With Dean Smith’s Aston Villa side heading into Saturday’s West Midlands derby in mixed form, having picked up six points from a possible 12 in their last four fixtures, the 50-year-old would have undoubtedly been hoping for a positive result against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park in order to get his side moving in the right direction once again.
After goals from Danny Ings and John McGinn gave Smith’s side the lead in the second half, the Villa manager would have been confident that his side would be going home with the local bragging rights.
However, an 80th-minute Romain Saiss strike ensured that it would be an uncomfortable end to the game for Villa, and it was made a great deal worse when Conor Coady poked home to level the match with just five minutes remaining.
With the wind firmly against Aston Villa’s sails heading into the four additional minutes of stoppage time, a deflected Ruben Neves free-kick secured a remarkable comeback for Wolves, and a devastating collapse for Smith and his team.
As is perhaps to be expected after such a loss, a number of the Villa back five did not leave the match with overly impressive SofaScore match ratings, but it will undoubtedly be Axel Tuanzebe who is most disappointed with his display this afternoon.
After being handed his first start since the 3-0 win over Everton in September, the Manchester United loanee did not do much to convince Smith that he should retain his place in the back three for the trip to Arsenal next Friday.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the 23-year-old failed to make a single tackle, interception or block, as well as being dribbled past by an opponent on one occasion and making one error which led to a shot.
The centre-back also won just one of his three duels and gave away possession of the ball seven times, with his returns seeing him earn a very disappointing SofaScore match rating of 5.9 – with no other player who started the match receiving a lower score than the £7.2m-rated defender.
As such, while everyone has a bad day in the office every once in a while, and the player who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dubbed an “outstanding” talent is certainly better than his performance against Wolves would suggest, it must be said that the £50k-per-week defender badly failed Smith in the collapse against their Midlands rivals today.