2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Albert Adomah (8')
  • James Chester (57')
  • Lewis Grabban (62')
  • Birkir Bjarnason (85')
  • Diogo Jota (20')

Villa on song as Wolves' title bid falters again

Table-topping Wolves surprising slumped to a crushing 4-1 Championship away defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.
Wolves have suddenly started to stutter badly in sight of automatic promotion and they have won only one of their last five games, while Villa are now just seven points behind their Midlands rivals.
Ominously Wolves fell behind to an early goal from Albert Adomah and although Diogo Jota equalised, Villa hit back to score twice through James Chester and Lewis Grabban in a five-minute purple patch in the second half to destroy the men from Molineux.
In a fascinating local derby of contrasting styles, which was sealed by a fourth goal from Birkir Bjarnason, it was undoubtedly the finishing power of Villa which was the deciding factor as the Birmingham club inflicted Wolves' heaviest defeat of the season.
Wolves went into the game 10 points clear of Villa but roared on by a near-capacity crowd it was the Birmingham club who were initially more attack-minded.
They were rewarded as early as the eighth minute, when a Robert Snodgrass corner posed all sorts of problems for the Wolves defence and the ball bounced around before Lewis Grabban nudged his pass to Adomah, who was on hand from close range to record his 14th goal of the season.
The setback immediately sparked a more determined Wolves and Villa, in particular John Terry, were extremely fortunate not to concede an equaliser. Terry did not appear to know where he was when he hooked Matt Doherty's short cross into touch from under the bar.
Villa had only lost one of their previous 12 home games against Wolves and were obviously not in the mood to play second fiddle and in the 20th minute they were caught out by the speed of Doherty.
He ran around the unfortunate Neil Taylor and whipped in a low cross that was missed by Chester. Sam Johnstone blocked the effort but an alert Jota was on the spot to force the ball over the line in the general confusion.
Wolves had one let-off when Terry headed back into the heart of Wolves defence but Chester could not bring the bouncing ball under control.
A bit of needle crept into the game with three first-half bookings for Danny Batth, Jota and Adomah.
Wolves attempted to assert their authority but Villa battled with great determination and were again indebted to an inspiring display from Jack Grealish.
The game took a sudden turn in the 57th minute when a Snodgrass free-kick from the left went through an ill-formed Wolves defence to the unmarked Chester to glide the ball home for his second goal in successive matches.
Wolves defence was again badly at fault in the 62nd minute. Grealish sent Adomah clear down the left and his short cross to the near post was turned home by Grabban to the consternation of the league leaders.
Five minutes from time substitute Bjarnason slalomed through unchecked to ram his shot past John Ruddy as Wolves slumped to only their sixth and most embarrassing defeat of the season.