West Bromwich Albion snatched a controversial late equaliser to deny neighbours Aston Villa three points at the Hawthorns.
Villa led after 12 minutes as an Anwar El Ghazi deflected effort found the Albion net. The Baggies found an equaliser a quarter of an hour later, as Dwight Gayle met a Harvey Barnes cross.
After going in level at the break, El Ghazi restored Villa’s lead from a fabulous strike with the outside of his boot. The first goal may have been lucky, but this was simply sublime from the Dutch winger.
It was the 91st minute that controversy was to descend on The Hawthorns. Jay Rodriguez appeared to head home an equaliser that sent Albion players and fans wild with celebration, and Villa players and fans wild with despair. Replays showed the ball had struck Rodriguez on the arm before finding the net. The officials deliberated for a short-time, but ultimately the goal was given.
Fans took to social media to respond to the controversial incident.
VAR back in the spotlight. Whether you’re for or against it, you can’t deny the aftermath and debate is part of the game. However, in this case Aston Villa would have gone home happy without a feeling of injustice.
Overall, Villa feel robbed by the decision that cost them the points. Albion feel they deserved a share of the spoils after a close fought game.
A win would have seen Villa climb into the Play-off picture. Instead, they remain 8th. West Brom are still in 3rd, and in with a shout of automatic promotion. However, it’s still early days as we are only approaching the half way point of the season.