Stan Cullis

Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa – Player Ratings

Wolves bounced back from their disappointing collapse against Leeds United with a sweet victory in the West Midlands derby against Aston Villa. A first half goal from Jonny Castro Otto combined with an Ashley Young own goal was enough to give Wolves all three points, but it was a nervy end to the game with Ollie Watkins pulling one back for Villa from the penalty spot five minutes from time. The score line certainly does not do Wolves’ performance justice and in truth, Bruno Lage’s men should have been out of site before the Villa goal. Ollie Watkins did have two golden chances earlier in the second half for Villa, but Jose Sa was equal to it. Wolves are firmly in the European hunt with just seven games to go, but they will need results elsewhere to go in their favour if they are to make it.

 

Jose Sa

Yet another superb display from Sa who played a huge role in Wolves’ victory in the second half. He made two excellent saves from Watkins and Cash to preserve the lead and can take little blame for what was a very dubious penalty. 8/10

 

Willy Boly

Recovered from a poor display against Leeds to show glimpses of the Willy Boly of old. For the most part he was calm and assured both with and without the ball. He did let Watkins in behind early in the second half but the England international placed his shot the wrong side of the post. 8/10

 

Conor Coady

An excellent display from Wolves’ captain who relishes these games and atmospheres. Coady was solid defensively and played a huge role in the final ten minutes as Wolves came under pressure with Villa searching for an equaliser. 8/10

 

Max Kilman

Restored to the side after being dropped for the defeat against Leeds. Kilman was impressive defensively and linked well with Moutinho and Dendoncker in possession too. Much more like it from Kilman following a difficult few games prior to the international break. 8/10

 

Jonny Otto

Two goals in two games for Jonny who has been a revelation since returning to the side in February. Playing on the right-hand side Jonny poses a far greater attacking threat than when on the left, combined with his usual assured defending, Jonny is proving just how much Wolves have missed him this season. 9/10

 

Joao Moutinho

Much was made about the absence of Ruben Neves prior to the game but Joao Moutinho certainly stepped up to the plate and delivered a masterclass in midfield play. His range of passing was excellent and almost everything Wolves did going forward came through him. Surely, he has one more year in him… 9/10

Leander Dendoncker

Dendoncker came into the side for the injured Neves and produced arguably his best performance of the season. Dendoncker was influential at both ends of the pitch and could have found himself on the scoresheet, but he sliced a good chance wide just before half time. 8/10

 

Marcal

Like Dendoncker, Marcal saved one of his best performances of the season for the derby at Molineux. He was relatively solid with few mistakes and produced an excellent cross for the second goal as Ashley Young could only divert into his own net. 8/10

 

Daniel Podence

Another good performance from Podence who was involved in almost every attacking move. He played a crucial role in the opening goal and got into several good positions, but the final ball and finish was often missing. 7/10

 

Fabio Silva

A rare start for Fabio Silva and the young forward certainly took his chance! Silva’s link up play was superb and played a huge role in Wolves’ victory. He will perhaps be disappointed with his chance just eight minutes into the game to put Wolves two goals to the good, but Silva can take great confidence from this display, continue this level of performance, and that goal will soon come. 8/10

 

Francisco Trincao

A deserved start after his impressive substitute appearance against Leeds and Trincao did not let Bruno Lage down. His final ball was at times frustrating, but his skill and trickery means Trincao took up some good positions and contributed to a huge result. 7/10

 

Subs:

Hwang Hee-Chan

A good cameo from Hwang who will be disappointed to see his effort mid-way through the second half go just wide of the post having done brilliantly to create the opportunity. His energy and intelligence in the press were important in the closing stages as Wolves held on to their lead. 7/10

 

Pedro Neto

An energetic cameo from Neto who was a useful outlet in the closing stages, getting Wolves up the pitch to relieve pressure on the back line. 6/10

 

Chiquinho

Came on for the final few minutes as Wolves held on for victory. N/A

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

villa park

Aston Villa 2-3 Wolves – Player Ratings

Wolves made it nine points out of nine after a stunning and unexpected comeback at Villa Park on Saturday. After a poor first half where neither side really had the upper hand, Villa took control and found themselves 2 goals ahead thanks to Danny Ings and John McGinn. Wolves had produced next to no goal threat in the second half but gave themselves a chance following an excellent move finished off by Romain Saiss. A cleared corner then led to a goalmouth scramble which saw the ball deflect off Captain Conor Coady and into the net after Max Kilman had hit the crossbar. And Wolves produced then produced the most unlikely of wins after a deflected Ruben Neves strike found the bottom corner to send players, fans, and staff crazy. There were great scenes at the final whistle in what feels like a big moment in Wolves’ season ahead of a trip to Leeds next week.

Jose Sa

Produced an excellent save to deny Danny Ings in the chance of the first half but otherwise had little to do. Sa had no chance with either Villa goal. His distribution was good and his celebrations for both the second and third goals means that September’s player of the month is slowly becoming a cult hero. 7/10

Max Kilman

Once again produced a solid defensive display on the right-hand side of defence. Despite the return of Willy Boly from injury, Kilman has done nothing to suggest he should be replaced in the starting Xi having been one of Wolves’ most consistent players so far this season. 7/10

Conor Coady

What a moment for the Wolves captain! Just his fourth Wolves goal and in truth he didn’t know an awful lot about it. That didn’t stop the sheer emotion of the moment spilling over. The joy and passion on Coady’s face at the end was infectious after coming under pressure due to his poor early season form. 7/10

Romain Saiss

Struggled at times to deal with the Villa front line and was far too easily outdone by McGinn for the opening goal of the game. He did however contribute to the Wolves comeback, getting the goal that started the final ten minutes of madness. He was an effective aerial presence in the box at set pieces causing problems as Villa became nervy late on. 6/10

Nelson Semedo

Did relatively well in the first half getting Wolves up the pitch in rare moments of possession. He did seem to struggle more in the second half defensively and failed to link play with Hwang and Traore to produce any meaningful attacks down the right flank. 6/10

Joao Moutinho

Moutinho produced his usual calm and measured display on the ball without having any great impact on the game. He does seem to become less effective in a three-man midfield with Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Neves seeing more of the ball in what was a crowded central area. 6/10

Leander Dendoncker

Introduced into the XI to match up the three-man Villa midfield and did his job effectively. He broke up play on several occasions and looked to give Ruben Neves the chance to play forward whenever possible. 6/10

Ruben Neves

After being relatively quiet for most of the game Ruben Neves came alive in the final ten minutes to spearhead the Wolves comeback. His pass to Daniel Podence for the first goal was sublime and perfectly timed. Neves increased the intensity of the entire team in search of the equaliser and winner and will of course claim the winning goal despite the initial effort being tame. 8/10

Fernando Marcal

Yet another below-par performance from Marcal leaving many supporters wondering just what Rayan Ait-Nouri must do to earn a chance in the side. Marcal struggled defensively at times in the second half and contributed very little going forward, often slowing down the pace of any attack Wolves had. 5/10

Adama Traore

Played more centrally in the absence of Raul Jimenez and produced the best Wolves chance of the first half beating several Villa defenders but his shot was straight at Emi Martinez. After being marked out of the game for most of the second half Traore produced another moment of magic as a bursting run through the midfield won Wolves the free kick which ultimately won the game. 7/10

Hwang Hee-Chan

After the heights of his brace against Newcastle summer signing Hwang Hee-Chan was less than impressive at Villa Park. He failed to link attacks with Traore which will of course improve over time. He also gave the ball away for the second Villa goal despite being under very little pressure as the ball came towards him. 5/10

Subs:

Daniel Podence

Podence came off the bench and alongside Neves really did change the game for Wolves. His energy certainly rubbed off on the rest of the team and Villa really struggled to deal with his pace and technicality. He also produced the assist for the first Wolves goal squaring Neves’ excellent pass for Saiss to tap home.8/10

Fabio Silva

Came on alongside Podence and added energy to the Wolves front line without having any real impact on the ball. Although his playing time is limited Silva will have to do more when he is given an opportunity if he is to stake a claim for a place in the starting XI. 6/10

Raul Jimenez

Much to the surprise of everyone watching on Jimenez was not introduced until the final few minutes of the game. Lage said that he was left out of the side having played three games in a week for Mexico, only returning to Compton after traveling back from South America on Friday morning. You would expect to see Jimenez back in the side for the trip to Elland Road on Saturday. N/A

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.