Analysis: Wolves v Aston Villa
For the third match in two weeks Wolves lost all three points in the dying minutes of a game. And every time Wolves have looked the better team and the team most likely to score the decisive goal of the game. Coincidence? I think not.
The thing is that the team in our hearts are not able enough to convert their opportunities nor create enough clear-cut chances to get that well deserved goal. I believe we had the same problem last season – especially in the beginning of it.
With the experience the players now have required of Premier League football – and the new signings this summer – many thought that the problem was solved. But it seems like the lack of precision – or maybe creativity and fantasy – in attacking still haunts us.
Let’s do a fast forward recall of the game in the angle of Wolves.
The first ten minutes of the game Wolves were at least at par with Villa, and Edwards had a great chance to score when coming through at the right side. But he was split of a second to slow to shoot and a toe from a defender came in-between.
But after that Aston Villa took the game to our side of the pitch and they had most of possession and preferred to break through from their right side – terrorising Ward in their paced attacks. Especially the speed and technique of Marc Albrighton was a bit too much for our left back to handle.
In my opinion not Jarvis nor Berra or Jones helped Ward in the task to stop the young starlet Albrighton (I’ve portrayed him HERE before the game) and he was really the Dangerman of the first half.
So it was no surprise that it was his cross in the 25th minute that Downing converted. And if I recollect it was after Jones lost the ball on midfield that Villa could counter attack. The marking by Foley of Downing was not up to par either.
Aston Villa was the better team for the rest of the first half aswell, no doubt about it, but the light came back when Fletcher had a technically advanced shot at goal and when Elokobi came in for Ward – who received a knock – and stopped Albrighton completely from coming through on that wing.
The second half belonged to Wolves, no doubt about that either. There were clearly instructions handed out about moving the team up the pitch to create pressure and hinder Villa from making their build up play. I wished that they would have made that change earlier on in the game.
In the first half Villa owned the midfield and could launch attack after attack without lending the ball out to Jones or Henry. That ended now and so did the attacks. And Wolves started to pressure Villa hard. The set pieces were part of it, but even without them Wolves were going for goal.
But despite a triple chance for Berra and a lot of other chances their seemed to be something missing in the repertoire of the old gold and black. The Villa defence – best in the Premier last season – were well assembled and though opportunity was at hand, nothing came through the wall of Villa players.
Well. At least not until Jarvis Crossed in after the hour mark and Edwards – without luck – tried to nod the ball in. But because of the angle of the cross and the threat Friedel found from Edwards, the ball went in the net all by itself and Wolves had leveled the score. Nice!
And I thought it was very nice too that Wolves continued to pressure Villa even after the equaliser. I hate teams that back down to rescue a point and it felt that we had the momentum to take the lead.
And that feeling remained until the 88th minute, really, when Heskey headed a Downing cross into the low right corner of the Hahnemann goal – while Berra watched the ball instead of taking on the player and getting him out of balance like Craddock did a quarter of an hour earlier in a similar situation.
Already before that Stearman and Guédioura had entered play instead of Foley and Edwards, but they made little difference going forward, well maybe two fresh pair of legs.
Stearman maybe could have done a better job in stopping Downing from getting the cross in to Heskey, but a couple of these always tends to gets through in a game.
Wolves continued to pressure, but the efforts were now stressful and lacked even more of precision. Guédioura was one of the more active of the players after he came on, but he was horribly brought down when going forward and was carried out on a stretcher.I really hope that he’s not seriously injured.
Nothing more of note happened after that and Wolves lost three points in the dying minutes of the match for the third time in a row. What a drag!
P.S. I’ll be back with the ratings and probably a link to the highlights, hopefully later tonight.