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West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa: Controversial last-minute goal from Jay Rodriguez gives Baggies a point

West Brom celebrate their controversial goal against Aston Villa
West Brom celebrate their controversial goal against Aston Villa

A controversial stoppage-time equaliser from Jay Rodriguez gave West Brom a last-gasp 2-2 derby draw against Aston Villa at the Hawthorns.

Anwar El Ghazi's brace looked set to see the visitors join their rivals in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places, but Rodriguez forced the ball home and referee Darren England decided it was with his head, rather than hand, after a lengthy consultation with his assistant.

Rodriguez admitted to Sky Sports after the game that the ball had gone in off his hand.

Dwight Gayle had cancelled out El Ghazi's opener with his 10th of the season for the home side during a pulsating first half.

Dean Smith's side dominated after the break and might have been out of sight had 11-goal striker Tammy Abraham taken one of several chances that fell to him.

Fast start to derby game

A high-octane start was short of chances but Matt Phillips came close with a drilled effort from 30 yards after as the ball fizzed past the far post.

Moments later the visitors took a 12th-minute lead. Yannick Bolasie's cross was only half-cleared and nobody closed down Dutch winger El Ghazi, whose 20-yard effort deflected off Jake Livermore and Ahmed Hegazi to wrongfoot Sam Johnstone.

Gayle levelled in the 28th minute after excellent work by Barnes. The winger was found on halfway by a long ball and, having got the wrong side of Hutton, produced a telling cross which the Newcastle loanee dispatched with a sliding finish.

Abraham should have restored Villa's lead when he was played in by Jack Grealish, but the England forward snatched at his effort and Johnstone comfortably saved, before John McGinn thundered a 30-yard effort against the post.

If there was a touch of fortune about El Ghazi's opener, there was no luck required with his second after 59 minutes - the Lille loanee hammering a 20-yard effort into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.

Bolasie headed wide after more trickery from El Ghazi down the right as Villa turned the screw, and Abraham missed a sitter as he tripped over the ball when Bolasie's low cross found him unmarked six yards out.

The on-loan Chelsea striker then headed over following a one-two with El Ghazi, while at the other end Gayle's effort from Barnes' cutback was hacked clear by Hutton.

Gayle's effort from a tight angle with six minutes left was comfortable for Nyland, before Rodriguez punished Villa's profligacy.

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Most Read Football

1

'Pogba's days are numbered'

Roy Keane thinks Paul Pogba will be leaving Old Trafford in the summer after he was left on the bench during the club’s 3-1 defeat against Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho in the Anfield dugout2

Mourinho shoulders blame for defeat

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Geraint Thomas poses with the SPOTY award3

Thomas wins SPOTY prize

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Xherdan Shaqiri scores for Liverpool against Manchester United4

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