West Bromwich Albion tied 1-1 at local rival Aston Villa in soccer’s Premier League yesterday, denied a first away win of the season by a Darren Bent goal after 80 minutes.
Shane Long had put West Brom ahead after 51 minutes at Villa Park with his fourth goal of the season. The Baggies remain sixth in the standings, with Villa 15th.
“The response of the players to falling behind was excellent, I cannot ask for any more,” Villa manager Paul Lambert told Sky Sports. “Everybody is in it together, we need every player to perform.”
Chelsea leads the Premier League with 16 points from six matches and Everton has 13, with Manchester United and Manchester City on 12. Tottenham and West Brom are one point further back.
West Brom, which has won half of its league matches this season, had an early chance to take the lead when Long headed wide from close range on six minutes. He then fired high over the bar a minute later.
Villa’s Brett Holman tested Ben Foster with a long-range effort after 26 minutes, which the goalkeeper tipped over the bar for a corner. Three minutes later, Villa striker Christian Benteke curled a shot wide.
The Baggies suffered two injuries late in the first half, Chris Brunt and Billy Jones replaced by Graham Dorrans and Gabriel Tamas.
In between the two changes for West Brom, Foster saved a deflected 20-yard shot from Holman and Benteke wasted an opportunity after stealing the ball from Jonas Olsson.
West Brom started positively in the second half and Long headed into the net on 50 minutes, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside. Less than a minute later the Ireland striker did score from close range.
Benteke was denied a goal at the other end of the field soon after by a block from Tamas, then Joe Bennett came close for Villa from a free kick.
Villa started to push back the visitors, although goalkeeper Brad Guzan was forced into a save from Tamas to stop West Brom increasing its lead.
Bent earned Villa a point 12 minutes after being introduced as a substitute. A shot from Ciaran Clark was blocked but West Brom failed to clear and Bent fired into the far corner of the net.
Both teams had chances to win, with Bent hitting a first- time shot over the bar late on and West Brom’s Romelu Lukaku having a shot deflected against the outside of a post.
Two days ago, Chelsea won 2-1 at Arsenal, Everton beat Southampton 3-1, Manchester City defeated Fulham 2-1, and Manchester United lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham.
Liverpool beat Norwich 5-2, Reading and Newcastle tied 2-2, Sunderland defeated Wigan 1-0, and Stoke won 2-0 against Swansea. Queens Park Rangers hosts West Ham in tonight’s game.