Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa2West BromWest Bromwich Albion1

Aston Villa 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Villa Park
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke
  • Agbonlahor ends 14-game goal drought
  • Villa boss Tim Sherwood claims first win
  • West Brom score with only shot on target
  • Albion are without a win in nine away games

Christian Benteke scored from the penalty spot deep into injury time to give Tim Sherwood his first win as Aston Villa manager and lift them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Saido Berahino's 18th goal of the season looked to have extended Villa's run without victory to 13 league games after he equalised Gabriel Agbonlahor's first-half goal.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Someone shined down on us - Sherwood

But with only seconds remaining, West Brom keeper Ben Foster capped a performance riddled with uncertainty by fumbling a clearance then rushing out to bring down Matthew Lowton.

Benteke kept his cool to slide in the spot-kick in front an ecstatic Holte End to give Villa three points for the first time since 7 December.

Sherwood celebrated wildly with his backroom staff as the first of the six wins he says Villa need to stay up was secured - thanks in large part to Foster's poor handling and a rush of blood with the game almost over.

The former England midfielder will have been delighted by a vibrant first-half performance that was an example of the "front foot football" he is demanding, but Villa went off the boil after the break and needed that dramatic conclusion to get the win.

Over the line
Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa are the last side throughout all four English divisions to earn a league win in 2015.

Sherwood will hope it not only provides the momentum required in the run-in but also a psychological lift ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final between these two teams at Villa Park on Saturday.

Albion's in-form attacking partnership of Brown Ideye and Berahino were declared fit - but were virtual spectators and starved of supply as Villa dominated the first half.

Gabriel Agbonlahor
Agbonlahor scored his fourth goal of the season

In contrast, Villa used the pace of Agbonlahor and the power of Benteke to great effect, the pair combining as they took a lead they fully deserved after 22 minutes.

Benteke flicked on keeper Brad Guzan's clearance for Agbonlahor to outpace Joleon Lescott and roll a finish under Foster.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Tony Pulis says Albion 'did not deserve defeat'

Agbonlahor thought he had put Villa ahead earlier when Foster fumbled a routine shot, but goal-line technology confirmed West Brom's keeper had scrambled back just in time to grab the ball as it rolled towards goal.

And Foster needed the help of Lescott to salvage another desperate situation when the defender raced back to clear off the line after Albion's defence had again been exposed by the pace of Agbonlahor.

Villa's only frustration was that they had failed to increase their lead and they were denied by the woodwork in first-half stoppage time when Delph's precise shot from 20 yards bounced off the outside of the post to safety.

Gary Lineker

It was safe to assume manager Tony Pulis would have had harsh words with his players after a dreadful first-half performance and they were almost on terms early in the second half when Craig Dawson should have done better than miss the target from seven yards after meeting Chris Brunt's perfect free-kick.

Villa did not heed the warning signs and another super delivery from Brunt yielded the equaliser in the 66th minute, his dangerous corner being met at the far post by Lescott and Berahino reacting instinctively in a packed six-yard box to head past Guzan.

Ben Foster

The Baggies' equaliser shook Villa and tensions almost boiled over when Berahino and Alan Hutton squared up following a nasty challenge from the latter, who escaped with just a booking.

Amid the nerves and frustration at Villa Park it looked like Pulis's side had earned a draw until those final few seconds and Benteke's decisive penalty.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis suffered his second defeat as West Brom manager
Ben Foster stops Gabriel Agbonlahor's shot on the line
Ben Foster spilled Gabriel Agbonlahor's shot but stopped it on the line
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Agbonlahor scored his fourth goal of the season
Saido Berahino
Saido Berahino scored with West Brom's only effort on target
Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke had not scored in his last nine games

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 21HuttonBooked at 88mins
  • 5Okore
  • 6ClarkBooked at 81mins
  • 34Lowton
  • 15Westwood
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forBacunaat 77'minutes
  • 16Delph
  • 28N'ZogbiaSubstituted forGrealishat 59'minutes
  • 20Benteke
  • 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forWeimannat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 9Sinclair
  • 10Weimann
  • 24C Sánchez
  • 25Gil
  • 31Given
  • 40Grealish

West Brom

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Foster
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 6LescottBooked at 52mins
  • 11Brunt
  • 24Fletcher
  • 5YacobBooked at 42mins
  • 7MorrisonSubstituted forBairdat 90+2'minutes
  • 18BerahinoBooked at 88mins
  • 8GardnerBooked at 86mins
  • 9Ideye

Substitutes

  • 2Wisdom
  • 3Olsson
  • 4Baird
  • 13Myhill
  • 15Pocognoli
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 29Sessegnon
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
31,272

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home16
Away3
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home0
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 1. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  4. Post update

    Penalty Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton draws a foul in the penalty area.

  5. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion) after a foul in the penalty area.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jores Okore.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Baird replaces James Morrison.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is too high from a direct free kick.

  10. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion).

  12. Post update

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).

  14. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

  15. Booking

    Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Booking

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Alan Hutton (Aston Villa).

  18. Post update

    Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Booking

    Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea26186256223460
2Man City27167457273055
3Arsenal27156651292251
4Man Utd27148546262050
5Southampton28154939201949
6Liverpool27146740301048
7Tottenham2613584136544
8Swansea2711793134-340
9West Ham2710983933639
10Stoke27116103134-339
11Newcastle2798103242-1035
12Crystal Palace2879123139-830
13West Brom2879122636-1030
14Everton27610113339-628
15Hull2869132637-1127
16Sunderland28414102339-1626
17Aston Villa2867151538-2325
18QPR2664162745-1822
19Burnley27410132545-2022
20Leicester2646162442-1818
View full Premier League table

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