Huffed and puffed

Steve Bruce insisted the 2-0 defeat was because Aston Villa did not do enough to keep the ball or hurt Wolves, rather than because of their tactical approach to the game.

Villa continued with the 4-4-2 system that served them well during their four-match winning run, while the Molineux men went with their favoured 3-4-3 formation.

Goals from man-of-the-match Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini wrapped up a 2-0 victory that sent Wolves to the top of the Championship and Bruce was quick to praise the league-leaders.

“To create chances you have to get the ball back better," Bruce said. “I didn’t think we went after the ball well enough.

“You can go at formations and systems and everything but I didn’t think we did enough. It’s as simple as that.

“We huffed and puffed and gave the ball away too cheaply when we had it. We have to be honest, Wolves were better than us."

Long way to go

Bruce insists "there is a long way to go and a long winter ahead" after Aston Villa's winning run was halted at Molineux.

Villa were second best as Wolverhampton Wanderers climbed to the top of the Championship table with a 2-0 victory.

Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini did the damage with second-half goals and Bruce admitted Wolves were the better team.

But after Villa's revival before the international break, the manager will not dwell on the defeat with 34 games left to play.

"There's a long, long way to go, a long winter ahead, all to play for still, there's still 30 odd games," said Bruce.

"It's a defeat and we have to accept the defeat because on the night they were better than us and we have to go again.

"They played very well on the night, I have to say the best team won we have to be honest about it."

Villa player ratings

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Opposition view

Nuno Espirito Santo described Villa as a team who "really fight" with a "strong focus on defence" after Wolves swept them aside at Molineux.

Villa's four game winning run was halted in a 2-0 defeat at Molineux as the Black County club marched to the top of the Championship table.

"I think Villa fight, they really fight," said the Wolves manager after second-half goals from Diogo Jota and substitute Leo Bonatini sealed victory for the hosts.

"It was a tough game. They have this strong focus on defence.

"They hold, they keep their shape, they are hard to break down and they always have this sense of danger on the counter attack.

"So (the referee) not stopping the game and allowing both teams to do this type of play - we have the ball, them defending and trying - I think it was a very good game of football for everybody.

"Thank you for the fans that were supporting our team. Well done you."

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Alan Hutton

Hats off to Alan Hutton who slotted in at left-back and did a decent job against a free-flowing forward line, writes Gregg Evans.

The Scot has played on the opposite side of the pitch throughout his career but he had no troubles fitting in after Bruce trusted him to play at left-back with Neil Taylor suspended.

A sliding tackle on Helder Costa early in the first half set the standard and he almost stopped the second goal only for his last-ditch tackle on Diogo Jota to fall into Leo Bonatini’s path allowing him to convert.

With Taylor missing, Villa do not have specialist cover at left-back and Hutton got the call ahead of Ritchie De Laet who has experience of playing left-back from his time at Middlesbrough.

All in all, though, Hutton was one of Villa’s brightest sparks on a difficult afternoon.

Fan reaction

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