Aston Villa 2 West Brom 2
Albion may not be mathematically relegated, but the late goal from Keenan Davis surely ended the last vestiges of hope for the most optimistic of Baggies’ fans. With just five games remaining, Albion probably need to win every game to give themselves a chance of survival, and with West Ham and Liverpool still fighting for the European places, it seems highly unlikely.
In truth, the writing has been on the wall for some time, but Newcastle’s draw at Liverpool and Burnley’s victory at Molineux made the three points at Villa vital and unfortunately, a couple of defensive errors, something that had largely been eradicated from Albion’s game in recent weeks, cost them two valuable points. A draw was probably a fair result but given that Albion went into stoppage time 2-1 up, they really should have been able to secure the victory.
The performance was a marked improvement on their display against Leicester City, and they did well to respond to going behind to a soft penalty, although the one they won was just as soft. They had the opportunities to extend the lead in the second half, with the best chance falling to Ainsley Maitland-Niles after a moment of outrageous skill from man-of-the-match, Matheus Pereira.
They will, of course, fight on, and the fans will be delighted if they can complete the double over Wolves on Bank Holiday Monday. Furthermore, Allardyce will want to avoid a tame end to the season assuming he is interested in continuing as Baggies boss in the Championship. A strong finish will earn him some credit with some of the fans at least, whereas a capitulation will surely make a decision to keep him much more difficult.
Just how long can Albion keep it going?