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Aston Villa vs Hull City: 2-2

Aston Villa rescued a point at home Saturday, but fell further behind in the Championship promotion race.

Aston Villa v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Tammy Abraham of Aston Villa encourages the supporters during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 23, 2018 in Birmingham, England.
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Goals from James Chester and Tammy Abraham rescued Aston Villa from a 2-0 deficit Saturday at Villa Park, as the Claret and Blues battled back to earn a 2-2 draw with Hull City to keep them at the fringe of the promotion race.

The visitors played most of the first half on the front foot, and if not for James Chester, would have led eight minutes in. Conor Hourihane gave the ball away in the Villa half, which let Hull break on a counterattack. Kamil Grosicki’s cross in front of goal deflected off Tommy Elphick, but Chester’s clearance off the line kept his centre back partner from an own goal.

The breakthrough would eventually come 20 minutes later, though, when some poor Villa defending saw Hull go 1-0 up as Jarrod Bowen fired past Lovre Kalinić. Just over 10 minutes later, the visitors doubled their advantage with the Villa defence caught out of sorts again, as Evandro scored after turning home from a cross played back across the penalty area.

Villa may not have gotten anything out of Saturday’s match if not for a sublime free kick routine on the stroke of half-time. Conor Hourihane took the free kick from the wing, and it found James Chester’s head, who scored to make it 2-1 and give the hosts momentum going into the break.

Alan Hutton got forward just past the hour mark and played a cross in for Abraham. The Chelsea loanee’s first strike was blocked, but he stayed with it, beat two defenders to the follow-up, and slotted home to make it 2-2.

While Villa carried most of the play after their equalizer, Lovre Kalinić made a huge save on 90 minutes to ensure Villa headed home with a point.

However, Villa end the day further behind sixth place than where they started it, as Derby County’s win puts the Rams seven points clear of the Claret and Blues. For the time being, Villa still sit 12th in the Championship, though a Swansea City win would push Dean Smith’s side into the bottom half.