Aston Villa 2-0 Wolves: Diaby stunner prompts needed win for Emery’s Villa

Aston Villa roared to victory over Wolves at teatime on Saturday, with Unai Emery’s side seizing the lead shortly after the hour-mark through a stunning strike from Moussa Diaby.

Ezri Konsa’s fortuitous effort in the second half wrapped up the victory for the hosts, who remain in the running for UEFA Champions League qualification. Tottenham have a game in hand over the Villans though, and could leapfrog them to claim fourth place.

As it happened

Tottenham’s lunchtime victory over Luton Town saw Aston Villa momentarily drop out of the prestigious Premier League top four, albeit merely on goal difference. Their teatime clash against Midlands rivals Wolves came as a golden opportunity to move swiftly back above the Lilywhites.

But with John McGinn missing from the midfield, the hosts were noticeably off-colour. Ollie Watkins was perhaps unlucky not to open the scoring following an offside call against the striker, but the home crowd would breathe a palpable sigh of relief when Rayan Aït-Nouri saw his close-range effort tipped over the woodwork by Emi Martínez.

Villa were far from their best, and it was a moment of magic from Moussa Diaby that handed Unai Emery’s side the lead with ten minutes remaining before the interval. A poor clearance from a cross fell to the feet of the club record signing, with his thunderous effort from the edge of the penalty box proving to be unstoppable.

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But Villa would make amends for their shaky start, as just days after making his England debut as a substitute against Brazil, Ezri Konsa saw his cross trickle over the line via a deflection off the far post.

Victory for Villa was by no means a comfortable affair, but three points against Wolves will only serve to strengthen the belief that the club could be genuine contenders for UEFA Champions League football next season.

Wolves remain just inside the top half of the table, with 41 points. They’re only three points adrift of West Ham United, who currently occupy the final European qualification spot.

The lineups