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Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace: Instant Reaction

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In a game that looked for all the world as if it were destined for a draw, Aston Villa found a way to lose.

Clive Mason

Coming into the match on a three game losing streak, this was one that felt like you had to win for Aston Villa.  Going up against second-bottom Crystal Palace, managed by Tony Pulis, the match looked winnable enough.  However, Villa have been very poor at home this season, and today was no exception.

The first half was one of the worst halves of football that you may see all season.  Both teams looked to pump balls into the box, and were not very successful.  Villa ended the half with 2/3 of the possession, but nothing to show for it.

The second half started off more positively, with both sides getting chances and the game opening up.  After about 15 minutes though, it slowed down a bit back towards the pace of the first half.  It definitely was a better half for both sides, and Palace really were the better team out there.  But it looked like it was going to be a draw, until the 92nd minute.  Villa had an attacking set-piece, but weren't able to do anything with it.  Palace cleared, and found Dwight Gayle on the counter attack who was able to unleash a curling strike from the top of the 18 that swept into the upper right corner of Brad Guzan's net.  Only about half of the fans were left at Villa Park were still there to see it.  A point for both teams would have been a fair result, but this was a really bad one to lose.