3 The Daily Telegraph Monday 27 July 2020 *** Hope for Howe Lifeline for Watford? Cherries pegged back Hornets falling apart Welbeck gets Watford back in it Pts GD Pts GD Pts GD Pts GD Pts GD secure Villa’s status Staying up ‘better than promotion’ creasingly nervous, albeit without being in particular danger of falling behind. Grealish then produced the moment of magic which the Villa bench briefly thought had won them the game. McGinn passed to Grealish inside the area and his left-foot shot beat Fabianski, who will be annoyed he did not keep it out. Villa did not give a jot, but their jubilation did not last long. Any hopes of them comfortably seeing out a victory and their survival were dashed when Yarmolenko tried a speculative shot that looped up off the boot of Grealish and beat Pepe Reina. The goal, together with the fact Bournemouth were winning at Everton, meant Villa would be relegated if they conceded again but they held on and Grealish had another moment he will treasure forever – whether or not he moves on. fact they went in at the break above the relegation zone. “I was aware of the other scores, but I was more in our game,” he said. “I read the riot act at half-time because we wanted to win the game and keep it [survival] in our own hands. When Jack scores you think that’s it, but, unfortunately, we conceded.” Ahead of his meeting with Villa’s owners and chief executive Christian Purslow, Smith vowed the club would not be in a similar position next season. Villa embarked on a squad rebuild after winning last season’s play-off final and Smith said: “People just look at the money we spent, but it’s just over £9million a player. It takes time to build a culture and we’ve done that in the hardest league in the world. “Last year we had 10 players out of contract and had to rebuild. We must be smart in how we recruit.” From Page One for a lot of people and I lost my father. But we used it well and I am immensely proud of the players and the staff because we had been written off by everybody. We walked off the pitch against Leicester and everybody was already saying we had been relegated. This feels better than getting promotion last year in the play-offs.” Smith kept in touch with the scores at Arsenal, where Watford lost, and Goodison Park, where Bournemouth were playing Everton, but was angered by his own side’s first-half display despite the A third for Arsenal as Aubameyang hooks home a shot from close range. A disastrous half-hour for Watford’s chances
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