Belfast Telegraph

Villa have lost desire, blasts angry boss Smith after loss

Wolves 2 Aston Villa 1

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

By Nick Mashiter

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith accused his side of lacking desire after their defeat at Wolves.

Injury-hit Villa lost 2-1 at Molineux yesterday to slip to a third straight Premier League loss.

Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez scored as Wolves dominated, despite Trezeguet's injury-time strike.

Villa now sit three points above the relegation zone heading into the international break.

"It appeared the game was bigger for them than us. The best thing was it was only 1-0 at half-time," said Smith. "It's not really for you to print (what he said at half-time). You have to go and compete, it doesn't matter what game you're playing.

"We didn't cope with the pressure we were put under. They were right up for it from the start and we didn't have enough intensity in our play. That's something we'll talk about.

"It won't take an awful lot to be better."

Skipper Jack Grealish was missing with a calf problem with Tom Heaton also out with his own calf injury.

Replacement Jed Steer lasted just eight minutes, limping off with an Achilles issue, while Matt Targett came off with blurred vision.

Steer's replacement, Orjan Nyland, was beaten by Neves' fine 41st-minute strike from the edge of the box.

Adama Traore hit the bar before Jimenez made it 2-0 with six minutes left. Trezeguet gave Villa hope with a late strikegiven by goal-line technology, but the hosts held on.

Wolves are now unbeaten in their last seven top-flight outings and are one point adrift of the top five.

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: "We always compete, this is very tough and it makes me very proud. We played very well, we dominated, especially in the first half. I'm happy with the performance."

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