Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace: Neither the Villans nor the Eagles will be satisfied with splitting the points in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park on Sunday.
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With a top-half finish within reach for both sides, Aston Villa (44 points – 12th place) and Crystal Palace (45 points – 11th place) could have taken a big step toward the top-10 with a win. Instead, they’re both now more likely than not to finish just outside the top half of the Premier League table, even with a game in hand on 10th place Brighton & Hove Albion (48 points).
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace final score, stats, results
Final score: Aston Villa 1, Crystal Palace 1
Goal scorers: Aston Villa (Watkins 69′), Crystal Palace (Schlupp 82′)
Shots: Aston Villa 13, Crystal Palace 16
Shots on target: Aston Villa 4, Crystal Palace 4
Possession: Aston Villa 49%, Crystal Palace 51%
2 things we learned – Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace
1. Top half or not, Vieira’s first season a massive success: A top-half finish would have been the cherry on top of an underrated and over-delivered debut season for Patrick Vieira as Crystal Palace boss, but the fact remains that the 45-year-old guided the club through an incredibly difficult season of transition, with roughly half of the first-team squad turned over last summer, safely to the other side. Crystal Palace fans’ thoughts of “With the right investment in the transfer market, we’ll be pushing for a European place next season” aren’t too far wide of the mark. Having proven himself as a Premier League manager, Vieira’s name and notoriety is only going to attract a higher caliber player to Selhurst Park.
2. Aston Villa finishing strong under Gerrard: Much of the same just said about Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira is true of Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard. Jack Grealish was sold for $140 million last summer and replaced by Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia (and, eventually, also Philippe Coutinho, thanks to Gerrard’s arrival on the scene), before being forced into an early-season managerial change. To finish anywhere near the top half after their start to the season (16th place when Gerrard took over) represents a massive step forward and a firm foundation to build upon in the future.
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace highlights
Ollie Watkins gets a touch on Lucas Digne’s cross to make it 1-0 (goal video)
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