Ayew was a handful. Gestede increasingly a nuisance. Toner, the youngster seizing a are opportunity came in at centre half. He looked diligent.
Watford looked like a side that had been struggling since the turn of the year. Flores, the under pressure Hornets coach a visibly nervy figure on the sidelines. This unease translated onto the pitch with the hosts struggling to control the game.
Aside from a fine effort from Watson, hammered onto the bar, it was scrappy.
Villa were no better in the early exchanges, wasteful in possession and hampered by the lack of an “out ball”. The decision by caretaker Eric Black to play 5 across the back keeping us deep.
From a well earned corner, Ciaran Clark headed in the opener. It was a surprise; Westwood set piece and a goal. Collectors item. Duly accepted. The away end was in raptures.
Villa looked better for the goal. Watford huffed and puffed but it looked like the half was settled…
In typical Villa fashion a poor free kick was conceded on the edge of the box. Gana the offending party. Clumsy, desperate challenge. The Villa wall decided not to jump and the ball sailed in beyond Bunn.
We have conceded so many times in stoppage time this season, the fact requires no citation. All of the hard work over 45 minutes was clownishly undone.
The second half Villa emerged brightly. A positive and unusual thing to happen this season.
Ayew, who had been threatening all day cut through the central channel, aided by a give and go before driving home to make it 2-1. A fine goal for Ayew and a further demonstration of his quality if we can retain it.
Cissokho found himself stranded after a long ball required him to intercept, with both our centre halves AWOL.
Whilst Cissokho won the ball, the referee judged that he had then brought down Watford striker purposely. Red card. Feck.
I thought it was a harsh decision live & still think so on second viewing. Rose tinted glasses perhaps, but I just don’t see how Cissokho, having won the ball, can do anything about his opponent going over him.
If there was anything riding on it I would debate it more, but I’m resigned to such decisions going against us in what is a cursed season.
Villa re-organised repeatedly after this. There were 2, maybe even 3 reshuffles of the back-line before Jordan Ayew was sacrificed for Carlos Sanchez. Personally I would have removed Gestede.
Despite this visible disorder Villa seemed to have weathered the storm as 90 minutes approached. Watford had again been tentative in their attacks and watched as many were broken down. I was surprised by their lack of urgency as the home crowd grew in discontent.
Two poorly defended crosses into the box saw Deeney grab both the equaliser and winner deep into stoppage time.
Deeney is the dislikeable, former Bluenose who rubs us all up for the wrong reasons. I wrote in November about my disdain for his celebrations in front of The Holte End.
In all honestly, his drive and never say die attitude are traits we as a club desperately lack. Deeney’s vocal fury throughout the second half at the lack of decent service to him from his team-mates was further evidence.
He had plenty to do in heading in a hopeful ball into the area. Granted Hutton & Lescott were spectators.
The second and winner was a hammer-blow. Deeney pounced upon the loose ball, steering it low beyond a helpless Bunn.
The defending was hopeless, resigned and an absolute example of why we are out of the Premier League.
Make no mistake, despite our confirmed relegation, this was a howler. If it had occurred at any other time of the season it would require some serious scrutiny.
Eric Black, our awful caretaker manager, has transcended baffling me to outright annoying.
How is Joleon Lescott picked. How is he also selected as Captain of our great football club given his on field performance and off field conduct?
Leandro Bacuna is easily in the category of ‘Worst Aston Villa Players Ever’. How is this man seriously picked over a promising academy product?
Why did Eric Black remove a holding midfielder (Gana) and introduce Sinclair when we needed to shut up shop? It was either a Sherwood-esque error or sabotage.
Why were we in such disarray after the sending off? What were the team orders? Why did no-body know who was playing where for minutes on end?
We are allegedly a professional football club, under the direction of a man who seems to be trolling the clubs supporters.
Asked post-match if he wanted the job; a clear no. Which tells the whole story.
Next week we face Newcastle in a huge game that could decide their survival. The Geordie’s remain hugely embittered following our relegation of them in 2011, particularly the public humiliation of them through at Villa Park.
The fixture will either provide momentary elation amongst our atrocious campaign, or complete our downfall. Karma, is after-all, a bitch. Revenge, equally, could be a dish served with some joy by the travelling support.
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