Editor’s note: Sometimes we’re late. That just means you get to relive the win once more.
In the end, what a bizarre, twisted and ultimately delightful game it was that played out at Villa Park on Tuesday night.
If those three points were going to go either way, of course it had to be to Aston Villa, but it looked as though it would end all square. However, Ezri Konsa had something to say about that with the final kick of the game.
In all honesty, Villa didn’t look terrible in the first half. The first few minutes weren’t the best, but Villa began to exert pressure through their attack in the middle of that first half. Still, they never found anything close to an end product.
Grealish ran the attacks but having no recognized striker once again showed in Villa’s play. In the 38’, Watford broke through with a quick 1-2 and Gerard Deulofeu’s resulting cross was thumped home by the head of Troy Deeney.
Of course it was Troy Deeney looking like he was going to score the winner in a 1-0 game at Villa Park.
Troy Deeney has now scored six goals in his four Premier League appearances against Aston Villa:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 21, 2020
The boyhood Birmingham City fan is loving it. pic.twitter.com/TIXT03FdiF
Tyrone Mings got his name in the referee’s book for a late challenge at the end of the first half, seeing a yellow card.
The Hornets carried their 1–0 league into the break.
When the second half started, Villa pressed on again, but still generated nothing dangerous enough to cause a threat at goal early on.
A big scramble in front of the Villa net almost saw Deeney find his second of the night, but Pepe Reina reacted brilliantly two or three times to keep the ball out of the net, and keep Villa in the match.
Not a minute later, Douglas Luiz came on for Danny Drinkwater in the 56’, and once again made a case for starting games with him on the pitch.
It took just 12 minutes for him to make an impact. In the 68’, Jack Grealish drew the Watford defenders into the box and slotted it over for Matt Targett to fire at goal, but his shot was parried away for Douglas Luiz to smash into the roof of the net.
Not his best finish for sure, but even the ugly ones count. And his celebration in the Holte End was something else (also earned him a yellow card).
After several more chances in both halves, Indiana Vassilev came on for Trézéguet in the 77’. The young American almost got on the end of a Targett cross in the 85’ after more great link-up play with Grealish. But it wasn’t on net and a goal kick was called.
Grealish danced his way into the box just on the brink of the 90th minute, but couldn’t find enough space to shoot, and there wasn’t enough contact from the defender to win a penalty.
In the four minutes of added time, Nigel Pearson looked to be settling for a draw, bringing off Deulofeu for Christian Kabasele. Then Villa earned a free kick at midfield right before the end of the final minute. Pepe Reina came up from the box to launch the ball forward. Kortney Hause flicked it on, Tyrone Mings touched it forward and as he got tackled down, there was Ezri Konsa stepping up to smash the ball towards the top corner and snag the crucial three points at Villa Park.
The ball actually nicked off Mings while he was on the ground, so he was credited with the goal. But we all know it was you, Ezri.
It was Pearson that elected to bring on an extra defender, but in the end it was Aston Villa’s three centerbacks that linked up to get the job done. The goal from Konsa/Mings lifted Villa over their opponents and out of the relegation zone, an absolutely massive victory.
The weekend is free for Villa to prepare for the second leg of the league cup tie against Leicester. Until then, we suggest the *Konsa* goal again and again. Relegation-battling side Bournemouth is up next in the Premier League, another incredibly important match.
Big times ahead. Keep the faith. UP THE VILLA!!