Aston Villa and Crystal Palace tie in mid-table battle

Substitute Jeffrey Schlupp scored a late equalizer when Crystal Palace secured a draw at Aston Villa in the middle of the Premier League.

Schlupp, three minutes after he came on, finished close in the 81st minute to wipe out the 69th minute of Ollie Watkins’ opener.

Lucas Digne had a strike saved by Jack Butland and Watkins went wide in stoppage time as a subsequent attempt by Villa to regain the lead proved futile.

The result still left Patrick Vieira’s Palace and Steven Gerrard’s Villa in 11th and 12th place, with a difference of one point.

After Gerrard and his team held a pre-match guard of honor for players who were part of Villa’s European Cup win in 1982, the hosts got off to a lively start, with Danny Ings sending two early shots out of goal.

Philippe Coutinho, on his first appearance since his loan to Villa from Barcelona earlier this week was converted into a permanent contract, then tried his luck from afar and went wide in the 11th minute.

Palace responded with a header from Conor Gallagher which was blocked by Ezri Konsa and Eberechi Eze who drilled wide before Wilfried Zaha saw an attack push off by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Ings came close with a curling attempt just after half-time after receiving the ball from Watkins, and Martinez was then called into action on the other side when he ducked to turn around behind a shot from Nathaniel Clyne.

Clyne then put in another try as the break approached, while Zaha expressed frustration after a tackle from John McGinn, who briefly reached the Scot and then protested to referee Chris Kavanagh.

Villa suffered a setback in the opening moments of the second half, with Konsa limping after meeting Jean-Philippe Mateta, with Calum Chambers coming in as a substitute.

Chambers made the intervention clear when Zaha tried to find space in the Villa box shortly afterwards.

Zaha was then back in the spotlight as his response to another McGinn challenge to him caught the attention of Villa fans and the Ivory Coast international chose to shut his ears to the crowd.

Martinez made another save when he fielded a deflected shot from Gallagher, before Villa broke through when Digne came in from the left and Watkins, battling Marc Guehi at the far post, came in late to guide the ball past Butland.

The lead lasted just over 10 minutes, with Palace restoring parity as Gallagher crossed, Guehi headed in and Schlupp tapped in.

For the rest of the game, Villa applied considerable pressure as they looked for a winner, but Watkins saw a header blocked by Joachim Andersen’s head, Butland pushed away a solid Digne goal and Watkins then sent a shot over the goal and next to.

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