Crystal Palace hit back to stun Aston Villa in topsy-turvy Selhurst Park clash

Date published: Sunday 16th May 2021 2:03 - Rob McCarthy

Wilfried Zaha TEAMtalk

Crystal Palace twice came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in an eventful Premier League clash at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Villa took the lead through John McGinn, only for the Eagles to draw level through the in-form Christian Benteke. Anwar El Ghazi restored the visitors’ lead before late strikes from Wilfried Zaha and Tyrick Mitchell earned Palace all three points.

McGinn’s third goal of the season gave Aston Villa the lead after 17 minutes at Crystal Palace.

The visitors had made the better start in the capital and deservedly went ahead when McGinn curled into the bottom corner from outside the area after a Cahill clearance.

Butland had earlier made a fine save to deny a stinging drive from Ollie Watkins, but failed to stop the side-footed effort by the Scottish international from 22 yards.

Crystal Palace responded well to going behind and levelled with 32 minutes played through Benteke.

Fresh from scoring at Sheffield United and Southampton, the Belgian was on target once more, this time against his old club.

After Zaha had a shot blocked, Mitchell was first to the loose ball and chipped into the penalty area where Benteke cushioned a header into the far corner to make it 1-1.

Parity was a short-lived for the hosts, however, with El Ghazi firing in two minutes later to put the away side back in front.

Anwar El Ghazi TEAMtalk

Villa forward Watkins beat Gary Cahill in the air and his header was perfect for El Ghazi, who drilled home from close range.

Palace hit their stride 

Palace were much improved in the second period and almost drew level on the hour mark when Benteke’s header from a corner was touched onto the bar by Emi Martinez.

However, they were level with 15 minutes to go through Zaha.

The winger was played in down the left, drove into the area and cut back onto his right foot – before seeing his strike deflect off Ahmed El Mohamady and past Martinez.

The home side were unlucky not to take the lead with eight minutes to go when a brilliant Eze curler from 25 yards struck the crossbar.

But their comeback was complete moments later when a poor Villa clearance found Eze, whose driven effort was miscued but Mitchell was alive to bundle the ball home for his first-ever Palace goal.

 

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