In a game of very few clear-cut chances at either end it was Anwar El Ghazi’s 94th minute penalty that clinched three points for Villa.
Both set of players looked rusty in the opening exchanges at Molineux with Daniel Podence and Leander Dendoncker testing Emiliano Martinez.
Wolves did look to be edging at after the break as teenage striker Fabio Silva was presented with a perfect chance to put them in front.
The Portuguese international slipped past two Villa challenges inside the box but his snapshot fired back off the post.
Nuno Santo’s side pushed hard for a breakthrough in closing, but Martinez showed his class once again as the Uruguayan denied Roman Saiss and Nelson Semedo.
And with Wolves unable to find a way past Martinez in the closing stages Villa ducked in to take advantage in a chaotic last five minutes.
Douglas Luiz was shown a second yellow card for Villa before Mike Dean controversially pointed to the spot as Semedo tangled with John McGinn inside the box.
El Ghazi kept his cool to slot past Rui Patricio as Wolves’ protests spilled after the final whistle with Joao Moutinho joining Luiz for an early bath.
Full Time at Molineux it’s Wolves 0 Aston Villa 1