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West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa: Brunt and Odemwingie deny rivals derby victory

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West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa: Brunt and Odemwingie deny rivals derby victory
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West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa: Brunt and Odemwingie deny rivals derby victory

Second-half goals from Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie were enough to salvage a point for West Brom in a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, which took the lead with early goals from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

In a one-sided first-half, Benteke opened proceedings with a stunning strike from the edge of the area, before Agbonlahor doubled the lead before the interval, finishing off a lovely team move.

The second half produced a response from the Baggies, as, after the away side pulled one back courtesy of a well-taken strike from Brunt, Odemwingie came to the rescue with eight minutes remaining, volleying in acrobatically from a corner.

It took only 12 minutes for the first goal to materialize and that was courtesy of one piece of magic from the powerful Benteke. Having received a pass fairly innocuously from Charles N'Zogbia with his back to goal, he dropped his shoulder, went the other way and duly fired an unstoppable effort past Ben Foster into the far corner, giving Villa the lead with its first chance of the game.
 
With the Baggies looking increasingly listless, the away side began to dominate proceedings and, with half an hour gone, the Villains extended their lead with the second clear-cut opportunity of the game. In a lovely move, Kieran Westwood found N'Zogbia who, after cutting inside, found Gabby Agbonlahor; the striker needed only two touches as he brought it inside with his first and with his second, finished past Foster with aplomb.

Following the shock of that second goal, the home side began to attempt to mount some sort of comeback as successive long-range efforts from Graeme Dorrans and James Morrison went begging.

The only other real chance of the half, however, fell to Aston Villa as, after the effervescent N'Zogbia beat Olsson with consummate ease down the right flank, he cut the ball back to the advancing Lichaj. However, the Villa right back could only fire straight at Foster from close-range and left the away side unusually unhappy with its two-goal advantage at the break.

The start of the second half, however, finally provoked a response from West Brom as, just a few minutes in, it pulled a goal back with a delightful effort from Brunt. Odemwingie, following an excellent run from deep, found Lukaku in the area and the striker, unable to turn, laid off to Brunt who sidefooted powerfully into the corner, with a little assistance from the post.

West Brom continued the pressure on its local rivals as with 25 minutes remaining, a Gareth McAuley header from a Brunt corner required a goalline clearance from Villa center back Ciaran Clark.

Just minutes later, Odemwingie almost managed what McAuley could not as, after a hopeful long-ball, he rounded Foster but, running at pace, he was unable to keep his footing and fired over.

With eight minutes remaining, however, Odemwingie managed to take one of the chances that continued to fall his way as, after a Brunt corner was turned into his path by Olsson, the striker turned it home acrobatically from six yards out.

West Brom almost managed to salvage an unlikely win with three minutes remaining but Lukaku could only fire wide to leave the spoils shared.

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