Season | 2020-21 |
Matchday | #13 |
League Match | #10 |
Manager Game | #97 |
Saturday, 12 December 2020
Premier League | Away | Wolverhampton Wanderers | Molineux | Behind closed doors |
Game Summary |
Manager | Dean Smith |
KO | 12.30 |
Referee | Mike Dean |
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 1-0 |
Last 5 Games | LWLLW |
Scorer(s) | Anwar El Ghazi | 90+4 (pen)
League Position | 8th | +2 |
Team News |
Dean Smith makes two changes with 19 year old midfielder Jacob Ramsey given his first Premier League start in place of Conor Hourihane who in turn was cover for the injured Ross Barkley. Hourihane drops to the bench.
Winger Bertrand Traoré replaces the injured Trézéguet in the line up with right back Frédéric Guilbert making the league squad for the first time this season and centre back Kortney Hause returning after injury.
Line Up |
GK Emiliano Martínez |
RB Matty Cash | BOOKED | 29' |
CB Tyrone Mings |
CB Ezri Konsa | BOOKED | 82' |
LB Matt Targett | BOOKED | 81' |
M Jack Grealish | BOOKED | 88' |
M John McGinn | BOOKED | 30' |
M Jacob Ramsey |
M Douglas Luiz | BOOKED | 14' | BOOKED | 85' | SENT OFF | 85' |
W Bertrand Traoré | SUB OFF | 75' |
CF Ollie Watkins |
W Anwar El Ghazi GOAL | 90'+4 | for W Bertrand Traoré | 75' |
M Marvelous Nakamba for M Jacob Ramsey | 90'+7 |
Unused Substitutes |
GK Jed Steer
M Conor Hourihane
RB Frédéric Guilbert
RB Ahmed Elmohamady
CB Kortney Hause |
Yellow | Douglas Luiz for a bad foul | 14' |
Yellow | Matty Cash for a bad foul | 29' |
Yellow | John McGinn for a bad foul | 30' |
Yellow | Matt Targett for a bad foul | 81' |
Yellow | Ezri Konsa for a bad foul | 82' |
Yellow | Douglas Luiz for a bad foul | 85' |
Red | Douglas Luiz for two bookings | 85' |
Yellow | Jack Grealish for a bad foul | 88' |
Match Stats |
Possession F | 49%
Possession A | 51%
Shots F | 13
Shots A | 16
Shots on Target F | 2
Shots on Target A | 7
Corners F | 8
Corners A | 5
Fouls F | 15
Fouls A | 23
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 24.70 |
Oldest Player | GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.30 |
Youngest Player | M Jacob Ramsey | 19.56 |
Not Selected |
GK Lovre Kalinić
CB Björn Engels
LB Neil Taylor
CF Keinan Davis
Injury | 4 |
GK Tom Heaton | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 28 Nov 20 |
CF Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
M Ross Barkley | Hamstring, 30 Nov 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
W Trézéguet | Head, 12 Dec 20 - 17 Dec 20 |
Loaned Out | 2 |
W Indiana Vassilev | Burton Albion | 17 Sep 20 - 31 May 21 |
CF Cameron Archer | Solihull Moors | 2 Oct 20 - 3 Jan 21 |
Unregistered | 1 |
M Henri Lansbury |
On this day 12 December 2020
Midfielder Jacob Ramsey starts his first Premier League game aged 19.
Villa's tally of 18 points is their highest after 10 matches of a Premier League season since 2009-10 under Martin O'Neill (also 18)
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith:
"I wouldn't mind the job at Stockley Park, with my slippers on like they seem to have there.
"I am pleased with the start we have had, this was a tough game and we deserved a point but kept competing and got the win.
"There was only the Leeds game that we deserved to get beaten this season. Ten games in this season and if you deserve to get something out of nine, you are doing well."
Aston Vila match-winner Anwar El Ghazi:
"Absolutely amazing, we worked hard in this match, we had a week off and prepared very well in training, everyone was on it. We deserved it because we showed mentality that we did not have last season and we have got it this season. We are all happy now.
"It is amazing, I try to do everything I can, if I can replay the hard work I am pleased to help the team and club.
"I practice penalties a lot, even if I am not playing. If you practice a lot, it is something you get used to. I did not feel a lot of pressure to be honest.
"I appreciate Jack Grealish gave it to me, but he knows my capabilities, it shows he is a really good guy to give it to me.
"We know Wolves are a very good team, tactically very strong, have very good players and we knew it was going to be a tough game,
"We started very well this season and I am looking forward to seeing what the season brings us, we are ready.
"Emiliano Martinez was unbelievable, even in training it is so hard to score against him. He showed his quality today."
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, speaking to BBC Sport:
"A very good win, it is the best way to leave it late because there is less chance for them to bring it back.
"Wolves had a couple of good spells when our goalkeeper made some good saves but to go down to 10 men and win the penalty was excellent. To get the goal and clean sheet here is excellent.
"We don't get too many penalties, Anwar El Ghazi took it in the 6-1 loss at Manchester City so it was between him and Jack Grealish.
"There was not much in the cautions but Mike Dean decided a lot of them were. John McGinn's was just a foul in the game. He made it a bit of a local derby without the supporters here, we competed very well.
"We are without two players now, Matty Cash's fifth yellow card of the season and Douglas Luiz after he jumped for the ball. There was not a consistency about the decisions."
*Saturday 12 December 2020*
Substitute Anwar El Ghazi converted a stoppage-time penalty as Aston Villa snatched victory in their West Midlands derby at Wolves.
Wolves had the better of their first home game since striker Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull, with Fabio Silva hitting a post midway through the second half.
Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez then denied Leander Dendoncker, before the visitors had midfielder Douglas Luiz sent off after picking up a second booking late on.
But Nelson Semedo brought down John McGinn in injury-time, handing El Ghazi the chance to sidefoot home his first goal since January from the spot.
There was still time for the hosts to have midfielder Joao Moutinho dismissed for a second yellow card as Villa clinched their second win in six games, climbing back above their local rivals to eighth in the table.
With Jimenez set for a lengthy absence, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo gave a first Premier League start to 18-year-old striker Silva, their club record £35.6m summer signing from Porto.
Villa also gave a teenager his first start in England's top flight - 19-year-old midfielder Jacob Ramsey - but with no fans present, this was hardly the baptism of fire you might expect from a regular West Midlands derby.
With Wolverhampton still under tier three coronavirus restrictions, supporters have to wait a little longer to return to Molineux.
But they have shown their support for Jimenez by raising £21,000 to pay for a huge banner in the Steve Bull Stand which reads "Fuerza Raul", and they also arranged for an aeroplane to circle the stadium before kick-off, towing a "get well soon" message.
Jimenez's team-mates were still coming to terms with the severity of his injury as they lost 4-0 at Liverpool last weekend but Nuno said the Mexico forward gave everyone "a big lift" when he visited the club's Compton training ground on Wednesday.
Jimenez's injury has hastened Silva's introduction to the starting line-up, after six substitute appearances, and he was a lively frontrunner, with Daniel Podence, Adama Traore and Pedro Neto probing in behind.
Podence had a shot deflected wide from Neto's cutback and a fierce low strike saved, while Dendoncker fired straight at Martinez.
Silva glanced a Moutinho free-kick wide in first-half stoppage time and then almost broke the deadlock when he latched on to Podence's perfectly weighted pass, but his first-time effort came back off the far post.
The Portuguese teenager went close again with an overhead kick, while Martinez made a fine save to keep out Dendoncker's volley from Neto's Rabona cross, but Wolves were undone by a lapse at the back.
Having stuck with a four-man defence, Wolves looked solid for the most part, until McGinn got in behind right-back Semedo to earn the spot-kick.
The perfect away performance - almost
For the most part, this derby did not deliver the same entertainment as Villa's recent defeats by Brighton and West Ham, but manager Dean Smith will surely not care one jot having pulled off another fine result on the road.
Villa have now won four out of five away games in the league and had it not been for Martinez's heroics, and Luiz's red card, you might say it was the perfect away performance.
In the first half they looked comfortable in a 4-3-3 formation, with Ramsey a lively introduction on the left side of midfield.
They were happy to contain Wolves as much as possible, though they rarely threatened themselves despite spending more time in
the hosts' final third.
But Villa were straight on the front foot in the second half, with Luiz firing wide and Jack Grealish's free-kick going just over.
Wolves keeper Rui Patricio was also forced to turn a deflected Ollie Watkins strike wide at his near post, yet the hosts managed to take more control and looked the most likely side to claim a late winner.
Then Grealish linked up with McGinn - who signed a new five-year contract on Friday - and El Ghazi was allowed to do the honours from the penalty spot, ensuring Villa's excellent start to the season has not gone to waste.
Villa manager Smith: "I am pleased with the start we have had. This was a tough game and we deserved a point, but kept competing and got the win.
"There was only the Leeds game [4-0 defeat] that we deserved to get beaten this season. We're 10 games into the season and if you deserve to get something out of nine, you are doing well."
*Saturday 12 December 2020*
*Paul Doyle at Molineux*
Anwar El Ghazi's penalty gives Aston Villa victory over Wolves in fiery finish
Anwar El Ghazi has been squeezed out of Aston Villa’s starting lineup this season but he came off the bench to decide this fiery Midlands derby, converting a penalty deep into stoppage time. That was the telling twist in a match featuring several critical saves by Villa’s goalkeeper, Emi Martínez, as well as 11 yellow cards and a red each for Douglas Luiz and João Moutinho.
Perhaps it was prescient, ironic wit that drove the Molineux DJ to play the Who’s Baba O’Riley – with its lyrics about a teenage wasteland – in the runup to kick-off in a match in which both sides gave first Premier League starts to players born since the turn of the century. This proved to be quite the initiation for Jacob Ramsey, a 19-year-old graduate of Villa’s academy, and Fábio Silva, the 18-year-old signed by Wolves in September for a club-record £35m.
Given that he had been assigned an almost impossible mission – to replace the injured Raúl Jiménez – Silva was under particular focus. He came close to earning victory in the second half, only for his shot to cannon back off a post, but in general a player who had made only one league start in his native Portugal before joining Wolves looked like what he is: a talented player in an early stage of development.
This whole Wolves team are honing their identity, a challenge complicated by the loss of Jiménez. They showed encouraging signs here after an uncertain start and might have won if not for Villa’s goalkeeper and Nélson Semedo’s late foul on John McGinn.
Wolves again began with a back four but were outplayed for the first half an hour by more fluent visitors, with Ramsey slotting into a relatively settled side. Villa could not, however, turn territorial domination into clear openings. The closest they came to scoring in the first half was when Ezri Konsa nodded a mighty throw-in from Matty Cash a few inches wide. Then Wolves grew in menace.
Tyrone Mings deflected a shot by Daniel Podence wide after snazzy work by Pedro Neto. Podence shimmed past McGinn before drilling a low shot from 20 yards that Martínez got down well to save. Three minutes later Podence led a counterattack before Adama Traoré crossed for Leander Dendoncker, who struck a first-time shot from 10 yards straight at Martínez.
Villa got back on the front foot in the second half. Luiz fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area in the 57th minute. Rui Patrício was stretched for the first time when Luiz fed Ollie Watkins, whose shot from the left-hand side of the box had to be beaten away by the goalkeeper at the near post.
Just as Villa sensed blood, Wolves nearly struck. As the irrepressible Podence scampered towards the visitors’ box, the ball ran for Silva, who showed predatory instincts to shoot first-time through the legs of Konsa and beyond the reach of Martínez but the ball struck the upright. Magic by Neto presented Dendoncker with a chance in the 80th minute but Martínez saved the Belgian’s volley from 10 yards.
Wolves’ increased vibrancy inspired Silva to try to break the deadlock with an overhead kick, but Martínez foiled that fairytale finish. Luiz’s match came to an end in the 85th minute when he was shown a second yellow card for going elbow-first into an aerial challenge with Podence.
“There were a lot of soft yellows,” said Dean Smith, the Villa manager. “It was a competitive game, sometimes niggly, but did not warrant so many cards.”
Villa kept believing in a late twist and McGinn made it happen in stoppage time, when he was taken down in the box by Semedo. El Ghazi, assigned penalty duties in the wake of Watkins’ miss from the spot at Fulham, sent Patrício the wrong way. Wolves’ misery deepened when Moutinho was sent off for a late foul on El Ghazi.
“We created a lot of good, clear chances and we will try to keep on growing on this aspect,” said Nuno Espírito Santo of his Wolves side. “Being more clinical is something that we need.”