West Brom 2 Aston Villa 2 match report: Ashley Westwood rescues a point for Lambert’s 'big club'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Villa came from two goals down to secure a point at the Hawthorns

Villa, who surrendered a two-goal lead when this fixture finished all square at 2-2 last season, achieved the same scoreline by the reverse route in a pulsating West Midlands derby on Monday night, pegging the home side back with two goals inside the final quarter of the match after Shane Long had struck twice early for Albion.

Steve Clarke’s team stretched Albion’s unbeaten run against Villa to six matches but there was the satisfaction for his Villa counterpart, Paul Lambert, of seeing a triple substitution change a game in which Albion at one time were threatening to swamp their rivals.

Villa were facing a steep uphill battle from the 11th minute onwards after Long had made a mug of centre-back Nathan Baker and then took advantage of a careless mistake by full-back Leandro Bacuna to double Albion’s lead.

Inside three minutes, the Republic of Ireland striker showed a fine first touch to control Chris Brunt’s probing pass over the top and jinked inside to leave Baker sliding away from him before firing low to Brad Guzan’s right.

Boaz Myhill, in the Albion goal, did well to keep out a deflected effort by Aleksandar Tonev as Villa sought a quick reply but then Long intercepted Bacuna’s casual crossfield pass to bear down on Guzan again, this time finishing his run with a deft chip over the Villa keeper and Baker’s stretching jump.

The second goal – the first time he has scored twice in a Premier League match – gave Long his fourth in as many games for club and country, having belatedly scored a first of the season at Chelsea before the international break, then found the net against Latvia in Martin O’Neill’s first game as Ireland manager. No surprise that the home crowd were in full voice, taking the opportunity to taunt for suggesting pre-match that Villa, despite finishing behind Albion for the last two seasons, were still the bigger club. It obliged Villa to be more expansive than they might have been and Libor Kozak went close with a shot that clipped Myhill’s bar. But Stéphane Sessègnon had by then missed a near-open goal on the end of a Morgan Amalfitano cross and it took a Ron Vlaar tackle and a Guzan block to deny Long a third.

The drive of Youssouf Mulumbu, the solidly efficient Claudio Yacob and the quick-thinking Brunt gave Albion a clear edge. Lambert’s reaction came 12 minutes into the second half, in a triple substitution, when Andreas Weimann and Fabian Delph replaced Tonev and Yacouba Sylla in midfield, with Gabby Agbonlahor relieving Kozak alongside Christian Benteke up front.

There was a dividend within 10 minutes, although only after Sessègnon had missed another chance for Albion. Bacuna crossed and Weimann won a header to divert the ball to Karim El Ahmadi, whose hooked volley looped in.

Albion seemed unsure whether to consolidate or push for a third. Villa scored the equaliser with 14 minutes remaining to set up a frenetic finish as Goran Popov’s badly directed clearing header from an Agbonlahor cross went straight to Ashley Westwood, whose shot from outside the box swerved away late to beat Myhill and give him his first Villa goal in his 42nd appearance.

Match facts

Goals. West Bromwich: Long 3, 11. Aston Villa: El Ahmadi 67, Westwood 76

WBA: Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Mulumbu, Yacob, Amalfitano, Sessègnon, Brunt, Long

Villa: Guzan, Clark, Baker, Vlaar, Bacuna, Tonev, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Sylla, Kozak, Benteke

Substitutes: West Bromwich Albion: Morrison (Sessègnon, 73), Anichebe (Popov, 82).

Aston Villa Delph (Sylla, 57), Weimann (Tonev, 57), Agbonlahor (Kozak, 57).

Booked: West Bromwich Mulumbu.

Aston Villa Clark, Agbonlahor.

Man of the match Long. Match rating 8/10.

Possession: West Brom 51% Aston Villa 49%.

Attempts on target: West Brom 4 A Villa 7.

Referee M Oliver (Nortumberland). Att 24,902

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine