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Aston Villa 2 Wolves 0: Diaby and Konsa goals help Villans to derby win

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UNAI EMERY finally ended his Wolves hoodoo as he won for the first time against them in seven attempts.

A goal in each half from Moussa Diaby and Ezri Konsa saw Villa beat their bogey team for the first time in the league at Villa Park since the days of David O’Leary way back in December 2003.

Moussa Diaby put Villa ahead with a fine strike

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Moussa Diaby put Villa ahead with a fine strikeCredit: Rex
As Villa dominated a disappointing Wolves side

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As Villa dominated a disappointing Wolves sideCredit: Reuters

The international break seemed to agree with Villa as Diaby celebrated his return to the French team during the week with his first league goal of the year.

While Konsa, so impressive for England against Brazil and Belgium, marked his return with his first goal since he nabbed a double against Leicester City way back in December 2021.

The win maintained Villa’s three point lead over Spurs, who had turned the heat up by winning earlier in the day.

And it ticked off another matchday as Emery’s men close in on a Champions’ League place with a hard-fought win.

Gary O’Neil’s side had to dust themselves down from their FA Cup exit at the hands of Coventry City.

But their recent record in the Premier League has been hugely impressive.

Wolves have collected 22 points since Christmas Eve, an achievement only the top three of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have bettered.

Wanderers also love Villa Park where they had only lost once in their last eight league visits.

Konsa's goal was far more fortunate

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Konsa’s goal was far more fortunateCredit: Rex
But topped off a dream week that saw him make his England debut

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But topped off a dream week that saw him make his England debutCredit: Rex
While Villa appaeared to dominate, the stats showed an even game
While Villa appaeared to dominate, the stats showed an even gameCredit: The Sun

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The visitors started brightly with 18-year-old striker Leon Chiwome leading the line in his first Premier League start and pinned Villa back for long periods.

Tommy Doyle fired just wide after Ollie Watkins headed a Pablo Sarabia corner into his path.

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Then Villa had the ball in the net after nine minutes when Moussa Diaby sent Ollie Watkins clear on goal.

Jose Sa, making his 100th Premier League appearance, managed to block the England striker’s effort but Douglas Luiz pounced on the rebound to fire home.

However assistant referee Steven Meredith raised his flag as Watkins had clearly been offside when Diaby played him in.

Wolves passed up a glorious chance to seize the lead when Sarabia’s corner was headed straight to Rayan Ait-Nouri off a Villa head.

The Wolves full back had the whole goal to aim at but to his dismay Emi Martinez threw himself across his goal to deflect the defender’s effort over.

It was a stunning point blank save which turned out to be a huge turning point as it gave Villa a wake-up call.

Youri Tielemans, fresh from his double against England, sliced through the Wolves defence with a precision pass to set Watkins clear.

But Villa’s top scorer clipped his shot into the side netting as Sa raced off his line.

Diaby was dominant and scored a crucial goal
Diaby was dominant and scored a crucial goalCredit: The Sun

Sarabia was booked for pulling Morgan Rogers’ shirt and Tielemans joined him in ref Paul Tierney’s notebook for a foul on Ait-Nouri.

Villa were moving through the gears and took the lead nine minutes before half-time.

Douglas Luiz chipped the ball to Leon Bailey wide on the left and the wingers’ cross was deflected by Tommy Doyle to the dge of the Wolves box.

It fell perfectly to Moussa Diaby who ferociously lashed the ball beyond Sa and Max Kilman on the goalline.

It was the French international’s first Premier goal of the year, three months after he scored against Burnley on December 30.

However Villa suffered a setback at half-time as Ollie Watkins failed to reappear after the break due to injury and his place was taken by Jhon Duran.

Encouraged, Wolves piled forward after the break, but Villa with Douglas Carlos and Ezri Konsa so solid at the back, they couldn’t find a way through.

And Villa put the game beyond them as they doubled their lead after 65 minutes.

Villa were dominant throughout
Villa were dominant throughoutCredit: The Sun

Duran robbed Tommy Doyle and fed fellow sub Nicolo Zaniolo who found Diaby.

He fed Ezri Konsa on the overlap and the big defender chipped in a cross towards Duran which sailed over Sa and drifted in at the far post.

Despite nine minutes of stoppage time – mostly caused by a battery malfunction to assistant ref Meredith’s power pack – Wolves couldn’t grab a late consolation.

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