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EUROPEAN DREAM

It is nice to dream of a top-four finish, says Wolves’ Dendoncker

Everyone dreams, but we also have to be realistic — Dendoncker.

In Summary

• Wolves, surprisingly, only managed two efforts on goal on Saturday, but the Belgium midfielder made it count with their second when he struck low past Orjan Nyland after an excursion into the area.

• The partnership of Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez has provided 10 goals in the league this season, but for the only goal at Villa Park, their mere presence together had a impact.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho in action with Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady.
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho in action with Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady.
Image: REUTERS

It is “nice to dream” of a top-four finish, said midfielder Leander Dendoncker after his goal gave Wolves victory over Aston Villa, but he added that his side face a difficult task.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are now fifth in the Premier League and only two points behind fourth-place Chelsea after their third win on the spin since the restart, although the Blues have a game in hand.

“Everyone dreams, but we also have to be realistic,” said Dendoncker. “We have some tough games coming up, but it is good - we took nine points from nine. We just have to do our best game by game.”

Wolves, surprisingly, only managed two efforts on goal on Saturday, but the Belgium midfielder made it count with their second when he struck low past Orjan Nyland after an excursion into the area.

As for Dean Smith’s men, they remain in 19th with 27 points. A draw could have lifted them out of the bottom three, which was as much as they looked like achieving at Villa Park.

Jack Grealish’s first-half low, driven effort was their only shot on target. Even when the most potent pair do not combine for a goal, they still manage to influence the outcome.

The partnership of Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez has provided 10 goals in the league this season, but for the only goal at Villa Park, their mere presence together had a impact.

Four Villa players surrounded the pair on the left side of the pitch before Jimenez dug out a ball into the area which resulted in Dendoncker’s strike. Traore had only been on the pitch for two minutes at that stage with Nuno electing to rest the Spaniard, taking into account the busy schedule.

The only other clear opportunity for Nuno’s men came when the ball fell to Diogo Jota who elected power instead of accuracy after the ball slipped out of Nyland’s hand as he attempted to find a team-mate.

As an attacking force the visitors were not at their most threatening but a solid defensive display, led by the impressive Willy Boly, meant they did not have to change gears.