Aston Villa survival hopes suffer further blow as Dendoncker nets Wolves winner

27 June 2020 01:40
These Wolves belong in high-class company. Nuno Espírito Santo’s team climbed to fifth in the table thanks to Leander Dendoncker’s crisply struck goal here, closing to within four points of Chelsea in the chase for Champions League qualification. Aston Villa, meanwhile, remain in deep peril at the other end, in 19th position having played a game more than their rivals. Next on the agenda for them? Liverpool and Manchester United.Dean Smith spent much of the lockdown trying to mend Villa’s rickety defence and they have certainly looked more secure since the restart. But that improvement came at the expense of attacking menace, and the chances of Villa grinding their way to survival never looked bright. So even if there were no fans present to demand boldness in this West Midlands derby, Smith opted for a theoretically more adventurous approach here, deploying two strikers and a midfield diamond with Jack Grealish at its apex. As a result, Villa’s default setting was not as deep as in their recent outings and they played slightly more of the game in the opposing half. But creativity was grievously lacking and penetration still looked beyond them. Related: 'We could see they were frightened’: recalling Iceland’s win over England Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian