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30 September 2012
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 34489
D. Bent 80'
West Bromwich Albion
S. Long 51'
So it's a point apiece for the sides in this Midlands derby, with both sides' No.9s on the score sheet, Darren Bent cancelling out Shane Long's opener. Thanks for keeping with the game at Goal.com today and keep your eyes peeled for our match report and player ratings, which will be on site imminently!
90' + 5'
Bannan whips the ball over but Clark heads wide and the referee blows the final whistle!
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Gabriel Sebastian Tamaş
90' + 4'
N'Zogbia lifts the ball over Tamas before the Romanian brings him down to save his defence and earn a yellow card. One last chance for Villa...
90' + 3'
Villa are the ones chasing the win here, but can't get their foot on the ball. A chance to build an attack presents itself but Clark wastes possession, launching the ball upfield, with bent unable to get on the end of it.
90' + 1'
Lukaku very nearly breaks clear, but Bennett sticks his leg out to clear the ball away, the former Middlesbrough man was the last line of defence for Villa there, great defending.
90' + 1'
The 90 is up and we will have four additional minutes.
West Brom still looking dangerous on the counter! Lukaku pulls into space and Morrison threads a ball into his path, the angle is narrow and Guzan saves the Belgian's shot, Gera gets onto the rebound but handballs and the chance is gone.
Olsson again clears from Holman's low cross, Villa retrieve the ball with Lowton bursting down the right before cutting back to Bent on the edge of the box but the England man curls his effort over the bar.
Villa have finally clicked, Bennett whips a ball across the face of goal, but Agbonlahor is on his heels and cannot capitalise, Holman sends the ball back in from the opposite flank and Olsson slices over the bar for a corner.
The corner was delayed as McAuley received treatment, and Olsson smashes his header wide under pressure from Vlaar when Dorrans does deliver.
Both sides go close in the space of half a minute! Agbonlahor zooms forward, and breaks into the box but McAuley just gets enough on his shot to make it easy for Foster. West Brom counter at pace and Lukaku's effort from wide is deflected up and over Guzan and goes wide after clipping the post!
The strike is Darren Bent's 150th career league goal, and Paul Lambert is urging his players to find a winner! West Brom are also wanting three points and Mulumbu's effort from range is charged down by Bannan.
Goal Darren Bent
GOAL!! It's finally an equaliser and Darren bent proves a point! Holman's effort was deflected for a corner and FINALLY a good delivery from Bannan is headed down to Clark, his effort is saved by Foster but only to Bent who tucks home left-footed.
The West Brom half has 21 players in it as Villa surge forward. A long ball into the area causes a bit of mayhem and the ball falls to N'Zogbia but the Frenchman snaps his shot wide.
Villa are looking to set up camp in West Brom's half now, N'Zogbia swings a cross in from the right but it's behind his strikers and Tamas smashes away. The home side keep the pressure on and Foster does well to save a corner, rushing from his line to hack away after Lowton's cross is deflected.
Today's set-piece delivery has been pretty shocking from both sides. James Morrison the latest culprit, hitting the corner to nobody in West Brom colours, Clark easily clearing.
Bennett can only flick Brunt's ball into Lukaku's path, the Chelsea loanee holds the ball up before firing a shot in that is deflected away for a corner.
He was mentioned at half-time as a key man, and here he is! Shane Long has ran himself into the ground and is replaced by the big Belgian Romelu Lukaku.
Villa look short of quality still, Vlaar heads well over form a free kick. Third change for Villa with Barry Bannan replacing Fabian Delph.
Finally Villa introduce their main threat. Darren Bent replacing the struggling Benteke.
MacAuley makes a mess of a header as the ball drops out the sky, with Agbonlahor pouncing and feeding Benteke, the Belgian hits an early effort that is deflected for a corner. N'Zogbia's delivery isn't much better than Albrighton's with the ball failing to get past the first man.
Popov the latest to go close for the Baggies, as he twists and turns before hitting a shot wide with team-mates well placed. Villa also make a change with Charles N'Zogbia replacing Albrighton. Still no Darren Bent.
Tamas almost scores by accident! The Romanian gets the ball from Morrison and fires a cross in that is completely miscued but looks to be heading for the top corner, but Guzan reacts well to palm the ball out.
Villa work a good position, with Albrighton charging down the right and options in the middle but the winger's delivery is again poor, and straight at Foster. He is usually a fine crosser but is having a major off day here.
Long drifts into acres of space on the edge of the box and Morrison finds him with a good ball. The Irishman scuffs a first-time effort when he could have moved in on goal, but it matters not, as he was offside.
West Brom get a free kick in a shooting position but Dorrans can only hit the wall, the ball is played into the area from the rebound and Long looks to turn Vlaar but the Dutchman is too strong.
CLOSE! Bennett whips a left-footed effort just past the post, Foster appeared to have it covered, though.
Another free kick for Villa, this one is right on the edge of the box after Yacob fells Benteke, Bennett and Vlaar are lining it up...
The Villa crowd are vociferous now as Albrighton's free kick is headed behind by Olsson with Benteke lurking. The corner is cleared easily, Albrighton's delivery hasn't been as good as it could have been today.
Almost an instant response from Villa and the touch paper has been lit here! Holman gets down the right and pulls the ball across the box, Benteke has a tap-in but Tamas launches into a superb block and Albrighton can't get onto the rebound. Great defending from the Romanian!
Goal Shane Long
GOALL!!! That one does count though and it's Long again! Great movement from Morrison beats the offside trap from Gera's ball, Lowton plays the Scot onside and he bursts forward before crossing to Long who finishes with Vlaar missing his clearance.
The ball is in the net! But it's offside! Mulumbu swings a deep ball in the Long plants into the net with a firm header but he is inches ahead of play. A good spot from the assistant.
West Brom hoof the ball up the field and Long does excellently to keep the ball alive and win a corner. Gera heads well wide from the set-piece, and was put off by the presence of his team-mate Olsson.
Holman looking to push forward for Villa and tries to muscle his way past Popov but concedes a free kick, the Macedonian did have a good hand of his shirt, though.
Villa kick us off!
The teams a re back out, and the second half will be starting imminently!
Russell Stoddart is our man at Villa Park and is enjoying Warwickshire County Cricket Club parading around the pitch with their recently-won County Championship trophy!
Villa have been largely on top, and have gone closest. West Brom have been forced into making two changes already, can they bounce back in the second half?
@Savvydoran has picked his key man, and he's on the bench! "It depends on when Lukaku comes on!!"
It's been a tight affair at Villa Park, with chances at a premium. Who do you think will come out on top here? Tweet me @matthewgscott with your predictions!
45' + 2'
Jones has been forced off with Gabriel Tamas on in his place, and the half-time whistle is blown. The first half ends goalless!
45' + 1'
Gabriel Sebastian Tamaş
45' + 1'
More injury worries for West Brom as Billy Jones goes down in pain after playing a pass with no-one near him. It looks a very innocuous one but the right-back is limping off.
Morrison goes close to finding Long with a through ball but Clark snuffs out the danger. The ball is cleared and Benteke robs MacAuley before heading infield, he takes an extra touch to get past Olsson before firing over. The Belgian looks a touch short on confidence.
Popov gets caught on the ball inside his own half and Agbonlahor robs him before darting clear, his cut-back is behind his team-mates, though and tidied up by Mulumbu.
Best chance so far! Albrighton breaks forward before finding Holman on the opposite flank, the Australian twists and turns before firing an effort that deflects off Olsson, but Foster reacts well to palm away.
Indeed Brunt does depart, Graham Dorrans is quickly summoned as his replacement.
Problem for Brunt who pulls up while trying to block Lowton's cross, it appears to be a hamstring injury and he immediately calls to be substituted.
Brett Holman has his second effort from range as Agbonlahor holds the ball up well before feeding the Australian, but this time his shot dribbles wide.
It's a poor game and this sums it up, Joe Bennett takes a throw-in but is flagged offside as Agbonlahor plays it back to him first-time. Complete lack of awareness from the striker there.
A nearly moment for the Baggies, Brunt plays a good ball into Long, who is behind a high Villa backline, but the offside flag goes up.
Morrison looks to feed Long with a diagonal ball, and the Irishman nods the ball back to Brunt who smashes a wild effort high and wide. The shot is indicative of a lack of quality in the game so far.
Slick passing from Villa as Vlaar bludgeons his way through midfield before feeding Agbonlahor who turns well and feeds Benteke in the channel. The Belgian hits a first-time effort from a tough angle and it is not a good shot, sailing well wide.
A scruffy passage of play sees Long rob Delph in midfield before feeding Gera, who himself almost gives it away, West Brom just manage to hold on to the ball and Brunt looks to dink a ball into Long, but it is over-hit.
Great effort from Holman who hits a dipping volley with the ball sitting nicely for him, the shot is fairly close to Ben Foster, however, and the former England keeper palms the ball over fairly comfortably. The keeper then does well to claim the ball as it is played into the box after the resulting corner.
Brunt wastes the resulting free kick, looping his effort into a non-threatening position and Villa eventually get the ball away.
Yellow Card Fabian Delph
Both sides tussle for the ball, and it breaks lose for James Morrison, with the Scot looking to break away, Fabian Delph lunges in to get the ball, but a fouls is given for the force of the challenge and Delph also picks up the game's first booking.
The match has lost a touch of it's frenetic nature now as West Brom get their foot on the ball and try to play it around. Villa are still closing them down and snapping into challenges, making it difficult.
Still plenty of endeavour from the home side here, West Brom have had a good campaign, though, and have dangerous players in their team. One of them is Zoltan Gera, who fires at Guzan. The home fans have now began applauding with the match entering the 19th minute - a new tradition at Villa Park in support of the club's No.19, Stilian Petrov.
The Villans have been tenacious in midfield so far and a re keen to work the ball into the flanks before crossing for the giant Benteke in the centre, Jonas Olsson is again required to make a clearance from Agbonlahor's centre.
More pressure from Villa from the flanks, this time Agbonlahor sends a ball towards Benteke but Olsson reacts well to head the ball behind. The corner once again comes to nothing.
This is an end-to-end affair at the moment, Joe Bennett bursts down the left and sends in a dangerous cross that Popov clears with Albrighton homing in on the ball behind him.
Penalty shout from the away side as Popov's cross is blocked away by Albrighton's arm but it would have been harsh and a corner is given. A melee ensues as the ball is delivered but Villa stand firm and clear their lines.
Villa's turn to put pressure on their opponents now. Ron Vlaar sends a long ball towards Benteke, that MacAuley intercepts but can only run out for a corner. The Ulsterman just nudges Vlaar in the back as he looks to get onto the corner, and it drifts away to safety.
Long again in a dangerous position as he does well to control a powerfully-hit long ball, before twisting into a speculative volley that drifts into the stand.
Long should score! Villa give the ball away in midfield and Gera picks the ball up and hits an over-hit cross, Brunt retrieves the ball and sends in a better delivery that Morrison heads to the Irishman, but he glances wide from close range.
Close! Agbonlahor drifts into the right channel and is found with a long ball. The Villa forward whips a dangerous ball in but Christian Benteke is a whisker away from making contact.
It's been a cagey start, although Billy Jones has already surged forward from full-back, hinting the Baggies are keen to stamp their authority on this one early on.
We're underway with Villa kicking from left to right!
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Mulumbu, Yacob; Gera, Morrison, Brunt; Long. Subs: L Daniels, Tamas, El Ghanassy, Lukaku, Fortune, Dorrans, Rosenberg.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett; El Ahmadi, Delph; Albrighton, Holman, Agbonlahor; Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, N’Zogbia, Lichaj, Bannan, Westwood, Weimann.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of Aston Villa v West Brom. Team news for the only Premier League Midlands derby this season on the way shortly!
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