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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor