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Aston Villa sink Wolves with late El Ghazi penalty

Last updated 2 months ago | By Reuters

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore, left, and Aston Villa's Matt Targett challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton and Aston Villa at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Saturday, Dec.12, 2020. [Catherine Ivill/Pool via AP]

Aston Villa snatched a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday after substitute Anwar El Ghazi drilled in a stoppage-time penalty as both sides finished the game with 10 men.

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 from 10 games while Wolves, again sorely missing injured striker Raul Jimenez, stayed 11th on 17 points from 12 games.

El Ghazi said he felt relaxed about taking the penalty.

"I practise penalties a lot, even if I am not playing," the Dutch midfielder told the BBC.

"I did not feel a lot of pressure to be honest. I appreciate Jack Grealish gave it to me, but he knows my capabilities."

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.

Football - Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Aston Villa - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - December 12, 2020. Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. [REUTERS/Tim Keeton]

Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off several fine saves, taming a stinging low shot from Daniel Podence before he somehow kept out a fierce Leander Dendoncker volley 10 minutes from time.

When the match seemed to be heading for a draw, Nelson Semedo hauled down John McGinn in the penalty area and El Ghazi made no mistake with the spot-kick as he blasted the ball past keeper Rui Patricio.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said he wanted his team to be more ruthless.

"In the first half it was an intense game and both teams were tight," he said.

"In the second we controlled the game and had clear chances. We try to keep growing on these aspects and be more clinical. Silva worked hard. The idea to make a player grow is to help him and give him competition."

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