Aston Villa returned to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough yesterday afternoon and in doing so kept their automatic promotion hopes alive.
The game got off to a lively start and it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. On the 14th minute young midfielder Sean Clare scored his first senior goal for Sheffield Wednesday when Atdhe Nuhiu bought the ball down on his chest for Clare to hit a sweet strike into the bottom left-hand corner.
The lead was short lived however and Villa was back on level terms just 7 minutes later. John Terry has his header saved by goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, who then reacted quickly to prevent at point-blank range from Scott Hogan but with the ball still not clear Grabban pounced to score his 14th (2nd for Villa) league goal of the season.
The home side was very much on top with Lucas Joao, Clare and Nuhiu all coming close only to be denied by Sam Johnstone.
Wednesday did regain the lead though on the stroke of half-time when a corner was whipped in by Adam Reach and Joao headed brilliantly past Johnstone.
Bruce’s side once again pulled the game level on 67 minutes. Robert Snodgrass was aloud too much time to pick out a cross and Glenn Whelan headed for his first goal for Villa.
Wednesday once again come close with 15 minutes left on the clock when Frederico Venancio hit the post and Joao had a shot cleared off the lined following a scramble inside the Villa six-yard box.
It was Villa who was to have the last laugh though when they took the lead for the first time in the match with three minutes remaining on the clock.
Conor Hourihane scored his ninth goal of the season when he hit the ball with his first touch and placing it into the bottom corner.
And to compound Wednesday’s misery Venancio bought down Snodgrass in the box and the winger then converted to make it 4-2.
It was vital Villa got back to winning ways following a small blip as they continue to hunt down Cardiff City in second place.
Jos Luhukay: “I think it was a very interesting game. We had a fantastic first half. We made good goals and we had two or three very good chances to come in more comfortable at half-time. In the second half, we lost that little bit of control we had in the first half and Aston Villa became stronger in this situation.”
Steve Bruce: “For too long now, the supporters haven’t really associated with the team because of what’s happened to the club. I believe they’re enjoying watching the team now, there’s association with supporters and the team, which is important.”
Credit to avfc.co.uk for the video.