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Crystal palace

      Report: Super sub Schlupp rescues point in fiery Villa encounter

      Aston Villa
      Watkins 69'
      Crystal Palace
      Schlupp 81'

      Jeffrey Schlupp came off the bench to earn a point for Crystal Palace at Villa Park, after Ollie Watkins' controversial opening goal had given the home side the lead.


      • Ings has the first chance of the game, poking wide from Luiz’s low cross
      • The Villa forward goes close again, volleying over the crossbar from 12-yards out.
      • Zaha stings the palms of Martinez with a swerving drive.
      • Ings can’t pick out the top corner after Watkins’ hold-up play.
      • Clyne sees his low effort tipped around the post by the Villa ‘keeper.
      • HT: Aston Villa 0-0 Palace
      • Gallagher’s deflected effort sends Martinez scrambling across goal.
      • Watkins gives Villa the lead despite Palace protests
      • Palace equalise as Guehi nods down for Schlupp to prod home.
      • Watkins misses golden opportunity to win it in added time.
      • FT: Aston Villa 1-1 Palace

      There are few more historic sights in the English game than the Holte End at Villa Park in full voice, and this was what greeted the Palace as they emerged to a sea of noise and colour; thousands of claret and blue flags celebrated the 40th anniversary of the hosts’ European Cup triumph.

      Palace, however, had their minds focused on the here and now. Setting up in a 3-5-2 formation with Cheikhou Kouyaté as an auxiliary centre-back, they looked to establish an early control on the game.

      But it was the hosts who created the first real opportunities. Danny Ings was integral, first poking wide from Douglas Luiz’s cross before volleying over the top from 12-yards out when he really should have hit the target.

      Palace threatened from set-pieces, with Villa unable to deal with their deep deliveries nodded back across goal. Conor Gallagher came closest, seeing a powerful header blocked on its way to goal.

      With the ball at their feet, Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha were able to demonstrate their mercurial ability; the latter unleashed a swerving drive from the edge of the penalty area that stung the palms of Emiliano Martinez.

      Moments later the home fans thought they were ahead, as Watkins latched onto a ball in behind and held off the defender. His lay-off found Ings in the penalty area, but he couldn’t pick out the top corner.

      By half-time, Palace were firmly in control and were stroking the ball around in the Villa half, with Eze at the heart of it all. After another mazy run from midfield, he worked the ball to Nathaniel Clyne, whose low driven effort was tipped around the post by Martinez. It was the closest either side had come.

      The Eagles emerged with the same positivity after the break, and their constant harrying of Villa on the ball was beginning to spark unrest in the stands.

      An early chance to deliver from a set-piece proved unsuccessful, and gradually the home side grew into the game once again.

      There was plenty of threat out wide for both sides and Steven Gerrard was left shaking his head as Matty Cash flashed the ball across the face of goal, but no one in claret and blue was there to tap home.

      At the other end Zaha was involved in non-stop battles with his defensive counterparts. After Palace won the ball back high upfield, Gallagher found space on the edge of the area to fire at goal; the ball took a nick off Tyrone Mings, sending Martinez scrambling across goal to make the save.

      For all Palace’s pressure, it was Aston Villa who took the lead – and it was a goal that will not have pleased Patrick Vieira. As Marc Guéhi and Watkins battled to meet a deep, floated cross towards the far post they tumbled over one another, the ball striking the pair before trickling past Jack Butland.

      The Palace players protested – it looked as if Watkins was tugging Guéhi’s shirt as they went down – but the referee waved them away and awarded the goal.

      Forced to roll the dice, Vieira introduced Odsonne Edouard, Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp to try to spark a Palace revival. It worked.

      It came from a set-piece, as Andersen reacted quickest to Mings’ half-clearance and knocked the ball back into the danger area. Rising highest was Guéhi to nod into the ground, where Schlupp was waiting to prod home.

      It set up a frantic finale, as both sides pushed for a three points they felt they deserved.

      The announcement of five minutes of additional time was greeted with roars from both supporters, a sign that either side felt there was a second goal on the way.

      The best chance fell for Watkins, beating the Palace offside trap and racing in on goal before dragging his shot wide.

      In the end, neither side had enough to claim the victory and the points were shared.

      Aston Villa: Martinez (GK), Cash, Konsa (Chambers, 50), Mings, Luiz, McGinn, Watkins, Nakamba (Ramsey, 66), Ings (Buendia, 71), Coutinho, Digne.

      Subs: Olsen (GK), Sanson, Traore, Young, Chukwuemeka, Iroegbunam.

      Palace: Butland (GK), Kouyaté, Andersen, Guéhi, Clyne, Gallagher, Milivojevic (Benteke, 78), Eze (Schlupp, 78), Mitchell, Zaha, Mateta (Edouard, 71).

      Subs: Guaita (GK), Ward, Ayew, Hughes, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi.