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Friday, June 25, 2021

Aston Villa 2 – 2 West Brom

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West Brom’s faint hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a significant setback after substitute Keinan Davis scored a 92nd-minute equaliser for Aston Villa.

The Baggies fell behind when Anwar El Ghazi marked his return to the side by firing Villa ahead from the penalty spot after Semi Ajayi had clipped Ross Barkley.

They were then awarded a penalty of their own, Matheus Pereira beating Emiliano Martinez to equalise after Ezri Konsa caught Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Brazilian forward Pereira then hit the bar from a free-kick after creating chances for Okay Yokuslu and Maitland-Niles before Mbaye Diagne’s deflected finish off Tyrone Mings looked to have sealed a third win in four games.

But Davis pounced in the closing moments from close range after a defensive mix-up to deny the Baggies, who are now nine points from safety with five games remaining.

West Brom’s players dropped to their knees when referee Stuart Attwell blew for full time after seeing three points ripped from their grasp by Davis’ dramatic goal.

They had shown tremendous character to bounce back from Thursday’s tame defeat at Leicester and come from behind to lead their West Midlands rivals at Villa Park,

West Brom started this game 10 points from safety following Burnley’s handsome win at Wolves earlier on Sunday and could quite easily have collapsed after El Gahzi’s ninth-minute penalty.

Instead they clawed their way back with Pereira outstanding, the former Sporting Lisbon player scoring one, hitting the bar and setting up numeous chances for his team-mates.

At the other end Sam Johnstone, whose long clearance led to the second goal, produced a huge save to stop England striker Ollie Watkins from equalising.

But they could not hold on and face a quick return to the Championship one season after winning automatic promotion with Leeds.


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