Aston Villa avoided relegation to the Championship after a 1-1 draw with West Ham United on the final game of the longest Premier League season in history.
Just four games ago, even the most die hard of Villa supporters had given up hope of survival but eight points from a possible twelve saw them confirm their Premier League status for next season.
Dean Smith was forced into one change as Freddie Guilbert replaced Ahmed Elmohamady who was ruled out through injury.
Last game of the season
Despite what was on the line, the game had a last game of the season feel about it in the first half. West Ham were already safe while Villa seemed a little nervy which killed any chance of a entertaining spectacle.
The only change worth talking about in the first-half fell to West Ham. A long ball from Issa Diol caught out Villa’s centre-backs, Michail Antonio found himself through on goal with only Pepe Reina to beat but he lashed his chance wide of goal.
Upped the ante
Villa upped the ante in the second half despite Watford losing at Arsenal. The issue was at Goodison Park where Bournemouth were beating Everton.
Smith’s men looked more threatening on the attack instead of their more compact style of the first half but it lucked very unlikely that there would be a breakthrough.
Substitute Keinan Davis came close but he could only drag his opportunity wide and there was no-one close enough to tap it in from close range.
Captain Jack Grealish was going to have his say though in more ways that even he probably would have imaged.
With six minutes remaining on the clock, the ball fell to Grealish. In typical Grealish fashion he twisted and turned around the West Ham defence, as he found some space by Ryan Fredericks, he shot and watched on as it smashed into the back of the net.
Villas lead was very short lived and in a game that never looked like having a single goal, in a matter of minutes we had two.
It took West Ham just 100 seconds to be back on level terms as substitute Andriy Yarmolenko hit a shot from the edge of the box, the ball clipped the heel of Grealish and Reina could only watch on as the ball looped over his head.
With Watford unable to complete their comeback at Watford, the draw was enough for Smith and his Villa side to secure their Premier League status.
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