Analysis: Watkins, Ings assessment as Villa defence collapses in Wolves loss

Aston Villa suffered a damaging 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Saturday as we ultimately threw away three points at Villa Park.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Villa were coasting towards a victory following goals from Danny Ings and John McGinn, but a capitulation then materialised as we conceded three goals to end up on the losing side.

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A big reaction is now needed at Arsenal on Friday to quickly put this result behind us, but Dean Smith and the Villa coaching staff will no doubt analyse the game meticulously and break down where we went wrong.

Below are two important points from that defeat to Wolves:

Watkins, Ings struggling to be consistently threatening

A big talking point through the last few games has been the partnership of Ollie Watkins and Ings up top in our favoured 3-5-2 system.

While Watkins grabbed a goal at Tottenham and Ings found the back of the net this past weekend, the pair haven’t struck up any real chemistry or understanding to be a real dual threat combination up front.

We did see a brief glimpse of them being just that with our opening goal though as seen in the first image in the tweet below, with Watkins occupying defenders and pushing them back towards goal, creating space in the box which Ings ghosts into unmarked and nods home the first goal.

However, that is just a rare example of their partnership working with decisive effect, and unless they can show more in the build-up of our play and their movement consistently, it’s going to lead to a difficult decision for Smith as to whether he persists with both, or perhaps even drops one of them as early as Arsenal this week.

Villa defence collapses in main reason behind loss

While some pointed fingers at Smith and his game-management on Saturday, it seems rather harsh to blame the Villa boss for the mistakes and ineptitude of the players on the pitch.

As seen in the last two images in the tweet above, Villa had 10 players back to defend each of the first two Wolves goals that we conceded.

From ‘shoddy clearances’ as Smith described them in his post-match interview, to players switching off, losing their position and not reacting quick enough to second balls and/or second waves of attack, it led to Wolves snatching victory.

With three at the back, there is absolutely no way this can be allowed to happen. Villa have the numbers and yet there is no-one doing their job properly to cut out the danger. That is undoubtedly going to be an area which the coaching staff really criticise and point out to the players in the aftermath of the defeat, and we need to learn quickly to avoid that being our downfall again any time soon.