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The Verdict: West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa

Game details

Match: West Brom v Aston Villa
Date: Friday 7th December 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: The Hawthorns 

Scoring summary

Gayle 28, Rodriguez 90

Hegazi (og) 12, El Ghazi 59 

Line-up

Nyland; Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor (Elmohamady 52); McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish (Whelan 86); El Ghazi, Abraham, Bolasie (Kodjia 82). UNUSED SUBS: Bunn, Hogan, O’Hare, Revan.

EGhaziBaggies2Story in brief

Villa led twice in an absorbing derby but were denied victory by a controversial stoppage-time equaliser.

Villa players protested vehemently that Jay Rodriguez handled at least once when he converted a Matt Phillips cross from the right but their appeals were ignored by referee Darren England.

It was rough justice on Dean Smith’s side, who had done enough to warrant all three points as Anwar El Ghazi turned on the style.

Villa went ahead when El Ghazi delivered a stinging low cross shot which took a heavy deflection off Ahmed Hegazi and flew inside Sam Johnstone’s left-hand post.

That was just a minute after Matt Phillips had fired fractionally wide at the other end, and it was similar scenario when the Baggies drew level.

Alan Hutton had just set up Tammy Abraham for a low angled shot which Johnstone tipped away, but when Albion launched a swift counter attack, Hutton’s slip allowed Harvey Barnes to cross for Dwight Gayle to volley home.

John McGinn was desperately unlucky to see a 39th-minute drive thump against the post but Villa were back in front just before the hour mark when El Ghazi sent a fierce rising drive into the top corner from 20 yards.

Abraham then missed a glorious chance to put the issue beyond doubt, and it proved costly as Albion raised the hand of Rod.

ElGhaziGoalBaggies1Magical Anwar

Anwar El Ghazi produced arguably his best Villa display so far as he revelled in the pulsating derby atmosphere at The Hawthorns.

The winger’s shot was diverted in by defender Ahmed Hegazi for the opening goal, and he restored the lead with a 20-yard drive which left former Villa loan keeper Sam Johnstone clutching at thin air.

But quite apart from the goals, it was a magical performance by El Ghazi, who had the home defence at sixes and sevens with delightful skills which took him past opponents time after time.

What next?

There’s another derby in store next Saturday, albeit one that isn’t quite so local.

Villa will renew their rivalry with Stoke City, who head to B6 for the first game between the clubs since the Potters were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season.

Latest Scores

Pos Pld GD Pts
1 same Norwich City 21 14 43
2 same Leeds United 21 17 42
3 up Sheff Utd 21 10 37
4 up Derby 21 7 37
5 down West Brom 21 14 36
6 down Middlesbrough 21 9 36
7 down Nottm Forest 21 10 34
8 same Aston Villa 21 9 32
9 same Birmingham 21 5 30
10 up Stoke City 21 2 30
11 down Blackburn 21 -4 30
12 up Swansea City 21 2 29
13 up Bristol City 21 1 29
14 down QPR 21 -6 28
15 up Preston 21 -3 25
16 down Wigan 21 -6 25
17 down Sheff Wed 21 -11 24
18 down Brentford 21 1 22
19 same Hull City 21 -9 21
20 same Rotherham 21 -11 21
21 up Millwall 21 -9 19
22 down Reading 21 -8 18
23 same Bolton Wanderers 21 -14 18
24 same Ipswich Town 21 -20 11
STO Splash Page - 1 Game
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Sinking the Blues

Derby victory en route to the title

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