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Watford vs. Aston Villa final score: Villa throw away a win in the final minutes

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Aston Villa had a victory. And then they decided to let Watford have it instead.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

How in the world did the scoreline end up at Watford 3-2 Aston Villa?

Villa had the lead for most of this match. Ciaran Clark used a beautiful run and well-timed header to open the scoring from an Ashley Westwood corner in the 28th minute. That 0-1 lead was the first time Villa had led since the final whistle against Norwich on February 6. But then, in stoppage time in the first half, Idrissa Gana Gueye gave up a terrible foul, and Almen Abdi was able to curl in a beautiful free kick over a wall that didn't even try to jump. Halftime saw Villa tied 1-1.

But it didn't take long to regain the lead, as Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede played a beautiful give-and-go that resulted in a perfect strike from Ayew to give Villa the lead back at 1-2. That's where it would stay for most of the rest of the match.

In the 73rd minute, though, Villa gave up a counter on a corner and Aly Cissokho had to make a last-ditch diving tackle to prevent a probable goal just outside the box. He got the ball cleanly, but lifted a leg to trip the Watford player afterwards and was given a straight red that struck me as being FAR too harsh. Nevertheless, Villa were down to 10 men and the referee had lost control of the match. From that point on, three more cards were given, including a very soft yellow to Abdi who totally missed the ball and basically kicked Gana in the knees. There wasn't even a chance of getting the ball, but he got off with just the yellow.

Villa tried valiantly to hold on but Troy Deeney netted a brace in the 90th and 93rd minutes. And what had been a triumphal match that would've seen Villa increase their point total by nearly 20% instead became the eleventh loss in a row. There was some good here, but it's all overshadowed by the way in which it fell apart.

What a waste. Just end already, season from hell.