But how did the players fare? Chief football writer Marc Iles gives his view.
BEN ALNWICK…6 Made a couple of uncharacteristic flaps at crosses but one decent save from Grealish. Could do little about either goal, in truth.
PAWEL OLKOWSKI…4.5 Form has deserted him in recent weeks. Looks jaded and was caught out by the long ball on a couple of occasions.
DAVID WHEATER…6 Turned all too easily by Abraham for the opening goal, Wheater did recover his poise but never completely had the measure of a fluid Villa front line.
JACK HOBBS…6 Complicit in defensive lapses at the start of each half but pretty solid apart from that.
ANDY TAYLOR…6.5 Pick of the bunch at the back, even up against the rampaging McGinn. Made some telling challenges to help keep Villa at bay.
JOE WILLIAMS…6 Unfairly punished with the free-kick that led to the second goal, the Everton loanee worked hard and got himself on the ball.
JASON LOWE…6.5 Dug in for the cause and used the ball immaculately. Ultimately, however, Villa edged the midfield battle thanks largely to the sublime Grealish.
CRAIG NOONE…5 On another day he could have been the hero – but Noone’s finishing touch deserted him before his crossing became haphazard later on.
ERHUN OZTUMER…5.5 Saw plenty of possession and helped Bolton keep the ball better than they have for ages, yet that clinical touch continues to evade him.
WILL BUCKLEY….5 Came into the game well for the last 15 minutes of the first half but couldn’t make a difference after that, which was a shame.
CLAYTON DONALDSON…6.5 Worked incredibly hard against Villa’s back line, picking up penalty box scraps. Maybe not as suited to the number nine role as Magennis – but gives everything.
Subs: Dyer 4, 67 (for Buckley) – Made little impact
Magennis 5, 70 (for Donaldson) – Wanderers faded after his arrival
Doidge 78 (for Oztumer) – Couple of decent touches.
Not used: Matthews, Beevers, Vela, Grounds
ASTON VILLA (4-3-3): Nyland; Hutton, Chester, Tuanzebe, Taylor; Hourihane, Grealish McGinn; Kodija, Abraham, Adomah
Subs: Bolasie 73 (for Adomah), Hogan 81 (for Abraham), Whelan 90 (for Grealish)
Not used: Bunn, Jedinak, El Ghazi, Elmohamady
Referee: Oliver Langford 5/10 – His performance will be best remembered for a poor foul given against Williams. But the Midlands ref was pretty flaky all night.
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