Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa: Jordan Ayew strike beats 10-man visitors
Report and highlights as Aston Villa had a 96th-minute goal ruled out and Trezeguet sent off
By Charlotte Marsh at Selhurst Park
Last Updated: 01/09/19 1:00am
Jordan Ayew scored in his second successive Premier League game as Crystal Palace beat 10-man Aston Villa 1-0 at Selhurst Park.
Aston Villa thought they had scored a last-minute equaliser, but Henri Lansbury's effort was ruled out after Jack Grealish was booked for diving in the build-up.
Palace dominated the feisty encounter in south London, and Aston Villa's cause was not helped when Trezeguet was sent off for a second bookable offence just nine minutes into the second half.
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Ayew curled home in the 72nd minute as Crystal Palace deservedly went ahead.
A second Premier League win in a row sees Roy Hodgson's side into fourth with seven points - jumping up six places from kick-off - while Aston Villa move one place down into 18th.
How Crystal Palace escaped with a win
Aston Villa began well in a physical first half, with Wesley testing Vicente Guaita twice inside the opening four minutes. The first was a tame effort, but the second gave the goalkeeper more to think about, as a John McGinn cross came off the back of the striker's leg, forcing Guatia to get down low to make the save.
But Crystal Palace soon began to dominate. James McArthur missed a gilt-edged chance in the 23rd minute as Jeffery Schlupp flashed a cross his way after a poor pass from Frederic Guilbert, but McArthur sent the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range. Seven minutes later, McArthur turned provider, but Ayew could not get to the fizzing cross in time to send it home.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Ward (6) , Kelly (6), Cahill (6), Van Aanholt (7), Milivojevic (7), Schlupp (7), McArthur (7), Kouyate (7), Zaha (7), Ayew (8).
Subs used: Sakho (5), Townsend (n/a), Benteke (n/a).
Aston Villa: Heaton (8), Guilbert (6), Engels (6), Mings (6), Taylor (6), Luiz (6), Jota (7), McGinn (6), Grealish (7), Trezeguet (5), Wesley (5).
Subs used: Davis (5), Hourihane (5), Lansbury (n/a).
Man of the match: Jordan Ayew.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure, and Villa had goalkeeper Tom Heaton to thank for keeping them in the game. He used an outstretched hand to keep out a low free-kick from Luka Milivojevic in the 41st minute, before going up high a minute later as Cheikhou Kouyate tried to nod a corner home.
Just before the break, Trezeguet was booked for the first time after catching Joel Ward with a high boot, and Villa were arguably lucky that he did not get sent off then. However, in the 54th minute, he did receive his second yellow card after bundling into Wilfried Zaha.
It was a very similar story for both teams - they named the same XIs from their respective Premier League wins last weekend. One player in each team also retained their places from the midweek Carabao Cup games, with Martin Kelly and Jota starting again.
Ayew calmed a few Palace nerves when Heaton was finally beaten in the 73rd minute. It was a lovely move from the back as Milivojevic swept the ball to Schlupp, before he picked out Ayew down the right of the area. The striker shrugged off Grealish and Tyrone Mings before curling home into the far corner, sparking a bundle celebration from his team-mates.
But the game ended in huge controversy as Villa had a 96th-minute equaliser ruled out. Grealish had gone over at the top of the area after a tackle from Gary Cahill, with the loose ball being fired home by Lansbury. However, the referee had blown his whistle and he pulled the play back for a free-kick, with Grealish being booked for simulation.
VAR was unable to check the 'goal' because the whistle went before the ball went into the net. Under IFAB protocol, VAR was allowed to review the potential penalty situation. However, following the review it was judged that no 'clear and obvious' error had occurred and the on-field decision of simulation remained.
The Aston Villa captain was dismayed at the decision but it stood as Palace - just - secured a second successive three points.
Man of the match - Jordan Ayew
It was very close between Ayew and Heaton for man of the match, but the Palace striker just shades it. His work-rate and energy through the game were superb, always trying to get the ball back for his team and he received more than one round of applause from the fans.
He is a man with confidence too, having scored the opener against Manchester United the previous week and now adding this goal to the mix with a lovely finish. His permanent move to Crystal Palace has done him the world of good and fans will be hoping he can go on and score plenty more this season.
His manager Roy Hodgson said after the game: "Like the so-called London buses, he hasn't scored for a while and now he's scored one in each of the last two games. We're really pleased for him but it's not just his goals, his work-rate is incredible with the number of things he does for us in terms of his general play, which helps us to get the sort of domination we had for large periods today."
'Simulation? No chance!'
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: "I saw it as a good goal, I still don't understand why it has been chalked off. Jack's gone through, made a really good run and gets a nudge in the back that puts him off balance. He gets into the box and Cahill comes in with the challenge as he's playing the ball off to Lansbury. He goes down and doesn't even look like he's looking for a penalty, and then Henri slots it. Then mayhem ensues.
"I spoke in the week about VAR and subjective decisions, but I'm sure that system [VAR] is in to right the wrongs. What they hear down the microphones from the referees, they cannot overrule it even if they see something.
"I always wondered how I'd be when the first one went against me so I'm disappointed because I can't see anything, having watched it back, I couldn't see anything wrong. Simulation? No chance. For me, it is a perfectly good goal that's been rubbed off today."
Hodgson focused on win
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "I'm disappointed a little bit that the game is now going to be shrouded in that controversy and a lot of the good football we played and good things we did along the way will be dismissed and everyone will have their opinion on whether the referee was right or wrong.
"At the moment, I'm just interested in talking about what we did well from about 15 or 20 minutes into the game, when we really established a lot of control and, unusually for us, created a lot of good chances. It was a very satisfying performance and I'm delighted that it wasn't snatched away from us."
- Aston Villa are now winless in 20 Premier League away games (D3 L17), losing each of their last nine in a row.
- Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2015, when he was an Aston Villa player.
- Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has won his first Premier League meeting against Aston Villa with all five of his clubs in the competition (Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom and Crystal Palace).
The Premier League now takes a weekend break for international fixtures, and Crystal Palace will make the trip across London to visit Tottenham on Saturday September 14. Aston Villa will be back in action on September 16 when they welcome West Ham on Monday Night Football.