Villa win seven-goal thriller against Baggies
Aston Villa came from two goals down to beat West Bromwich Albion 4-3 in an extraordinary West Midlands derby on Wednesday.
Things looked bleak for the home side at Villa Park after they fell 2-0 behind inside nine minutes thanks to a brilliant strike from Chris Brunt and a Fabian Delph own-goal.
But before 25 minutes had elapsed, Villa were level courtesy of Andreas Weimann and Leandro Bacuna.
And before the interval there was still time for Delph to score at the right end and Youssouf Mulumbu to equalise for West Brom.
After half-time, Christian Benteke finally settle the outcome with a 64th minute penalty awarded after the striker himself was fouled.
Victory saw Villa climb to tenth in the Premier League table and left Pepe Mel still waiting for his first win as West Brom boss.
Brunt opened the scoring in style, volleying the ball past Brad Guzan from some 30 yards out.
Minutes later Delph, trying to clear, turned James Morrison's cross into his own net.
For a second time this season, West Brom were 2-0 up against Villa.
But again they surrendered that advantage as happened in a 2-2 draw in November, only this time they didn't even have the consolation of a point.
Villa's fight back started when, after Guzan punted the ball down field, Weimann lobbed Baggies keeper Ben Foster.
Nicolas Anelka, once more selected by West Brom despite the FA disciplinary charge hanging over him as a result of his 'quenelle' goal celebration last month, limped off in the 26th minute, by which time Villa had equalised.
Benteke's pass to Matt Lowton split open the Baggies' defence and his cross was turned in at the far post by Bacuna.
Then another long ball exposed West Brom's defensive frailties before Delph, after rounding Steven Reid, smashed the ball in off the underside of the bar.
But Villa's defence was breached again when Mulumbu shot through Guzan's legs to make it 3-3.
There was a lull at the start of the second half until Diego Lugano brought down Benteke.
Referee Mark Clattenburg gave a penalty and the Belgian forward made no mistake from the spot as he scored his third goal in as many games.
West Brom had a couple of penalty appeals of their own but Clattenburg wasn't interested and Villa held on.