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Aston Villa 2-1 Watford

Team news: Reina set for Villa Park debut Dean's debrief: Last gasp winner, fighting back and faithful fans
Aston Villa 2-1 Watford

Aston Villa came from behind to clinch a dramatic 2-1 victory over Watford courtesy of a last-gasp 95th-minute winner.

Ezri Konsa saw his strike take a slight deflection off defensive partner Tyrone Mings and fly into the top corner from 12 yards with virtually the last kick of the game to spark wild scenes and send the Villa Park faithful into raptures.

Douglas Luiz had earlier stepped off the bench and bagged a second-half equaliser as Villa went on to seal all three points in pulsating fashion.

The Brazilian converted from close range, his third goal of the season, to level matters in the 68th minute, cancelling out Troy Deeney's first-half header.

It was the second successive match Dean Smith's battling side have shown fighting spirit to hit back after the break and gain reward.

Smith named an unchanged starting XI from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Both sides battled to gain dominance during the opening quarter of the encounter, although neither goalkeeper was forced into a serious save of note.

Anwar El Ghazi curled narrowly over the crossbar just after the half-hour mark as Villa gained the upper hand.

Yet it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 38th minute as Hornets captain Deeney headed home Gerard Deulofeu’s cross from six yards.

Deulofeu found the side-netting shortly afterwards, with Watford holding a narrow advantage heading into half-time.

Kortney Hause headed over before Konsa fired off target as Villa started the second period on the front foot.

Yet the home side were indebted to Pepe Reina, making his home bow, for a double save to deny Deeney in the 55th minute.

Luiz was introduced off the bench before Targett sent a header straight at Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster as Villa pushed for a route back into the encounter.

And it duly came courtesy of sub Luiz 12 minutes after his introduction, the Brazilian converting from close range after Targett, fed by Jack Grealish, saw his initial shot parried by Foster.

Indiana Vassilev entered the fray as Villa applied pressure in search of all three points.

And roared on by the majority of the 40,867, Villa's three central defenders combined as Hause headed down Reina's long free-kick, Mings collected the ball and it broke for Konsa to smash home, with Mings getting the final touch.

Villa: Reina, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Guilbert, Trezeguet (Vassilev 77), Drinkwater (Luiz 56), Nakamba, Targett, Grealish, El Ghazi.

Subs: Nyland, Chester, Lansbury, Hourihane, Elmohamady.

Goals: Deeney (38), Luiz (68), Konsa (90+5)

Who's next?

Villa host Leicester City in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Villa Park on Tuesday, January 28, with the tie level at 1-1.

To secure your seat, click here

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 21st January 2020