Classic encounter: Wolves 2-0 Aston Villa
Diogo Jota celebrates after setting up Leo Bonatini's goal which put Wolves 2-0 up. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

With Wolverhampton Wanderers facing West Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Saturday, we take a look back at a classic encounter between the sides from October 2017. 

Second half goals from Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini gave Wolves a 2-0 win which sent them to the top of the Championship for the first time, in what was just their second win against Villa at Molineux since 1978. 

The scoreline flattered Steve Bruce's side, who could only muster one shot on target with Robert Snodgrass' late free kick. 

  • Wolves dominate top-of-the-table clash

The game saw a clash between two of the pre-season favourites for promotion who sat just four points apart in the Championship table. 

After a strong start to the season Wolves sat one point behind leaders Cardiff, but knew they would go top with a win following the Bluebirds' loss to Birmingham the night before, while Villa sat seventh having recovered from a poor start that left them in the bottom three. 

The first half was dominated by the hosts, who had a host of half-chances come their way. Romain Saiss headed just over the bar after four minutes, while Helder Costa looked to be through on goal but was met by a superb last-ditch Alan Hutton tackle. 

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Ruben Neves went just wide from range before centre-back Roderick Miranda hit the side netting from just outside the area. 

  • Hosts assert their authority to claim three points

10 minutes after the restart, Wolves deservedly took the lead. Ivan Cavaleiro's mishit cross rolled across the area and found Diogo Jota at the far post, who took one touch to beat Ahmed Elmohamady before blasting the ball past Sam Johnstone in the Villa goal.

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After scoring the first, Jota then turned provider for Wolves' clincher. The Portuguese winger picked up the ball inside his own half from Neves' flicked pass, beat both John Terry and James Chester with ease before being tackled by Hutton. The Scot's challenge could only find Leo Bonatini, who finished beyond Johnstone at the tightest of angles to net his fifth goal of the season.

Jota should have picked up his second of the game following a passing move, but his header was blocked by Johnstone, who also smothered Bonatini's follow up.

  • Nuno's side go from strength to strength in 'long winter'

Following the game, Bruce riled the Molineux faithful by saying Wolves still had to endure a 'long winter ahead', but the cold months saw Nuno's side put one hand on the Championship trophy.

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Following a defeat at Loftus Road two weeks later Wolves went 13 league games unbeaten, winning 10 and drawing three. After a famous 2-1 win at Bristol City in December, Wanderers went into 2018 ten points clear at the Championship summit. By the end of the campaign, Nuno's men had won the second tier title with 99 points. 

For Villa, 83 points was only enough to cement a play-off place. After defeating Middlesbrough 1-0 over two legs in the semi-finals, they suffered Wembley heartache by the same scoreline at the hands of Fulham

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