Five key talking points after Ings salvages point for Villa vs Wolves

After battling back to secure a 1-1 draw against Wolves on Wednesday night, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has plenty to run the rule over in the coming days.

Villa were poor in the first half as Wolves dominated the game and deservedly led, and while Emery was quick to begin making changes from half-time, for the first 70 minutes or so, it was a struggle to see how we were getting back into the encounter.

READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Wolves: Ings rescues point in disappointing display

Fortunately, Danny Ings came off the bench to finally spark us into life, and as we rallied in the closing stages, we had chances to even win it and claim three important points.

As noted by Emery in his post-match interview though, he ultimately felt as though a draw was a fair result, and while we should expect ups and downs still at this early stage in his tenure, he’ll know that we have to improve and raise our level again after a disappointing night in terms of the performance.

First half not reflective of Emery impact

We’ve seen some really good football in the first handful of games under Emery, but on Wednesday night we just couldn’t get going. Credit should be given to Wolves too as they played well in the first half in particular, but Villa were far too passive and lacked intent.

Aside from the fact that we couldn’t create anything nor enjoy any decent spells of possession, we didn’t appear as organised or disciplined in our defensive shape either, and that led to Wolves enjoying plenty of openings.

That wasn’t the team we’ve seen in recent weeks, and while there are going to be bumps in the road and things will take time to permanently click in terms of what Emery wants from his players, it’s important we bounce back at the weekend and try to find some consistency again.

Welcome back, Emi

It was great to see Emi Martinez get a brilliant reception before kick-off as our World Cup winner returned and paraded his medal and individual trophy after his success in Qatar with Argentina.

Importantly, he got back into the swing of things in a Villa shirt immediately as he produced key saves throughout to keep us in the game.

His leadership, organisation of the backline, shot-stopping and general presence is huge for us, and it’s hoped that we can start to keep clean sheets again consistently moving forward.

Young, Cash experiment didn’t work

With John McGinn sidelined by injury, Emery opted to deploy Matty Cash in the more advanced role on the right side ahead of Ashley Young, and given the latter was replaced at half-time, it’s fair to say it didn’t work.

Villa weren’t a threat down that flank and further, we looked vulnerable defensively, with Cash’s head constantly on a swivel when tracking back as if to suggest that there was some confusion over who was assigned to who.

Things improved in the second half with Cash back in his more familiar role at right-back, and so that could suggest to Emery that a new right-sided midfielder is needed this month, although Jacob Ramsey’s return from injury will be vital, as will McGinn’s.

Bailey backing after miss

Leon Bailey looked distraught after the full-time whistle blew, as he was helped up and consoled by Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins following his late miss.

Having done the hard work to create the chance, all it needed was the finish, but he shanked his right-footed effort wide and missed a huge opportunity to win the game in injury time.

However, from his teammates coming to support him on the pitch to Emery’s post-match comments insisting that he likes to see that Bailey clearly cares and has that responsibility, the Jamaican international will get plenty of support and motivation to bounce back next time out.

Ings shows his importance

As per BirminghamLive, speculation on Wednesday suggested that Ings might be allowed to leave this month after a loan bid from Everton was rejected, but that was rubbished by Emery who insisted that he will remain part of his squad.

So what better way to show his class than with a brilliant goal off the bench to salvage a point for us, as he showed great control and composure to find the back of the net.

While Ollie Watkins appears to be Emery’s first choice up top, we need quality depth and competition, and Ings certainly provides that for us in attack. It’s hoped that with rumours over his future now dismissed, he’ll continue to be a fundamental player in our progression this season.