BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Aston Villa hit the crossbar twice in the opening 15 minutes and Wolverhampton defender Romain Saiss missed an open goal from barely a meter out in a 0-0 draw between the teams in the Premier League on Saturday.

The result further dented ninth-place Villa’s pursuit of European qualification, coming three days after a 1-0 loss at last-place Sheffield United.

Still missing injured captain Jack Grealish, Villa swarmed over Wolves early on with Ollie Watkins crashing a 25-meter shot against the bar and Ezri Konsa hitting nearly the same section of the goal frame from closer in after Bertrand Traore’s cross went through a crowd of players in the area.

Wolves, as usual, played better in the second half and somehow failed to take the lead in the 57th when Conor Coady hit the post with a close-range header. The ball bounced across the face of goal and Saiss, stretching, contrived to send the ball over the bar.

The best other chance fell to Coady, who saw the ball come to him around six meters out only for his shot to be tipped aside by Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez.

Villa moved six points behind fifth-place Everton.


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