Aston Villa 1 (Kodjia-pen 14)
Wolves 1 (Costa-pen 34)
A catalogue of missed chances meant that Wolves had to be satisfied with a point from an intense local derby with Aston Villa. The Molineux men dominated the second-half but Villa, playing their first game under Steve Bruce, held on for the draw.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson returned from injury as one of three changes to the Wolves side. Kortney Hause and Conor Coady also started whilst Ivan Cavaleiro and Joao Teixeira dropped down to the bench and there was no place for Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the Holte End of Villa Park and Jonathan Kodjia’s foul on Helder Costa near the right-hand corner of the home area presented an early free-kick opportunity for the visitors. Costa took the kick himself but his effort was too high.
Further free-kicks from Costa and Coady were cleared by the Villa defence as Wolves made the brighter start to the game.
Then Coady fouled Jack Grealish to the side of the Wolves box. Albert Adomah’s free-kick was cleared behind for the first of successive Adomah corners before the danger was cleared.
Villa took the lead from the spot in the 14th minute. Ross McCormack slipped a clever ball through to Grealish in the box and when Dominic Iorfa challenged, a borderline decision went Villa’s way. Carl Ikeme guessed correctly diving to his right, but Kodjia’s penalty was too powerful and too accurate.
Kodjia was booked a few minutes later for chopping down Costa who was breaking from defence.
Wolves drew level in the 34th minute and once again the goal came from the spot. Costa’s shot from outside the box was goalbound when Aly Cissokho handled as he dived in the way to block. Costa despatched the spot kick high into the left-hand corner.
It took a tremendous save from Ikeme to prevent a second goal from Kodjia who teed up a volley for himself 20-yards out forcing an athletic save from the keeper.
Iorfa was penalised for a shove on Grealish just a foot to the left of the Wolves box. Adomah curled the free-kick straight into the arms of Ikeme.
The game erupted in the 40th minute after Coady had fouled Grealish. As the pair attempted to get to their feet Grealish appeared to stamp on the Molineux midfielder’s leg provoking an understandably angry response.
Players from both sides joined in the skirmish and when order was restored the referee booked Coady and, for a push on the Coady’s chest, McCormack. Amazingly, Grealish was unpunished.
A miskick by Ikeme led to a chance for Kodjia but his shot lacked power allowing the keeper a comfortable save.
In stoppage time, Iorfa was booked for a late challenge on James Chester.
Half-Time: Villa 1 Wolves 1
In the first minute of the new half, a Costa corner led to a short spell of head tennis in the Villa box before the ball was cleared. Then Chester went into the book for a crude challenge on Coady.
On 50 minutes Costa sprinted from the hallway line into the Villa area but, from an angle, he only found the side netting with his shot.
Here were appeals for another penalty in the 52nd minute after Costa’s low cross ran to Bodvasson in front of goal. Micah Richards streamed and appeared to barge the striker over but the referee waved pay on.
Costa was inches wide of the far post with a curling shot and, after Villa made a switch sending Ashley Westwood on for Mile Jedinak, Oniangue got his foot to yet another Helder cross with the ball drifting just wide.
Bodvarsson’s header then left Dave Edwards in the clear to the left of goal. He tried to set up Costa but over hit the ball which went behind.
Midway through the half both sides made changes with Nouha Dicko replacing Oniangue and, for Villa, Alan Hutton went on for Richards. Moments later, Cavaleiro took over from Costa.
Cavaleiro was soon involved, with a dangerous cross that Tommy Elphick headed behind. Edwards met Cavaleiro’s corner at the bear post but Pierluigi Gollini was there to clear from in front of the line.
In the 79th minute Dicko beat the offside trap as he ran ono a long through ball from Romain Saiss but from close in, and at an angle, he lifted his shot over the bar.
Four minutes later the striker found himself alone in front of goal but Gollini pulled off another terrific save.
Apart from having to defend a Villa corner, Wolves spent most of the five minutes of stoppage time in the home half of the field - but the winner they deserved wasn’t forthcoming.
Villa: Gollini, Richards (Hutton 66), Elphik (capt) (Baker 77), Tshibola, Chester, Jedinak (Westwood 55), Kodjia, Cissokho, Adomah, Grealish, McCormack.
Unused subs: Bunn, Bacuna, Ayew, Gestede.
Bookings: Kodjia (19 – foul), McCormack (40 – ungentlemanly conduct), Chester (48 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Iorfa, Edwards, Batth, Hause, Costa (Cavaleiro 66), Saiss, Bodvarsson (Mason87), Coady, Oniangue (Dicko 66).
Unused subs: Lonergan, Stearman, Saville, Teixeria.
Bookings: Coady (40 – ungentlemanly conduct), Iorfa (45+5 – foul), Edwards (85 – foul).
Referee: D. Coote.
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