Wolves secure PL status with 40 points, win over Aston Villa
Wolves rode an early goal from Toti Gomes to all but secure their place in next season’s Premier League, as they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Molineux Stadium on Saturday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
The victory put Wolves (13th place) on 40 points for the season, now 10 above 18th-place Nottingham Forest with three games left to play (all three sides currently in the relegation zone have four games remaining). Aston Villa have now lost back-to-back PL games after a 10-game unbeaten run (8W-2D-0L) that started back in February.
It was a frantic start to Saturday’s West Midlands derby, and Wolves went ahead after just nine minutes. Ruben Neves lofted a free kick toward the back post and found left back Toti, who fought off his marker and rose highest to get his head to the ball. Toti’s header clanged off the underside of the crossbar and made its way over the goal line for a 1-0 lead.
Aston Villa looked like equalizing again in the 72nd minute, when Tyrone Mings got on the end of a free kick floated over the Wolves defense by Douglas Luiz. Mings timed his run to perfection and put the inside of his left foot through the ball, but blazed it over the crossbar from six yards out with only Sa to beat.
Five minutes later, Jose Sa went full-stretch (and then some) to get fingers to Emiliano Buendia’s blast from the edge of the penalty area. It looked a surefire equalizer of the Argentine’s foot, but Sa somehow pushed it around his right-hand post to preserve Wolves’ advantage.
Stars of the show
Now out of relegation danger, Wolves will be back in action next Saturday (10 am ET), when they head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Aston Villa will try to resurrect their European pursuit at the same time, when they host Tottenham at Villa Park.
Wolves vs Aston Villa, live score: 1-0
9th minute - Toti Gomes heads corner kick home to give Wolves 1-0 lead
How to watch Wolves vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Emery and Lopetegui had some memorable encounters when the former led Villarreal and the latter was in charge of Sevilla.
The last three meetings have been 1-1 draws between the managers, including a 1-1 at Villa Park on Jan. 4. Emery’s won one and Lopetegui two, so is this the day to even the score?
Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Chiquinho (knee)
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Matty Cash (calf), Boubacar Kamara (ankle), Jed Steer (calf)