Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham praises Jack Grealish's leadership

Jay Rodriguez

West Bromwich Albion capitulated from a winning position at Villa Park against Aston Villa in the Championship semi-final first leg on Saturday to hand the hosts a victory having led 1-0 at half-time.

In the 11th minute, West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez took a powerful shot but it was denied by the crossbar.

Abraham capped a comeback for Dean Smith's side when his penalty, coupled with Conor Hourihane's equaliser, cancelled out Dwight Gayle's opener at Villa Park.

The victor of this clash will face the victor between Leeds United and Derby County.

Things got worse for the visitors in the closing stages when top scorer Gayle was dismissed for a second yellow card, meaning he will miss Tuesday's second leg at The Hawthorns.

And when it came to the spot kick, there was no mistake from the striker.

"By keeping our width in the second half, it gave us licence to go forward and get into places".

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But Villa's early momentum faded and Albion took advantage.

In a way, we kind of wish four clubs could go up this season, especially when you consider how poor the likes of Brighton have been in recent months.

Grealish created space for Hourihane and when he laid the ball off, Hourihane's first-time strike from 20 yards flew just inside a post in the 75th minute.

Villa won a penalty four minutes later when midfielder Jack Grealish was brought down by defender Kieran Gibbs and Abraham, on loan from Chelsea, held his nerve to slot the ball in for the victor.

"He's a handful when we've got the ball as well because defenders have to be very bright on their rest defending because any clearance turns into a counter attack with him".

Albion's woes were compounded with two minutes left when, already on a yellow card, Gayle slid in to reach James Morrison's cross but clattered Steer and saw red.

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