' technical players, and the hosts were able to put the game to bed thanks to a second-half goal from Raúl Jiménez.


Player Ratings


Patricio (6); Dendoncker (7), Coady (7), Saiss (6); Doherty (8*), Neves (8), Moutinho (5), Jonny (7); Adama (8), Jimenez (7), Jota (6).

Substitutes: Neto (6), Bennett (6), Cutrone (N/A).


Star Man


All eyes have been on Adama Traore this week following his call-up to Spain, and the former Barcelona star was dangerous once again on Sunday, but the standout player for Wolves this weekend was their attacking wing-back, Matt Doherty.


Nuno Espírito Santo's side weren't quite clicking down the left side of the pitch, with Jonny Otto and Diogo Jota often getting in each other's way, but Doherty and Adama showed off a telepathic connection in the first-half.

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Rúben Neves' late first-half strike helped to open up even more space for Doherty on the right side of the pitch and he continued to cause problems in the second-half alongside Adama Traoré.


Doherty's work at the other end of the pitch left Aston Villa's Trézéguet walking off at full-time having made little impact on the match, aside from a last-minute consolation goal which only helped to mask Wolves' dominance.


Aston Villa


Key Talking Point


As far as starting a match goes, being pegged back from the first minute and having your back-up goalkeeper go off the pitch injured is just about as bad as it can get - although the crossbar stopped Wolves taking the lead, on top of everything else.


Villa could have stayed on the back foot, but in fact the visitors grew into the first-half and saw just as much of the ball as Nuno's side, but they were still helpless to stop Neves from breaking the deadlock just before half time.

Trezeguet

Wolves had the game in their hands but the visitors continued to cause problems on the counter-attack, showing signs that Aston Villa could punish their hosts if they couldn't add to their one-goal lead.


Ultimately Villa weren't able to get themselves on the scoresheet and even conceded late on in the match, leaving them without a win in the Premier League since October 19.


Player Ratings


Steer (6); Guilbert (6), Konsa (7), Mings (7*), Targett (6); McGinn (6), Nakamba (6), Luiz (5); El Ghazi (5), Wesley (6), Trezeguet (5).

Substitutes: Nyland (6), Taylor (5), Lansbury (6).


Star Man


There weren't too many performances to shout about for Aston Villa, but centre-back Tyrone Mings proved once again why he's forced his way into Gareth Southgate's England side.


The 26-year-old hardly put a foot wrong, keeping the likes of Raúl Jiménez and Diogo Jota quiet throughout the 90 minutes.

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Mings' performance forced Wolves to attack from out wide which is where their best chances in the game came from, but the England international couldn't stop his side from walking away empty-handed on Sunday.


Looking Ahead


With both sides breaking for international duty, Wolves will be looking ahead to back-to-back away games with Bournemouth next up in the league, before they look to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League against Braga.


Aston Villa return in two weeks time at home to Newcastle United.


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