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Match report | Sam's spotkick steals another away point

An injury time penalty kick from Sam Baldock earned Paul Clement's men a point at Villa Park

25 August 2018

Sam Baldock's injury time penalty earned the Royals a point at Villa Park this afternoon after the Royals had fallen behind to Ahmed Elmohamady's second half header.

  • Chester header hits the crossbar in open first half battle that ends goalless
  • Elmohamady heads Villa into the lead early in the second half
  • Baldock is somehow denied an equaliser by a point blank range save from Nyland who also brilliantly saves Meite's follow up.
  • Sims is fouled by Chester in injury time and Baldock slots home his penalty.

Paul Clement made three changes to the eleven that started at Ewood Park on Wednesday night, bringing in David Meyler, Mo Barrow and Tiago Ilori into the starting side as Liam Moore took the captain's armband.

Aston Villa squandered a golden opportunity to break the deadlock only 30 seconds into the game. John McGinn muscled his way past Liam Moore and no foul was given, allowing the Villa midfielder to dart on into the box and force a low save from Vito Mannone.

The Royals had an equally good opportunity with nine minutes gone. Baldock intrecepted the ball in the Villa half and toed it around the last man to burst into the box and bear down on Nyland. He chose to square a pass for Bodvarsson who as he was about to pull the trigger was brought down inside the area by Chester - but the referee deemed it a fair challenge and awarded nothing.

Next to squander a good chance was new signing Anwar El Ghazi who beat Ilori down the left and scurried into towards goal along the byline. He tried to beat Mannone at his near post but the Italian stood firm anmd saved with his legs.

Steve Bruce's men were looking dangerous in the final third and Chester rattled the crossbar with a header moments later - then at the other end Mo Barrow drove a low effort at goal which needed urgent attention from Nyland, who pushed it wide for a corner. The game was wide open but somehow still goalless after a quarter of an hour.

Mannone was behind a skidding Grealish effort next, gathering the ball into his body at the second attempt. And on the half hour, Bodvarsson tried an ambitious overhead which Nyland calmly saved.

Moore did well to charge down a Grealish effort from 22 yards out as we entered the final ten minutes of the first half.

Mannone half punched clear a recycled corner and Grealish did well to keep his hooked shot down, but it spun across the face of goal and wide to Reading's relief.

In the final minutes of the 45, Reading won a succession of corner and came close from a Bacuna inswinger; Moore headed it down and a scramble ensued which saw a Reading leg stab the ball goalwards but it deflected away from Nyland's six yard box.

Before referee Darren England could signal the half-time break, Bacuna forced Nyland into a tidy save with a curling set piece that was seeking the bottom right corner.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 Reading

Barrow was replaced by Meite at the interval and the first chance of the second half fell Reading's way; an Aluko corner was flicked on by Blackett at the neat post but it fizzed across the six yard box without getting another touch.

Steve Bruce had brought Conor Hourigane on for Grealish too and the substitute tested Mannone' handling with a shot from the edge of the box.

And Villa took the lead through Ahmed Elmohamady moments later - a floated cross from the left was met by a cushioned header six yards out and Mannone had no chance of keeping it out.

A nice turn from Kodjia set up Hourihane for a cross or shot on the left side of the area, but Ilori was equal to it, sliding in to see it out for a corner.

Bacuna did well to set up Aluko for a strike just outside the box, but it was charged down by a claret and blue shirt before Nyland could be tested. At the other end McGinne drilled harmlessly over the bar.

Time was running out for the Royals and it took a timely interception from Meyler to prevent Kodjia latching into a good pulled back cross from Elmohamady on the right and adding to Villa's lead.

Reading should have equalised with eight minutes left. Sims supplied a wonderful cross and Baldock stole in unmarked and seemed sure to turn it home. But somehow Nyland made a point blank range save onto the underside of his crossbar and the rebound fell to Meite who's shot on the swivel was cleared off the line and behind for a corner.

The Royals continued to press hard for a leveller but it seemed Steve Bruce's men were going to hold out for all three points.

Until injury time, when Josh Sims ran onto a Marc McNulty pass and got to the ball before the offending defender who bundled him over. The referee pointed to the spot and Baldock sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Penalties had denied the Royals a win at Blackburn in the week, but after the wall did its job to defend a Hourihane free kick at the death, it was a penalty which won us a point in front of 33,000 at Villa Park this afternoon.

Full-time: Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Aston Villa: Nyland, Tuanzebe, Hutton, Chester (c), Elmohamady, McGinn, Grealish (Hourihane HT), Jedinak, Bjarnason, El Ghazi (Adomah 67), Kodjia (Taylor 90).
Unused subs: Whelan, Moreira, Elphick, Murphy.
Goals: Elmohamady 51

: Mannone, Yiadom, Blackett, Ilori, Moore (c), Bacuna, Meyler, Aluko (Sims 67), Barrow (Meite HT), Baldock, Böðvarsson (McNulty 81).
Unused subs: Walker, O'Shea, Kelly, Swift.
Goals: Baldock 90 pen
Yellow: Meite, Sims.

Attendance: 33,405

Referee: Mr D England

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