Controversial Rodriguez goal denies Villa win at West Brom

LONDON: A disputed stoppage-time equaliser by Jay Rodriguez salvaged a point for West Brom in a 2-2 draw at home to local rivals Aston Villa in the Championship on Friday.

Once-capped England international Rodriguez bundled home a 91st-minute cross as the ball twice appeared to strike his hand before trickling over the goal line at The Hawthorns.

Anwar El Ghazi had twice given Villa the lead in the West Midlands derby, his second goal a magnificent swerving 25-yard drive that put the visitors back on top after Dwight Gayle levelled for West Brom.

But Dean Smith’s in-form side were denied a fifth win in six outings as Rodriguez’s late effort was allowed to stand despite furious protests from Villa players.

“We probably should have put the game to bed with the chances that we’ve had,“ Smith told Sky Sports.

“But they’ve scored a goal that should not have been disallowed.

“It’s something when you get a reaction from all 11 players. You know something’s amiss.”

West Brom extended their unbeaten run to five matches to stay third in the table, four points behind leaders Norwich, while Villa are two places adrift of the play-off spots. — AFP