Aston Villa will hold an aggregate lead going into the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final.
The Villans didn’t have it all their own way, but will be boosted thanks to Dwight Gayle being sent off for a second yellow card in the second half.
It was Gayle who opened the scoring in the first half, taking advantage of Glenn Whelan’s mistake to fire the Baggies into the lead.
But the introduction of Conor Hourihane changed the game for Villa, with the Irish midfielder firing Villa level in the second half.
It would get better for Villa minutes later, after Jack Grealish was tackled in the box by Kieran Gibbs, handing Dean Smith’s side a penalty.
Tammy Abraham would slot home, his 26th goal of the season for the Villa.
Here are four findings from a dramatic first leg, with Villa now in the driving seat for the second leg at the Hawthorns.
Jack Grealish: Gamechanger
What a player this man is.
The ball to Conor Hourihane was superb, and he won the penalty for Villa that gives them a vital lead going into the away leg at the Hawthorns.
Time might be up for Glenn Whelan
Glenn Whelan’s mistake could have been massive in the grand scheme of things, and he was lucky that Villa recovered.
Conor Hourihane is superb
It’s a very cold take this, and certainly something a lot of Villa fans know, but Hourihane really is brilliant.
He took his shot brilliantly and really gave Villa impetus to go out and take the lead in the tie.
Has to start on Tuesday.
Everything is still to play for
If football has taught us anything this week, it’s that aggregate leads mean nothing.
Yes, Albion may be without Gayle, but they’ll be on home turf and will have the crowd behind them.
Villa will know they will have to turn up to get a result.
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