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  • 22 October 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 34152
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Aston Villa 1-2 West Brom: Alex McLeish suffers first home defeat after controversial Herd sending off turns game

Aston Villa 1-2 West Brom: Alex McLeish suffers first home defeat after controversial Herd sending off turns game

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Referee Phil Dowd villain of the match as he sent off the midfielder for a nothing challenge on Jonas Olsson, who then turned goalscorer as the Baggies came from behind to win

Paul Scharner scored a second-half winner as West Brom won at Aston Villa
2-1 for the first time since 1979, in a dramatic and controversial Midlands derby which saw two penalties and a red card.

The Austrian fired home after getting on the end of Chris Brunt’s corner to give his side a second consecutive victory and keep their unbeaten run going to four matches.

However, the match will be remembered for a number of refereeing decisions which saw Alan Hutton escape a red card for injuring Shane Long and Chris Herd sent off for fouling Jonas Olsson inside the area, only for Brunt to miss the spot kick.

Villa had taken the lead early on after a mix-up from Ben Foster and Steven Reid saw the goalkeeper bring down Gabriel Agbonlahor inside the area, with Darren Bent stepping up to score.

However the home side were left in shock by a series of decisions which seemed to go against them and in the end could not provide a response to Scharner’s goal.

Alex McLeish reacted to last Saturday’s heavy defeat to Manchester City by ringing the changes to his side. As expected, James Collins returned to the starting line-up having recovered from a groin injury and replaced Ciaran Clark.

Charles N’Zogbia and Barry Bannan came in for Emile Heskey and Stephen Ireland, whilst Herd made his second start of the season in place of Fabian Delph.

Roy Hodgson made just one change to the side that defeated Wolves last week, replacing Somen Tchoyi with Peter Odemwingie.

West Brom have scored five goals inside the first 10 minutes of games this season, but it was the home side who should have opened the scoring early on.

Steven Reid’s poor clearance from inside his own area went straight to Bannan and his mis-hit shot found Bent unmarked eight yards out, but he could only sky the ball over the bar.

Bannan then had another chance to strike from a similar distance after Olsson had headed away Stephen Warnock’s cross, but this time he smashed it narrowly over.

The tackles were certainly flying in from Villa, with Herd being warned by referee Phil Dowd for one challenge and Alan Hutton fortunate to get away with a two-footed tackle on Long which left the striker needing treatment.

Long returned to the pitch soon after only to be fouled by Hutton again, who this time received a yellow card for his trouble. The Baggies top scorer tried to continue but eventually was replaced by Tchoyi.

Things soon got worse for the away side as they gifted Villa a penalty. Reid waited for Foster to collect the ball inside his own area, but Agbonlahor reacted quickest to nip in ahead of them before being brought down by the goalkeeper.

Bent sent Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot, and duly celebrated in front of the West Brom away contingent.


           Derby delight | Paul Scharner earns West Brom first Villa Park victory since 1979

The visitors responded well though to the double set back of losing a goal and their top scorer, with Jerome Thomas shooting over from the edge of the area.

The match then turned back in favour of the Baggies, with Dowd giving them a penalty after being informed by his linesman of a stamp by Herd on Olsson inside the area, which replays showed to be a harsh decision on the midfielder.

Herd was sent off, but Brunt was unable to take advantage of the spot-kick as he sliced the ball wide.

Given then had to save well from Tchoyi’s powerful shot on the edge of the area and Hutton was replaced by Carlos Cuellar after an accidental collision with one of his own players.

But in a dramatic first-half, West Brom still had time to level the scores as Olsson again incurred the wrath of the home fans by out-jumping Collins to head home Brunt’s corner from the right-hand side.

Then minutes later Thomas was played through by Odemwingie before slotting the ball past Given, but the linesman incorrectly ruled him offside.

Boos rung out at half-time as the officials left the field, with both teams having grievances over decisions made against their sides.

The second half started quieter but West Brom soon managed to get on top once again. First, Given had to palm away Youssouf Mulumbu’s shot from the edge of the area then Olsson headed over another Brunt corner when he should have scored.

But the visitors were soon in the lead from yet another corner, this time from the left. Brunt’s delivery found Scharner in the area and he managed to scoop his shot above Given on to the underside of the bar and into the net.

The Austrian once again revealed the t-shirt emblazed with the West Brom logo in celebration that endured the wrath of Wolves' boss Mick McCarthy last weekend.

McLeish responded by bringing on Heskey from the bench for the disappointing N’Zogbia, but it was the Baggies who nearly bagged a third goal after Villa once again failed to defend a corner adequately.

Thomas received the ball from Brunt and dribbled into the area, only to see his goal-bound shot deflected wide by Collins.

Collins then flicked a header wide from a rare Villa corner, but West Brom looked comfortable in defence.

Villa pushed for an equaliser but rarely looked close to finding it. In fact, it was Odemwingie who came closest to scoring next, but he missed the ball in front of goal after Tchoyi's centre along the floor.

As the final whistle blew, the West Brom fans were jubilant as they celebrated a rare win at Villa Park.

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