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Live Commentary: Aston Villa 2-0 West Bromwich Albion - as it happened

Take a look back at Aston Villa's 2-0 win over West Brom in the FA Cup quarter-finals with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report.
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Aston Villa booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday with a 2-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion.

The hosts made the breakthrough five minutes into the second half when Fabian Delph found the net with a low drive past Boaz Myhill.

West Brom's hopes were dealt a blow with 10 minutes left as Claudio Yacob was sent off after picking up a second booking for a foul on Leandro Bacuna.

Villa made their numerical advantage count five minutes later thanks to Scott Sinclair, who curled the ball into the far corner following a swift counter-attack. However, their victory was soured soon after when Jack Grealish was shown a second yellow card for simulation.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded on an eventful evening at Villa Park.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park. Today's game comes four days after Villa defeated the Baggies 2-1 in the Premier League thanks to a late goal from Christian Benteke. Team news should be on its way shortly.

This should be a hotly-contested match this afternoon because, to put it mildly, these local rivals don't like each other. The added ingredient on this occasion is that there's a place at Wembley Stadium in the semi-finals at stake.

WEST BROM: Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Olsson; Brunt, Morrison, Yacob, Gardner; Berahino, Ideye

WEST BROM SUBS: Foster, Wisdom, Pocognoli, Baird, Mulumbu, Sessegnon, McManaman

Following Tuesday's defeat at the same ground, West Brom boss Tony Pulis has made two changes this afternoon as Jonas Olsson replaces the cup-tied Darren Fletcher and Boaz Myhill takes the place of Ben Foster in goal. Meanwhile, the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Callum McManaman and Youssouf Mulumbu are among the substitutes.

West Brom have been prolific in front of goal during their FA Cup campaign this season, scoring 13 goals in just three games. The Baggies got the ball rolling in the third round with an emphatic 7-0 thrashing of Gateshead before seeing off Birmingham City 2-1 at St Andrew's. They then secured their place in the last eight of the competition with a 4-0 drubbing of fellow Premier League side West Ham United.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis: "We have to play the game with our heads and our feet. We'll give it our best shot and for that you need 11 men on the pitch – and no one doing anything stupid."

West Bromwich Albion's Welsh manager Tony Pulis shouts from the touchline during the English Premier League football match against Everton on January 19, 2015© Getty Images


Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood on turning down the West Brom job over the summer: "I had discussions with them on two occasions, but we just decided that it wasn't the right one for me. But I'm just grateful that I now have the opportunity to manage the biggest club in Birmingham. I admire Tony Pulis, he's a good guy and I've had a lot of conversations with him, so I wish him all the best after this one."

In case you were wondering, we're still waiting for Aston Villa to release their team news. It seems like someone in their social media department is having a light snooze before kickoff.

ASTON VILLA: Given; Lowton, Okore, Clark; Bacuna, Westwood, Delph, Cleverley, Sinclair; Agbonlahor, N'Zogbia

ASTON VILLA SUBS: Guzan, Weimann, Sanchez, Gil, Grealish, Kinsella, Calder

After seeing his team beat the Baggies in midweek, Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has made a total of three changes for this FA Cup quarter-final. Shay Given, Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair all come in, while Christian Benteke is left out altogether.

Aston Villa haven't been quite as lethal in front of goal as West Brom during this season's FA Cup, but they'll still be thrilled to have made it this far. They earned a narrow 1-0 win over Blackpool in the third round before seeing off Championship high-flyers Bournemouth. The Villans sealed their place in the quarter-finals thanks to a edgy 2-1 victory over Leicester City.

UPDATE! Today's early kickoff in the FA Cup saw giant-killing Bradford City held to a goalless draw at home to Reading. The woodwork was struck three times at Valley Parade, but neither side could find the decisive goal. You can read all about it in our match report here.

Will it be poetry in motion from Aston Villa this afternoon? One of their famous fans will be hoping so.



Villa's win over West Brom and Tuesday lifted them out of the drop zone in the Premier League and provided a huge boost for them in their fight to avoid the drop. However, you can bet that Tim Sherwood will be desperate to lead the club out at Wembley in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The former Tottenham coach has already given the team a bit of a boost since his arrival last month, and he would improve his standing even more among the Villa faithful if they win today.

Of course, Tony Pulis knows what it's like to lead a team out at Wembley Stadium. The Welshman took Stoke City all the way to the FA Cup final in 2011, but it was not to be for the Potters as they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City. West Brom aren't safe just yet in the Premier League, but they will be fully focused on doing the business today.

HEAD TO HEAD: Aston Villa have the superior record when it comes to past meetings between these sides, winning 67 times compared to 46 victories for West Brom. There have also been 30 draws since they first met, though as we know, form goes out of the window in the FA Cup.

It's being reported that Christian Benteke is absent today because of a minor hip injury. The Belgian striker will certainly be a big miss for the hosts despite his indifferent form this season. Benteke has scored four goals in 22 games for the Villans during the current campaign.

Would West Brom take a replay at The Hawthorns? The visitors will certainly be fancying themselves to come away with a victory this afternoon, but Tony Pulis would probably not be against the idea of this one ending as a draw. Meanwhile, the home side will be eager to get this game done and dusted over the course of the next 90 minutes in order for them to focus more on the fight for survival in the Premier League.

Five minutes until kickoff and the teams are starting to emerge in the tunnel at Villa Park. These players don't need to be told how big this game is. These matches are big enough when it comes to the Premier League, but this one is even more important considering the rewards for the winner. It should be a cracking atmosphere.

Here come the teams!

KICKOFF! The players are out, the crowd is well and truly fired up, and it will be West Brom to get this FA Cup quarter-final underway. Here we go!

It's been a cagey start to the game, with both sides battling away for possession. West Brom have probably just edged it so far. It's only early days, but neither team has been able to get too far forward and ask questions of the opposition defence.

SAVE! First chance of the game falls to West Brom as Gardner wins the ball in an advanced position before feeding Berahino. The striker gets his shot away on the angle, but Given gets down well to push it away. A warning sign for the hosts, that.

MISS! How has Ideye missed that?! Dawson crosses the ball in from the right before the summer signing somehow shoots over from about six yards out. It looked easier to score. What a let off for Villa. Meanwhile, this is a good spell from the away side.

Villa are really struggling to get a foothold in this match. They've yet to get going, that's for sure. It's all West Brom at the moment, with Tony Pulis's side dictating play. The Welshman will be pleased with what he's seen so far.

YELLOW CARD! The first booking of the game goes the way of Villa winger N'Zogbia, who is cautioned for a challenged on Morrison. West Brom are still controlling play.

The movement from West Brom up front has been impressive so far. Berahino and Ideye are doing a good job in getting round the back of the Villa defenders, using the gaps to create angles and stretch the hosts. Villa need to build up some pressure here because they're not looking like a threat at all right now.

The Villa fans want a free kick about 30 yards from goal as Lowton is blocked while on the ball, but referee Anthony Taylor is having none of it. That was a good move from Tim Sherwood's men, whose passing is getting a bit crisper in the final third.

This is more like it from Villa. They're starting to give the home fans something to shout about. Delph in particular is having more of a say on the game in midfield, while Agbonlahor is also seeing more of the ball up front. Cleverley whips a great cross into the box towards the forward, who just fails to get on the end of it.

Ideye, trying to make up for that earlier miss, cuts inside before hitting a tame shot straight at Given. The tempo of this match has certainly improved. While it's not end-to-end stuff just yet, there are more attacking moves being put together from both teams.

Not much to separate the sides at the minute as we head towards the half-hour mark. West Brom have lost a bit of the momentum that they enjoyed early on, while Villa aren't doing a great deal with the ball.

Villa are desperately lacking in inspiration in the final third. The likes of Agbonlahor and Sinclair are offering very little going forward. The home side's passing is leaving a lot to be desire as well. They've given the ball away cheaply a few times now, which is a dangerous thing to do considering West Brom's pace in attack.

CHANCE! Ideye is in the thick of the action again as he meets Dawson's cross from the right, but the striker's header is easily saved by Given.

CHANCE! West Brom knock at the door again as Brunt's deflected effort almost loops in, only for Given to tip the ball over. The resulting corner is eventually headed away by Agbonlahor before a second bite of the cherry sees the ball run through to Given.

Villa look to ease some of the pressure by setting N'Zogbia free down the right, but his cross is a poor one that goes out for a goal kick. The hosts are only performing in fits and starts here. They're not making life hard enough for the Baggies.

It's all getting a bit scrappy as West Brom try to nullify the Villa attack. Agbonlahor is bundled over by Olsson, though the defender manages to get away without a booking. The resulting free kick from Delph is deflected and easily saved by Myhill.



There will be a minimum of ONE MINUTE of added time at the end of what has been a fairly underwhelming first half at Villa Park.

HALF TIME: ASTON VILLA 0-0 WEST BROM

Anthony Taylor blows the half-time whistle, bringing the curtain down on a disappointing opening 45 minutes of FA Cup quarter-final action. West Brom have been the better team so far, but they've failed to make their dominance count. Meanwhile, the hosts are desperately lacking some quality.

Tony Pulis will certainly be the happier of the two managers. West Brom have looked dangerous going forward and have had a couple of really good chances. The best of those arrived early on when Brown Ideye blazed over from just six yards out. The striker will be hoping that doesn't cost his side come the end of the game.

UPDATE! Today's early kickoff in the FA Cup saw giant-killing Bradford City held to a goalless draw at home to Reading. The woodwork was struck three times at Valley Parade, but neither side could find the decisive goal. You can read all about it in our match report here.

Tim Sherwood will no doubt be telling his players to be a bit more adventurous in the second half. The home side have been very flat so far and haven't done enough in the final third to really worry West Brom. Agbonlahor has only had scraps to feed on so far, while the likes of Delph and N'Zogbia have been extremely quiet.

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The teams are back out for the second half and it will be Aston Villa to kick us off. No changes from either manager at the break.

The disappointing thing from a Villa perspective is that they're continuing to give the ball away cheaply, much as they did in the first half. West Brom don't need too many invitations to attack considering the pace of Berahino up front.

GOAL! ASTON VILLA 1-0 WEST BROM (DELPH)

First blood Aston Villa! N'Zogbia does brilliantly down the right, running at the West Brom defence before sliding the ball in for Delph on the left side of the box. The midfielder takes a touch to compose himself before drilling the ball past Myhill.

YELLOW CARD! Dawson can have no complaints as he goes into the book for a late tackle on Lowton. Needless to say, that goal has lifted the home fans immeasurably. They haven't had a great deal to shout about tonight, but they're rocking now.



MISS! West Brom really should be level. A corner from the left is flicked on by a Villa player at the near post before Lescott somehow heads wide with the goal at his mercy. What a chance for the visitors.

You have to wonder whether Tony Pulis will shake things up here and use his options on the bench. Sessegnon and McManaman are among the subs for the visitors, with both of those capable of providing a bit of a spark up front.

YELLOW CARD! Agbonlahor is the latest name to go into the book for a reckless tackle on Lescott. West Brom break up the field soon after, but Given is quick off his line to thwart Ideye.

We're in store for an exciting final 20-odd minutes because both teams are really going for it now. West Brom are still pushing high up the pitch and they will fancy themselves to get a goal before the end of the game. They should already have a couple if you take those Ideye and Lescott misses into account.

ASTON VILLA SUB: The hosts make a change as Sanchez replaces Cleverley, who has been quiet in the Villa midfield this evening.

Something of a half-chance for the home side as Agbonlahor skins McAuley down the left before whipping in a dangerous cross. N'Zogbia gets to the ball first, but his touch lets him down and the Baggies clear.

WEST BROM SUB: Tony Pulis makes an attacking change as McManaman replaces Olsson. Just over 20 minutes left to play at Villa Park, where Tim Sherwood's side still lead 1-0 through that Delph goal.

Good goalkeeping from Myhill, who races off his line to close down Sinclair after the winger was put through by Agbonlahor. It's breathless stuff at the moment - a far cry from the stodgy football of the opening half.

CHANCE! Sinclair is put through on goal again, but this time he drags his shot wide of the far post. It was a tough opportunity for the winger because the angle was against him.

Another opening for the hosts as some confusion in the West Brom box allows Agbonlahor to tee up Lowton, whose shot is deflected wide for a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the area, but the visitors do a good job of clearing.

ASTON VILLA SUB: Another swap for the home side as Grealish replaces N'Zogbia, who has impressed despite a lack of consistency this evening. He played a huge part in Delph's goal.

YELLOW CARD! An easy decision for the referee as Yacob is booked for pulling back Agbonlahor just as Villa were breaking. That was cynical from the midfielder. He knew exactly what he was doing.

RED CARD! YACOB (WEST BROM)

West Brom are reduced to 10 men as Yacob is shown a second yellow card. It's controversial, to say the least. The midfielder puts a hefty challenge in on Bacuna, and the referee believes that it was a malicious one. Yacob's problem is that he hasn't slid for the ball, making it look like he's gone in two-footed in a stamp-like motion.

West Brom are going to have to work really hard now if they want to force a replay. The Villa players are looking very organised and disciplined, and you would think that they'll get plenty of men behind the ball during these final few minutes.

WEST BROM SUB: Another change for West Brom sees Mulumbu replace Gardner.

GOAL! ASTON VILLA 2-0 WEST BROM (SINCLAIR)

And that should be that. Villa double their lead through Sinclair, and it's a fine goal. The hosts launch a quick counter-attack through Grealish, who plays in the winger down the left. Sinclair shows great skill to get the ball onto his stronger right foot before curling the ball beyond Myhill and into the back of the net.

YELLOW CARD! Grealish has gone into the book for Villa, though it's unclear what happened there. Meanwhile, Gil replaces Agbonlahor for the home side.

There will be a minimum of FIVE MINUTES added time at the end of this game...

RED CARD! GREALISH (ASTON VILLA)

A great night for Villa ends on a sour note as Grealish picks up a second yellow card for simulation. The midfielder went to ground after trying to skip past Lescott, forcing Anthony Taylor to book him for a second time.

There are now a hundred or so Villa fans on the pitch despite the game still going on. Daft behaviour. Really daft behaviour. Stewards are quick to get them back in the stands and do a good job of it.

FULL TIME: ASTON VILLA 2-0 WEST BROM

The full-time whistle goes, leading to thousands of Villa fans running onto the pitch again. It's a shame because it's been a good night of FA Cup football. Anyway, the hosts are through to the semi-finals thanks to goals from Fabian Delph and Scott Sinclair. West Brom certainly played their part in the match, but it was not to be for Tony Pulis's men.

That's all from our live text coverage of this evening's game, but you can keep up to date with all of the reaction from both teams right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for your company, we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!

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Aston Villa's English midfielder Scott Sinclair shoots to scores their second goal during the FA Cup fifth round football match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 15, 2015
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