Aston Villa conceded three goals in the last 10 minutes as we suffered a 3-2 defeat to Wolves at Villa Park on Saturday.
Goals from Danny Ings and John McGinn appeared to have set us on our way towards three points, but with just 10 minutes remaining, the visitors launched a stunning comeback to secure a victory.
Having been on top for the most part prior to that, it was a hugely frustrating and disappointing outcome, one that Villa will need to review and improve quickly upon as we look to bounce back and put this result behind us.
Losses like this simply can’t happen
For all the talk of wanting to compete for European places and be a top side, results like this ultimately can’t happen.
Villa were coasting towards victory with 10 minutes to go against a Wolves side we were confident of beating at home. Instead we came away empty-handed and now face a real test of character.
To evolve and develop into a top side, we can’t throw away wins like this from dominant positions.
McGinn, Buendia impress
It’s hard to really focus on any positives given the result, but both McGinn and Emiliano Buendia were two shining lights in this game.
The likes of Matty Cash and Douglas Luiz also deserve praise, but it was McGinn’s battling and scrappy performance with plenty of quality that caught the eye and he certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Further, Buendia produced arguably his best performance in a Villa shirt to date as he found pockets of space throughout and looked to be a creative spark while also providing a tireless work-rate to track back and press.
Watkins, Ings partnership not working
While Ings may have found the back of the net, the partnership with Ollie Watkins up front isn’t clicking.
The pair have displayed no real link-up play to suggest that they’re building chemistry and can become a deadly duo, while Watkins looked out of sorts and unsure in the system.
That was Ings in the last two games, and so unless Smith sees something positive soon, there might come a point where he needs to consider moving away from that partnership for a time.
Stick with three at the back?
Similarly at the other end of the pitch, the back three didn’t work as it should have against Wolves.
2-0 up with 10 minutes remaining, it seemed like the perfect scenario as we had plenty of numbers at the back and could see out the game.
Instead, we switched off and crumbled under the pressure, and it showed that what we actually needed was a calm head and composure in midfield in front of the backline to keep hold of the ball and shut things down to not allow Wolves opportunities to score.
Major reaction needed at Arsenal
A result like this and the manner in which it materialised can really break a side’s confidence and spirit.
There is no time to dwell on it beyond analysing it and identifying where we went wrong, both collectively and individually, and we must bounce back at Arsenal on Friday night.
That was a kind of game we experienced in our first year back in the Premier League, and if we really want to progress and evolve into a competitive side at the top end of the table, we need to respond like one now and use this as a positive catalyst in the bigger picture.