West Brom 0 Aston Villa 3
Albion can once again feel hard done by in terms of VAR decisions, but Sam Allardyce will know what a tough job he has as they were well beaten by a decent Villa side.
While Livermore’s offence was probably a red card, the challenge by Kortney Hause on Grady Diangana was arguably a worse example that was more likely to cause injury than the one by the Albion skipper, and isn’t that what serious foul play is all about?
Having said that, the Baggies were looking second best in that opening half hour after conceding early on. It took Allardyce just a few seconds to complain about one of his pet hates, ball watching after Furlong switched off for the visitors’ opening goal.
Big Sam had only had a few days and evidently hadn’t seen enough to make too many changes as he left the starting line up unchanged from the one that started the game at the Etihad on Tuesday evening. After the poor opening, the Baggies were fortunate not to be further behind before the red card but, after the break, they did defend better and didn’t fall apart as they had done with ten men against Palace a fortnight ago.
It was only once Allardyce chose to switch things around in an attempt to nick a point that Villa were able to extend their lead further with a breakaway goal by Bertrand Traoré. There was one VAR review that went Albion’s way when Ollie Watkins’ goal was ruled out for a very tight off side decision, although that is the sort of decision I don’t think VAR should look at, but there are lots of things about VAR I don’t like!
In fairness, 3-0 was probably a fair reflection of Villa’s dominance and Big Sam knows he has his work cut out if Albion are to have any chance to stay up.
And so it’s Liverpool on Boxing Day fresh from a 7-0 win over the team that beat us 5-1!
Merry Christmas everyone!