Aston Villa secured a last-gasp 2-1 win in their Midlands derby against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
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Villa took the lead through Gabriel Agbonlahor in the first half and dominated vast swathes of the match, but Saido Berahino equalized with West Brom’s first effort on target midway through the second half. However Tim Sherwood finally got his first Premier League win as Villa boss, with Ben Foster hauling down Matthew Lowton in stoppage time and Christian Benteke was the coolest man in Villa Park to lift the home side out of the relegation zone.
With the win Villa move up to 17th on 25 points, while West Brom stay in 13th on 30 points.
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In the 14th minute Villa almost took the lead as Agbonlahor turned and hit a tame shot towards goal which somehow squirmed through Ben Foster but he just clawed the ball back as it touched the line. Referee Phil Dowd looked at his watch and the Goal Decision System said the ball wasn’t over the line. A close escape for the Baggies.
Villa went ahead in the 23rd minute as Brad Guzan lumped the ball forward, Christian Benteke flicked it on and Agbonlahor latched onto the loose ball and slotted past Foster for his first goal in 14 games. 1-0 to the Villa as Sherwood ran down the touchline deliriously.
Agbonlahor continued to cause problems as he poked the ball past Foster and was cleaned out by the England international goalkeeper, but Joleon Lescott was covering and hacked the ball off the line as Villa were within inches of going 2-0 up. Before half time it was even closer to being 2-0 as Fabian Delph cut inside and curled a terrific effort off the post.
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In the second half Ashley Westwood went close with a vicious free kick, but then West Brom almost equalized as a set piece delivery from Chris Brunt to the near post was flashed wide by Craig Dawson. Tony Pulis could not believe it.
The Baggies piled on plenty of pressure in the second half and that paid off in the 66th minute as Berahino headed home from Brunt’s superb corner from the back post after Lescott nodded the ball back into the danger area. 1-1, as West Brom scored with their first shot on target. Late on Alan Hutton left his studs in on Berahino in a ‘delicate’ area as both players were booked after they squared up following Hutton’s challenge.
Delph took a shot from 40-yards out which Foster initially spilled and as the ball worked back into the box from Hutton’s cross, Foster rashly brought down Lowton for the penalty kick to cap off a miserable evening for the Baggies goalkeeper. Benteke then slotted home the wining goal, as Sherwood punched the air with delight and Aston Villa secured their first win in eight to snap a seven-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton, Westwood, Delph, Cleverley (Bacuna, 77′), Agbonlahor (Weimann, 82′), N’Zogbia (Grealish, 59′), Benteke
Goal: Agbonlahor (22′), Benteke (PK, 90′)
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Morrison, (Baird, 92′) Yacob, Fletcher, Gardner, Ideye, Berahino
Goal: Berahino (66′)