Aston Villa battled hard to secure a 2-1 win over Leeds in the Premier League on Friday night to go level on points with Chelsea in the table ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches.
Unai Emery’s side bounced back from the embarrassment of FA Cup defeat to Stevenage in their last outing, with Leon Bailey giving the hosts the lead after just three minutes, the chance the result of a strong run from impressive midfielder Boubacar Kamara.
The hosts were forced into two first half changes, with new signing Alex Moreno on for his debut only 10 minutes into the context. The Spaniard went on to make a vital goal-line clearance from Rodrigo. Emiliano Martinez was also at his very best, keeping Leeds winger Jack Harrison out with a stunning close-range stave in the closing stages of the first half.
Villa benefitted from VAR when they doubled the lead, with a flag initially ruling Emiliano Buendia offside when he turned in the rebound from Bailey’s shot. But the decision was overturned to allow what proved to be the crucial goal to stand.
Leeds actually created much more but were guilty of missing several big chances. They also had two penalty appeals waved away, as well as one from Rodrigo ruled out for offside.
In the end, Patrick Bamford’s first Premier League goal of the season a few minutes from the end wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.
GK: Martinez (8); RB: Young (8), CB: Konsa (8), CB: Mings (7), LB: Digne (N/A); RM: Bailey (8), CM: Luiz (7), CM: Kamara (8), LM: Ramsey (7); ST: Buendia (8), ST: Watkins (6)
Subs: Moreno (7), Ings (6), Sanson (N/A), Coutinho (N/A)
GK: Meslier (7); RB: Ayling (6), CB: Koch (6), CB: Cooper (6), LB: Struijk (6); CM: Roca (6), CM: Adams (7); RM: Harrison (7), AM: Aaronson (5), LM: Gnonto (6); ST: Rodrigo (6)
Subs: Wober (6), Bamford (7), Gelhardt (7), Greenwood (6), Firpo (N/A)
Player of the match – Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa)
Nottingham Forest announce signing of Andre Ayew
Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of free agent Andre Ayew despite interest from Everton.
The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Toffees in recent days, but Forest have swooped in to sign the Ghanian.
Speaking to the club’s official website after finalising the move, the forward said: “It’s a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest.
“I know how big the club is and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It’s always been difficult whenever I’ve played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.
“Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he’s a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.”
“I know what I can bring to the team, I’m ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League.”
Wolves vs Liverpool – Premier League: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction
Liverpool will be looking to make a statement with a Premier League trip to Wolves this weekend, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Brighton last Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a league win in their last three attempts and have slipped as low as ninth in the table. Depending on what Chelsea do against Fulham on Friday night, the Reds could be 10th by the time they kick-off at Wolves.
Wolves are still yet to really find their groove under Julen Lopetegui, although at least remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference for the time being.
Wolves vs Liverpool H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Current Form (Last Five Premier League Games)
Wolves team news
Wolves have no new injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all still sidelined.
Wolves predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Neves, Nunes; Traore, Sarabia, Hwang; Jimenez.
Liverpool team news
Centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the latest Liverpool player to join the injury list, ruled out until at least mid-February with a hamstring problem.
Virgil van Dijk is also still out, as are Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Arthur Melo is making progress but is a couple of weeks away from resuming training.
Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.
It’s certainly feasible that Wolves could continue to pile the misery on Liverpool.
The Reds had beaten Wolves in seven consecutive meetings until a recent FA Cup tie ended in 2-2 draw at Anfield. It was then only a single goal that decided the replay in the Merseysiders’ favour.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Liverpool
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