Aston Villa and Crystal Palace played out an entertaining 1-1 draw on a day the 40th anniversary of Villa’s historic European Cup triumph was celebrated at Villa Park.
Ollie Watkins goal midway through the second-half looked to have been enough to hand Villa all three points but Jeffrey Schlupp’s simple tap in with 10 to go made sure the spoils were shared.
The hosts started well with Danny Ings guilty of missing two good chances in the early stages but Palace grew into it - Nathaniel Clyne forcing a fingertip save from Emiliano Martinez.
Villa were forced into an early change within minutes of the second half - Calum Chambers coming on after Ezri Konsa collided in a nasty looking way with Jean-Philippe Mateta.
It always had the feeling that one goal would win the contest and it seemed to be heading that way when Watkins poked the claret and blue in front with 20 minutes to go.
Lucas Digne whipped a teasing ball into the box and Watkins beat his marker to prod past Jack Butland in the Eagles goal.
Patrick Vieira was booked for protests following the goal with him and his team adamant that Watkins should have been penalised for a push.
With the goal allowed to stand though, Vieira rang the changes introducing Odsonne Edouard, Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp and it was the latter that proved decisive.
Villa failed to deal with a Connor Gallagher set-piece, allowing Joachim Andersen to keep it alive in the box before Marc Guehi headed down to Schlupp who poked home from a yard out with his first touch.
The home side pushed following the equaliser and nearly found a winner with Watkins going twice but it wasn’t to be.
1-1 was probably a fair result in the end, though Steven Gerrard will be disappointed his side were unable to hold on after taking the lead late on.
Aston Villa (4-1-2-1-2): Martinez; Cash, Mings, Konsa (50’ Chambers), Digne; Nakamba (66’ Ramsey); McGinn, Luiz; Coutinho; Ings (71’ Buendia), Watkins
Subs not used: Olsen, Young, Iroegbunam, Sanson, Traore, Chukwuemeka
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Butland; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Kouyate, Milivojevic (78’ Benteke); Zaha, Gallagher, Eze (78’ Schlupp); Mateta (71’ Edouard)
Subs not used: Ayew, Guaita, Hughes, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi, Ward
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