Good lord that was a crazy match. Let's dive right into this, shall we?
It took West Bromwich Albion all of 4 minutes to open a one-goal lead over Aston Villa, when Chris Brunt took an absolute wonder-strike past a diving Brad Guzan:
It looks nice from that angle, but it looks even more incredible from a ways out:
Then, a mere five minutes later, Villa conceded the second when Fabian Delph deflected a ball that Guzan looked to have covered. Unfortunately, rather than directing the ball out of bounds, Delph put it into the net. I did not gif it. Because it was terrible. It seemed as if Villa were going to be beaten soundly in the match, but four minutes later (yes, 3 goals in 12 minutes) Andi Weimann took a long ball from Guzan (with an assist from Liam Ridgewell) and chipped it over the keeper to bring Villa back within one:
Alright. So everyone is going crazy by this point, but then the scoring stopped. We had to wait another TWELVE minutes to get the match's fourth goal. This one, from Leandro Bacuna, was comically ugly but hey those still count:
At this point, Paul Lambert decided to express how every fan felt:
Well, if you thought 12 minutes was a long time to go without a goal, the following 13 were unbearably long for you. But the fifth goal of the half went to Fabian Delph, who gave us another left-footed wonder-strike to put Villa up 3-2:
Surely Villa could hold their one-goal lead after coming back from a two-goal deficit, right? Hahaha, you must not watch a lot of Villa. Youssouf Mulumbu had other plans, and decided to give the match its sixth goal before the halftime whistle could even blow:
So yeah, halftime came as a well-needed rest for everyone. In the second half Villa came out looking to play more aggressive football. Despite the ambition, though, sloppiness kept them from picking up a fourth quickly. By around the 50th minute, West Brom seemed to be taking control. A free kick should have been converted by Diego Lugano, but the Uruguayan put it just wide to keep the score even.
But then in the 64th minute, Lugano compounded his bad day by hauling Christian Benteke down in the box for a penalty. Unlike Luis Suarez's dive against us in the Liverpool match, this was a clear and obvious decision:
Benteke cooly converted to give Villa the 4-3 lead, and his third goal in as many matches:
For the rest of the match, everything seemed nervy. Despite the lead, the Villa Park crowd was oddly quiet, and it seemed as if everyone were holding their breath. Paul Lambert brought on Grant Holt for Matthew Lowton, but in doing so put Holt up front and moved Bacuna to the back. A few minutes later he took off Weimann for Nathan Baker, obviously trying to do everything he could to hold the lead. Through regulation the tactic worked, and the refs added four minutes of horrifying stoppage time onto the end of the match. Despite a last-minute threatening corner, though, West Brom weren't able to add to the scoresheet.
So Villa took a hugely important win, put themselves 8 points clear of relegation, and are in 10th. Holy cow what a day. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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