Aston Villa put themselves one foot into a Wembley play-off final yesterday when they overcame West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Villa Park. It wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the brilliance of Conor Hourihane, though, as the Irishman rifled the Villains level in the 75th minute with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box t start a turnaround.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) 11 May 2019
The Villa midfield man wasn’t given a start for the playoff clash as Dean Smith opted to go for a midfield trio of Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Glenn Whelan, but he made the change in the second half to swap Whelan out for Hourihane and what an impact he made. That first goal, a stunner from Hourihane’s magic left-peg, was the first of two goals that the Villains scored in four minutes, turning the tie on its head.
Those two quick-fire goals, followed shortly by a Dwight Gayle red card, have given West Brom one hell of a job to do at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night. There won’t be many people backing a Baggies turnaround in the tie, and should Villa hold out and make it through to Wembley, the fans will be desperate to get 90 minutes of the ever-impressive Hourihane and not just the 25 he got yesterday.
You can read the Villains’ verdict on Hourihane’s goal and his impact on the game here:
Did nobody tell conor that goal of the season has already been awarded?!
— Michael Hayler #27 (@michaelhayler17) 11 May 2019
He never disappoints what a ….goooooaaaaaalllll
— Cypher79 (@Cypher79C) May 11, 2019
Classic Conor ! Wanted it and finished with aplomb !! UTV !!!
— Keith Rooms (@RoomsKeith) May 11, 2019
Never been more certain a player would adore with a shot from outside the box
— Sean Roberts (@stroberts2) May 11, 2019
FairPlay Conor changed the whole game yesterday, #onwardandupward
— Andrew bater (@andrew_bater) May 12, 2019
He knew it was in the minute he smashed it
— Mr P (@ip1103) May 11, 2019
Should of been on from the start.
— Keet (@Keiiiiioo) May 11, 2019
Pick that out! Do it again Tuesday please and get us back where we belong
— Duncan Jackson (@djackson19721) 11 May 2019
The Villains will be desperate for Hourihane to pull something similar out of the bag against West Brom in the week and then at Wembley for the playoff final, and you wouldn’t put it past him.
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