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11th May 2019

Aston Villa score two in two minutes as West Brom capitulate at Villa Park

Wayne Farry

aston villa

A stunning second half from Aston Villa

West Bromwich Albion capitulated from a winning position at Villa Park against Aston Villa in the Championship semi-final first leg on Saturday to hand the hosts a victory having led 1-0 at half-time.

The Baggies went into the second half with a single goal lead after Glenn Whelan’s mistake allowed Dwight Gayle the opportunity to dispatch a quick, low shot past the diving Jed Steer into the bottom corner.

Both sides had chances in the first half but Gayle’s goal was never going to be enough against a team that has come back from behind a number of times this season.

The galvanising moment for Villa was the introduction of Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane as a second half substitute.

Hourihane entered the fray in the 70th minute, and four minutes later he got onto a finely paced Jack Grealish pass to swing a beautiful shot past goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who was left motionless in the middle of his goal.

Just two minutes later Villa had the lead, after Jack Grealish – forever dangerous on the day – lured Kieran Gibbs into making a foolish tackle, which gave the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.

That penalty was put away by Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, who tucked it calmly into the bottom left hand corner to seal his 20th goal at Villa Park this season.

Things got worse for West Brom on the day and in the context of the tie with the sending off of top scorer Gayle, who received his marching orders for a second yellow card and will now miss Tuesday’s second leg.