Match Report: West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa
West Bromwich Albion fought back twice to score a dramatic stoppage time equaliser against Aston Villa in the West Midlands derby on Friday night.
Anwar El Ghazi had given the visitors a 12th-minute lead when his effort took a wicked deflection off Ahmed Hegazi on its way past Sam Johnstone.
The Baggies equalised just before the half-hour mark when Harvey Barnes picked out Dwight Gayle with a cross from the left wing. The on-loan striker finished low into the net.
El Ghazi restored Aston Villa’s lead on the hour with a stunning strike. The Netherlands international is starting to make a good impact under Dean Smith following his arrival on loan from Lille over the summer.
However, it was not to earn the visitors three points in the derby as Jay Rodriguez grabbed a controversial stoppage-time equaliser.
Orjan Nylund made a mess of a Matt Phillips cross as Rodriguez nipped in front of the goalkeeper to bundle home his 10th goal of the season. However, it did appear to go in off the striker’s hand.
Referee Darren England did consult his fellow officials but awarded the goal none-the-less.
The point keeps West Brom in third place, narrowly the gap on Leeds United to three points, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side at home to Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.
Meanwhile Aston Villa missed the opportunity to move into the playoffs and stay in eighth, two points behind the trio of Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Derby County directly above them.
Dean Smith’s side are next in action at home to Stoke City next Saturday whilst West Bromwich Albion will travel to Sheffield United.