Most supporters approached our ‘must win’ game with Wolves with a rather sceptical approach and given how well our West Midlands rivals have performed so far this season you couldn’t blame them.
Villa, however, had very different ideas as they taught our neighbours who have recently found their voices a big lesson at Villa Park.
Steve Bruce made two changes from the side that beat Sunderland in mid-week as Jack Grealish and Mile Jedinak come in for Scott Hogan and an injured Glenn Whelan.
Villa was backed by an electrifying atmosphere inside Villa Park and it may have helped them into the perfect start as they took the lead after just eight minutes.
Robert Snodgrass swung a corner in deep to find Jedinak who headed the ball back across goal. Wolves captain Danny Batth sliced his clearance and following a scramble Albert Adomah poked the ball over the line from a few yards out.
It took Wolves just 12 minutes to get back onto level terms. A low cross from Matt Doherty saw the ball come off a sliding James Chester to drop to Diogo Jota who slotted past Sam Johnstone.
Both sides had moments in control in the first half but Villa ended the half on top and was unlucky not to take the lead when John Terry got on the end of a Snodgrass free-kick but Chester just fell short as he tried to convert.
12 minutes into the second half Chester did manage to find the back of the net when Snodgrass was once again the provider as he swung in a free kick in which Chester was able to lose his marker Alfred N’Diaye and slide the ball into the net.
Wolves began to get the feeling that it wasn’t going to be their day when the home side made it 3-1 just five minutes later.
Jack Grealish, who was deemed not good enough to make the Wolves squad by some of their supporters, ran the show and picked up the ball just inside the Wolves half and played Adomah down the line.
The Ghana winger beat Batth and crossed the ball for Lewis Grabban to sneak the ball in at the near post to make it four goals in four games for the striker on loan from Bournemouth.
Wolves had a claim for a penalty when Ruben Neves crossed over from a free kick and the ball seemed to catch Snodgrass on the arm. Later replays show that the away side was probably a little unlucky as the referee didn’t see the incident.
Villa completed the scoring with five minutes left on the clock when Wolves Wily Boly gave away possession to substitute Henri Lansbury who then played a pass to fellow substitute Birkir Bjarnason. The Icelandic versatile midfielder saw a gap and ran through it going past three Wolves players before poking the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Bruce’s men made a real statement with this victory but it will stand for nothing if they can’t go on and continue with this kind of form. Grealish run the show for me, with help from the likes of Snodgrass, Adomah and Grabban.
Up next is our re-arranged game with QPR on Tuesday night.
Steve Bruce: “We played very well and we needed to against a decent team. It was a great advert for the Championship. There are 10 games to go and we’ve given ourselves a chance.
Wolves have got some very good players. How they got here, that’s another question that I don’t want to get involved with.”
Nuno Espírito Santo: “We made mistakes we should not do and they changed the game.
I organise my thoughts and I try to analyse. We try to see what went wrong and get it right for the next game.”