They wanted it more.
Hardly the most original sentiment to summarise a derby but one that neatly explains the result.
A scrappy old opener bundled over the line by sheer force of will following a Danny Batth error was eerily symbolic of everything to follow.
There was a brief window of opportunity after Wolves found the leveller when it looked like they might start twisting the knife.
But chances never really materialised, the passing became loose on a suspiciously poor Villa Park surface and the contest drifted away. There wasn’t anything like the focus or precision we saw at Elland Road days before.
Batth was repeatedly targeted and his inability to cope in and out of possession was so excruciatingly obvious I’m still in a state of shock he wasn’t hooked at half time, particularly on a yellow card.
If Nuno was prepared to drop the dependable Ryan Bennett after one miscued pass at Fulham then surely the Wolves skipper is set for another stint on the sidelines following this horror show?
Bonatini should also fear the axe on Tuesday after another frustrating night of indecision in front of goal. Several times he could have pulled the trigger but instead opted for the extra touch that took the opportunity away. He also failed to occupy the centre halves meaning the ball repeatedly boomeranged back.
With one defender unable to play the ball out from defence and one center forward unable to make it stick when it came long, that didn’t afford Wolves significant margin for error.
Still, the ever industrious Ivan Cavaleiro came close to opening up their back four with the scores level in the first half but both Jota and the confidence shot Bonatini were too static or wasteful when receiving the pass.
Sloppy set piece marking, the aforementioned Batth frailty and a Villa team that grew in confidence as their opponents failed to land meaningful punches meant this ended up being the most routine of victories.
It’s a heavyweight blow and even with a healthy seven point buffer to absorb the impact, this felt like a watershed moment.
With the fixtures that remain and the quality Wolves possess, it alone cannot derail our top two ambitions.
But the response must now be swift and decisive.
Hold onto your hats.