Aston Villa edged past Watford 2-1 in a Premier League basement battle at Villa Park.
Tyrone Mings’ 95th-minute winner sent Villa Park into pandemonium as Ezri Konsa’a effort from the edge of Watford’s box deflected off his centre back partner.
The two celebrated in front of an elated Holte End that in the first half fell silent to Troy Deeney, but the Villa fans would have the last laugh this time around.
It was a first half of relative dominance for a Villa side without a win against Watford in their last three.
A 3-0 loss at Vicarage Road seemed a motivator to better a performance labelled as many to be the worst of the season.
Dean Smith said: “You’ll see a different Aston Villa tomorrow night”, in his pre-match press conference. He wasn’t wrong.
It was a solid, well-organised display that eventually rewarded Villa with a vital three points over a fellow Premier League struggler.
Whilst chances were few and far between for the hosts in the first half, Deeney and Watford made Smith’s side pay for a lack of invention with the high amount of possession that Villa had.
Gerard Deulofeu raced towards the right hand by-like before standing up a cross towards Watford’s talisman who needed no second invitation to leap up and head his side into an advantage come half-time.
Danny Drinkwater was replaced by Douglas Luiz soon after the second half began, and he’d soon make an influence greater than what he managed against Brighton at the weekend.
The Brazilian pounced on Ben Foster’s save after Matt Targett produced a searching cross into the box. Luiz’s second goal for Villa couldn’t have been timed better for a Villa team desperate to get back on level terms.
Pepe Reina kept Villa in the game after making a close-range block against Deeney’s effort that could’ve doubled Watford’s lead.
Though it was to be Villa who’d come away with all three points as Konsa and Mings, between them, lifted Villa out of the relegation zone for the time being.