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January 29, 2014
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 36083
A. Weimann 12'
L. Bacuna 25'
F. Delph 37'
C. Benteke 64'
West Bromwich Albion
C. Brunt 4'
F. Delph 9' (own goal)
Y. Mulumbu 43'
What a game to end the day, eh? Many thanks for joining me tonight for this epic which, to paraphrase Monty Python, made Ben Hur look like a TV movie! I have been Hayden Gribble and I...need a lie down. Until next time, folks!
FULL TIME: ASTON VILLA 4-3 WEST BROM. The final whistle blows and Villa Park erupts in ecstasy! A penalty from Christian Benteke is enough to separate the Midlands sides after a frantic and breathless derby that neither team will forget in a hurry!
90' + 3'
OVER! It's all happening now! Lugano and Olsson get in each others way and the ball flies off one of their heads and out behind Guzan's goal. Was that the Baggies' last chance?
90' + 1'
CHANCE! There is a 'heart in the mouth' moment at the back for Villa as Brunt swings a dangerous ball into the area but Guzan is alive to it and smothers the ball.
Yellow Card Grant Holt
We will have FOUR minutes off added on time and the Baggies are pouring forward...
Yellow Card Jonas Olsson
STAT ATTACK: Christian Benteke has scored in consecutive Premier League appearances, having previously gone 11 league games without a goal.
Boy, has it gone quiet at Villa Park! The home side really should not take this as an easy final few minutes. It takes just one pass to make a chance and deny them all three points. Question is, can West Brom do it. The final ball is almost laughable as Mulumbu overhits his pass.
The Villa fans are urging their side towards the final whistles as the Baggies continue to probe the back four but with no luck. Have the visitors run out of steam?
STAT ATTACK: Aston Villa have not won in six meetings in this fixture since a 2-1 home victory in December 2010.
OUCH! Mulumbu had fallen to the ground and looks like he has cramp in his left leg. Just goes to show how intense this game has been. We are now about to enter the final ten minutes.
Karim El Ahmadi
I just have the feeling that there will be some late drama here. There is always a calm before the storm and it feels we are riding the wave right now.
He may not win any plaudits, but Ridgewell has been a constant outlet for attacking options down the Baggies' left flank. The visitors are still looking for another opening but the home side's defence has tightened up considerably in this half.
PENALTY? He may have turned up late to the party, but Benteke is causing all sorts of problems in the box. He cuts inside and draws a challenge from the on-rushing Foster, who just manages to get a stud on the ball to poke it away as the big man tumbles.
Yellow Card Chris Brunt
Now it's Brunt's turn to be shown a yellow card. The midfielder catches Delph's leg and is rightly cautioned. As we enter the final third of this game, is there yet more goals in this thriller?
Lugano has had an odd night tonight. Should have put his side ahead, then committed the foul that led to Villa's penalty and now he goes in the book for arguing with the referee.
Yellow Card Diego Lugano
BLOCKED! The home side are breaking again. Weimann is charging through, he must score...but his shot hits Bacuna en route to goal. That will sting in the morning!
STAT ATTACK: The Villans have won double the amount of points away (16) than they have at home (8) this season.
Penalty Goal C. Benteke
GOAL! ...And the Dutchman sends Foster the wrong way with a cheeky side foot into the bottom corner! Villa are back in front!
PENTALTY TO ASTON VILLA! Lugano wrestles Benteke to the ground! It's a blatant spot kick. The striker steps up...
Amalfitano is going spare at the assistant referee. The ball appears to go out and behind the goal for a corner off Clark but the officials give it as a goal kick. So much passion in this game!
PENALTY? Amalfitano has gone down under a challenge from Clark...and Mark Clattenburg waves play on! The visiting support are crying foul but I'm not so sure as it looks to me that the substitute was looking for it.
BLOCKED! It's started to get a little end to end again. Bacuna strikes on the left-hand-side of the area but his effort smashes into Olsson and away from danger.
WHAT A MISS! He has to score. He has to score! Lugano misses a sitter at the back post after being left unmarked at the back post. His diving header rises high into the Holte End.
STAT ATTACK: Aston Villa are winless in their last five home games in the Premier League and have the worst home record in the division, managing just eight points and eight goals in 11 fixtures.
SAVE..ISH! Morrison shapes himself up for a shot drom distance. It takes Guzan by surprise and swerves just before the keeper gathers it up and nearly falls into the back of the net! That was a close shave for Villa!
Is this the same match I am watching here? The support has goen a bit quiet and the ball seems to be stuck in midfield at the moment.
Pepe Mel is cutting a stern figure on the touchline as his side have struggled to get a foothold in this second half so far. Can his side go in front for a second time in this game?
It's the Villa who have come out on the offensive here. Benteke and Weimann are striking a fantastic partership up front and they play a nice one-two before Olsson steps in.
We are back underway with Villa kicking from right to left.
What do we have in store in the second half? I would be flabbergasted if this stays level as both sides are showing the hunger and determination to claim the win. They know they are taking part in a special game! Both teams are back out on the pitch.
HALFTIME: ASTON VILLA 3-3 WEST BROM. Has there ever been a Premier League game like this? We have had six goals, an injury to Nicolas Anelka, a comeback after the Baggies went 2-0 up after nine minutes but the home side went ahead thanks to a great finish from Delph, who also put through his own net earlier in the game. Oh, and Brunt opened proceedings with a goal of the month contender. Ladies and Gentlemen...we have an epic on our hands!
45' + 1'
CLOSE! Lowton, in acres of space in the box, looks for a teammate in the six-yard area but there are no claret and blue shirts in there. Now West Brom are bombing forward! Can they get a seventh goal in this fantastic game?
There will be THREE minutes of added on time.
Assist James Morrison
Goal Youssouf Mulumbu
GOAL! It's 3-3! Madness at Villa Park! Mulumbu gets clear after runnning onto a superb through ball and finishing low to Guzan's left. Is this the greatest first half in Premier League history?
GREAT SAVE! Foster has saved the Baggies' blushes. Benteke wriggles clear but his low shot hits the studs of the keeper who diverts it wide for a corner. So nearly 4-2!
How many times has Benteke been offside in this game? The talisman shrugs his shoulders in bemusement as the assistant referee flags again. How long will it take for him to get on the scoresheet?
The visitors are wasting no time to get up the other end of the pitch and equalise immediately. Reid's cross on the right is weak and dealt with by Bertrand. What a brilliant game this is!
Assist C. Benteke
Goal Fabian Delph
GOAL! Delph is redeemed! Benteke wins the header and knocks it on for the midfielder, who takes a great touch to get away from his marker and rifle it past Foster. This is a classic!
WHOOPS! Benteke goes for the spectacular...and ends up on his behind after failing to connect with an ambitious overhead.
Vlaar has been an absolute rock at the back so far tonight. The skipper leads by example to thwart another Baggies assault.
Mulumbu is lightning quick to anticipate a sloppy ball. He plays a one-two with Brunt but the referee blows his whistle for offside before he can challenge Guzan between the Villa sticks.
A mistake from Morrison gifts possession to the home side but Delph's ball to Benteke sees the striker in an offside position.
Now Anichebe is limping slightly after getting caught by a challenge from Vlaar. This game has finally settled into a good rhythm, who will strike next?
They don't hang around in the Midlands, do they? The Villans are oozing confidence as another attack is thwarted by a shell-shocked Baggies defence. There is more to come, surely?
Assist Matthew Lowton
Goal Leandro Bacuna
GOAL! My word! Another goal in this one and its an equaliser for Villa! Lowton puts a low cross into the six-yard-box and Bacuna fluffs his lines as he slides in but it still falls agonisingly over the line. It's all square now!
Oh dear. It looks like Anelka has picked up a problem. The Frenchman limps down the tunnel to receive treatment. Will we see him again before this game is out?
CURLED WIDE! Anelka shows real determination to slide onto a loose ball and give possession to Morrison, but his swerving effort is off target and goes out for a goal kick.
CHANCE! I am gasping for breath after this frantic start. The words 'lively derby' do not serve this game any credit. Bacuna beats the offside trap but his looping effort is met by Foster, who tips it out for a corner. He then saves from a tame effort from Benteke.
SO CLOSE! Villa should have equalised! Weimann plays a lovely pass into the middle of the park for Bacuna, who just shapes his shot wide of Foster's post.
STRAIGHT AT THE KEEPER! Anichebe wins a free-kick in a dangerous position. Anelka looks to be sizing it up but his shot is tame and straight into the hands of Guzan.
Fabian Delph tries to make amends for his own goal by finding Benteke in the middle but the visitors are water-tight at the back. It's like a cup tie here at Villa Park!
Goal Andreas Weimann
GOAL! Incredible. Just incredible. Villa are back in it! A long ball over the top from keeper Guzan finds Weimann, who runs in behind and delicately chips a lovely finish over Foster. Game on!
At this point in this reverse fixture earlier this season, the away side found themselves two goals up after 11 minutes. This time, they have struck twice within FIVE minutes. Some Villa fans look like they want to pack up and go home already!
Own Goal Fabian Delph
GOAL! It's an absolute disaster for Villa here as a quick free-kick finds it's way to Morrison, who puts a low ball into the box only for Delph to steer it past his own keeper. Oh dear, Villa, oh dear!
STAT ATTACK: West Brom are winless in their last eight Premier League away matches, with their only victory all season coming at Old Trafford in September.
Well, that has certainly silenced the home support! Paul Lambert is furious on the sidelines as Brunt goes through again but he is halted by the on-rushing Guzan. The goalscorer looks to be in some pain after that, though.
Assist Liam Ridgewell
Goal Chris Brunt
GOAL! Wow, what a start! It's a belter from Brunt! Ridgewell swings a low cross in from the left first time out and the midfielder hits a thunderbolt into the top right-hand corner. First blood to the visitors!
It's the Villans who have started the brightest as they look to build a good tempo on the ball. They have the home support firmly behind them as Villa Park is rocking!
And we are off, with West Brom kicking from right to left!
The players emerge out of the tunnel to a roar from the expectant fans. Not long now!
TEN MINUTES TO GO! Although the Villans are sitting relatively comfortably in the league their home form has been worrying for the club. Will they change that tonight and grab all three points and plunge their neighbours further down the table? Or will it be West Brom who have the last laugh?
Paul Lambert has to make do without the injured Gabriel Agbonglahor up front and changes his formation slightly as Matthew Lowton steps in. For the Baggies, Pepe Mel has made two changes to the side who drew 1-1 with Everton last time out. Youssouf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe replace Zoltan Gera and Matej Vydra.
The match referee is Mark Clattenburg.
West Brom (4-4-2): Foster; Reid, Lugano, Olsson, Ridgewell; Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Anelka, Anichebe. Subs: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Dorrans, Vydra, Berahino, Amalfitano.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bertrand; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph; Bacuna, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Steer, Baker, Sylla, Helenius, Albrighton, Holt, Tonev.
Good evening and welcome to our coverage of this tasty Premier League derby between Aston Villa and West Brom. My name is Hayden Gribble and I shall be bringing you all the action from tonight's clash in the Midlands. The team news is coming right up...
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