Dean Smith laments ‘painful’ late Wolves turnaround in derby at Villa Park

Date published: Saturday 16th October 2021 6:03 - Dan Burnham

Danny Ings reacts during Aston Villa vs Wolves, October 2021

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has lamented his side’s ‘painful’ collapse against Wolves which saw them fall from 2-0 up to a 3-2 defeat.

Villa looked in control with 10 minutes to go after strikes from Danny Ings and John McGinn. But a remarkable turnaround by the visitors stunned the Villa Park crowd. Centre-backs Roman Saiss and Conor Coady brought the game level before Ruben Neves scored a last-minute winner.

After the full-time whistle, Smith struggled to process what he had seen as a West Midlands derby win slipped from his grasp before him.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I find it difficult to explain because it should have been a victory. We were comfortable and we didn’t see that coming.

“Three set-pieces have cost us three goals. You have to defend better when goals get put in the box in the last 10 minutes. There were frantic clearances so that was a disappointment today.

“In the first half I thought it was a bit of a chess game. I thought we were better but only had the one big chance and they had one through Adama Traore.

“In the second half we spoke about the areas we wanted to play and we did. At 2-0 you can always give them a sniff and we did.

“I never felt there was a momentum shift. There were a few second balls that we didn’t pick up.

“We defended the box quite well in open play but it was the set-pieces.

“The actual free-kick or goal I have no complaints. That happens. It’s how they get to that… We had a throw-in which we gave away then Traore comes inside and we give a foul away.

“It’s a painful defeat because it’s one we should have had. The performance was better than Tottenham but you have to defend the box better.

“It hurts because it’s a football match and I’m a football manager.”

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