Villa not going down without a fight
Trezeguet 45, 59
Aston Villa are not going to go down without a fightl. They started slowly but ended up relatively rampant, fully deserving of the three points secured by two goals from Mahmoud Trezeguet. It has been a long time since a Villa forward scored one goal, let alone a pair, so Dean Smith’s side were grateful for the Egyptian’s sharpness, which ended a streak of 10 league games without a win.
Villa are still in the relegation zone but only four points below West Ham and Watford. Their remaining matches are against Everton, Arsenal and West Ham. They cannot count on any of them being as vulnerable as a Palace side who sagged to their fifth straight defeat.
The game had a more sedate pace than might have been expected from a clash with such high stakes for Villa. Palace even had the ball in the net in the seventh minute when Mamadou Sakho redirected a free-kick into the net. But the goal was disallowed after VAR ruled he had used his arm rather than his shoulder.
Villa then took charge of their destiny. Ahmed Elmohamady made several raids down the right, but Jack Grealish and
Mbwana Samatta both failed to find the net after dangerous crosses by the full back.
Most of the play got bogged down in midfield. Wilfried Zaha occasionally emerged from the morass to threaten a breakthrough but Pepe Reina saved his best effort.
Just as the game seemed to be trundling towards the interval, Villa got the goal they badly needed. After a foul on Grealish, Conor Hourihane curled over a free-kick from the left, Joel Ward could only head it backwards, and Trezeguet tucked it into the net at the far post, becoming the first Villa forward to score in the league since early February.
Villa thought they had got the second half off to a perfect start when they were awarded a spot-kick after Patrick van Aanholt tangled in the box with Grealish, but this time VAR’s intervention went against them and the decision was overturned.
Villa did not dwell on that. They kept attacking. Vicente Guaita was forced into a flying save from a free-kick by Hourihane, and Konsa came close to scoring from the resultant corner. Then Trezeguet struck again, finishing neatly. – Guardian
Dominic Solanke ended his Premier League goal drought with a timely brace as Bournemouth boosted their slim survival hopes by fighting back in astonishing fashion to shock Champions League-chasing Leicester.
Solanke, without a goal in 38 previous top-flight appearances since a move from Liverpool in January 2019, slotted home twice in the second half as the Cherries romped to a precious 4-1 win.
■ Mahmoud Trezeguet’s goals ended a run of 10 league games without a win