Walsall 2-3 VILLA
Shaun Maloney staked his claim for Intertoto Cup action at the weekend with a second-half double against the Saddlers.
And Wayne Routledge did his chances no harm with a spectacular winner four minutes from time as Villa twice came from behind at the Bescot.
The duo overshadowed Gareth Barry's return to action as Villa won this entertaining encounter.
Villa skipper Harewood headed narrowly wide on three as he rose to meet Maloney's right-wing corner.
Gerrard headed straight at Parish three minutes later as he met a Sansara free-kick.
Parish denied Ba on seven, palming a header from Nicholls' right-wing cross past the post.
Harewood made space for himself on the edge of the box on 11 but sent a tame effort straight at Walsall keeper Ince.
Roberts did well to deny Delfouneso on 13, deflecting the striker's rising drive behind for a corner.
Harewood shot on the turn four minutes later but his low effort was blocked by Ince.
Maloney flashed a right-foot effort across the face of goal on 22 as he met Osbourne's through ball.
Harewood should have broken the deadlock on 26 as he raced onto Osbourne's through ball but he delayed and the chance was gone.
Baker's timely challenge frustrated Ibhere two minutes later.
Seconds later Ince raced off his line to block a low Harewood shot as Villa broke quickly.
Salifou drove straight at Ince on 35 as Walsall could only half clear Routledge's right-wing cross.
Maloney cut in from the right on 38 but curled a rasping right-foot effort inches past the post.
Baker volleyed over the bar two minutes later as Harewood met another Routledge centre with an acrobatic overhead effort across the edge of the six-yard box.
Harewood showed great pace as he cut in from the right on 41 but flashed a left-foot effort across the face of goal.
Walsall had an undeserved lead a minute later thanks to a defensive mix-up. Parish raced out of his box but collided with Lichaj and was left stranded as Nicholls slotted home from the edge of the box.
Ince brilliantly denied Delfouneso on 45, palming a powerful header from Stieber's left-wing cross behind for a corner.
Routledge flashed a low effort across the face of goal on 49 after linking up well with Barry down the right.
Delfouneso was freed by Barry's clever through ball a minute later but Ince did well to save a low effort.
Stieber cleared Gerrard's header off the line on 55 as Walsall almost doubled their lead.
Delfouneso just missed the target from the edge of the box on 57 after a mazy run to beat three Saddlers defenders.
Maloney levelled matter with a trademark curling free-kick from the edge of the box on 62 after Delfouneso had been brought to ground.
Palmer's left-foot free-kick was deflected behind by the Villa wall three minutes later.
Parish then produced a stunning reaction save to deny Ibehre and keep the scores level.
Ince plucked Routledge's right-wing centre from the air on 68 as Harewood rose to meet the ball.
The hosts were back in front on 71 as Suffo met Demontagnac's volleyed cut back from the left and planted a low drive past Parish.
Parish did well to parry Ayre's rising drive a minute later as Walsall chased a third.
Maloney levelled matters for the second time on 80, slotting home from close range as substitute keeper Gilmartin could only parry Salifou's right-foot drive.
Maloney was denied a hat-trick two minutes later as he cut inside from Bannan's superb through ball but saw a low shot blocked by Gilmartin.
Substitute Albrighton headed behind as he met Stieber's cross from the left on 84.
Routledge emphatically put Villa ahead on 86, volleying into the roof of the net from Stieber's left-wing cross.
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