LONDON • It has been 10 games this Premier League season for Aston Villa and manager Dean Smith believes his players have exceeded expectations.
Villa snatched a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday after substitute Anwar El Ghazi drilled in a stoppage-time penalty as both sides finished the game with 10 men.
“I am pleased with the start we have had, this was a tough game and we deserved a point and we kept competing and got the win,” said Smith, whose side have now claimed six victories this term.
“There was only the Leeds game that we deserved to get beaten (3-0) this season. Ten games in this season and, if you deserve to get something out of nine, you are doing well.”
Villa had Douglas Luiz sent off in the 85th minute and Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho was dismissed shortly after the visitors scored against the run of play, to register their fourth away win of the season.
The result lifted Villa up to eighth on 18 points before yesterday’s later games. Wolves, again missing injured striker Raul Jimenez, stayed 11th on 17 points from 12 games.
The home side looked more likely to grab the winner in a dour clash, with their 18-year old striker Fabio Silva hitting the post midway through the second half as he made his first start for the club.
Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off several fine saves, including a fierce Leander Dendoncker volley 10 minutes from time.
When the match seemed to be heading for a draw, Wolves’ Nelson Semedo hauled down John McGinn in the penalty area and El Ghazi made no mistake with the spot kick.
“It’s always disappointing to lose in the end like that, especially in a game where we played good,” Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said.
“We created a lot of good, clear chances and we will try to keep on growing on this aspect. Being more clinical is something that we need.”