Wolverhampton Wanderers maintained their hopes of snatching a European spot for next season after an excellent volley from Jonny and an Ashley Young own goal helped them to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
Wolves moved a point ahead of West Ham United into seventh place, but David Moyes’s side have a game in hand.
“Huge win, I thought we were outstanding from start to finish,” Wolves captain Conor Coady said. “We controlled the ball, used it well when in possession. Defensively, we tried to stop the ball coming through the middle and forced it wide.”
Villa were caught out in the seventh minute when midfielder John McGinn gave the ball away on the halfway line, which resulted in a fast break capped by Jonny with a deft volley into the top corner.
Half an hour later, the hosts got their second goal, albeit with a slice of luck, when wing back Fernando Marcal’s cross bounced off substitute Young and looped past Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez into the net.
The visitors dominated possession after the break and pinned Wolves down in their own half for extended periods, but Villa were let down by wayward finishing.
Forward Ollie Watkins wasted a couple of gilt-edged opportunities before winning a penalty when he was bowled over in the box by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Watkins stepped up and calmly converted from the spot in the 86th minute for a consolation goal, but it was too little, too late.
Villa, now winless in their last three league games, remained in ninth place on 36 points and manager Steven Gerrard was not happy with his players.
“Again, I go away frustrated because the boys have only given us a 45-minute performance,” he told reporters. “The boys turn up for a walk in the second half and realise they’re in a derby game. I’m really frustrated with our first-half showing.”