West Brom’s faint hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a significant setback after substitute Keinan Davis scored a 92nd-minute equaliser for Aston Villa.
The Baggies fell behind when Anwar El Ghazi marked his return to the side by firing Villa ahead from the penalty spot after Semi Ajayi had clipped Ross Barkley.
They were then awarded a penalty of their own, Matheus Pereira beating Emiliano Martinez to equalise after Ezri Konsa caught Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Brazilian forward Pereira then hit the bar from a free-kick after creating chances for Okay Yokuslu and Maitland-Niles before Mbaye Diagne’s deflected finish off Tyrone Mings looked to have sealed a third win in four games.
But Davis pounced in the closing moments for his first Premier League goal after a defensive mix-up to deny the Baggies, who are now nine points from safety with five games remaining.
Baggies edge closer to relegation
West Brom’s players dropped to their knees when referee Stuart Attwell blew for full time after seeing three points ripped from their grasp by Davis’ dramatic goal.
They had shown tremendous character to bounce back from Thursday’s tame defeat at Leicester and come from behind to lead their West Midlands rivals at Villa Park.
West Brom started this game 10 points from safety following Burnley’s handsome victory at Wolves earlier on Sunday and could quite easily have collapsed after El Gahzi’s ninth minute penalty.
Instead they clawed their way back with Pereira outstanding, the former Sporting Lisbon player scoring one, hitting the bar and setting up several chances for his team-mates.
At the other end Sam Johnstone, whose long clearance led to the second goal, produced a huge save to stop England striker Ollie Watkins from equalising.
But they could not hold on and face a quick return to the Championship one season after winning automatic promotion with Leeds although Sam Allardyce is not conceding defeat just yet.
“We put it to the lads the teams who have got out of this position and there are about six of them,” said the Baggies boss.
“It means winning a lot of games in your last few but five or six teams have done that.
“People might have looked at the team and thought ‘are they going to go under?’ but we didn’t.”
Wesley enjoys Villa return
Despite Davis’ equaliser, it is now one win in eight games for an Aston Villa side who continue to miss their influential captain Jack Grealish.
Villa’s season is fizzling out but there were positives for Dean Smith despite their failure to secure maximum points against their struggling neighbours.
While it remains unclear when Grealish will be back, Brazilian striker Wesley got his first taste of action 480 days after he suffered a serious knee injury.
Davis has his first top-flight goal in his 29th appearance which pleased his manager.
“It was a good moment for Keinan, he is a well-respected and liked player,” said Smith. “He has needed that goal and it has given him a great boost.”
Mid-table Villa have taken just six points from the last 24 on offer but against West Brom they at least showed they are prepared to battle to the end.
Smith knows he has work to do to improve his squad this summer but this has been a highly satisfactory season for Villa after surviving relegation on the final day of last season.
‘We showed real spirit’ – what they said
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce: “But for their goalkeeper and the woodwork we would have got the third which would have seen it off.
“It was our mistake for the equaliser but I can’t be too critical of the players. I’m really pleased with the response to the Leicester disappointment.
“The lads showed real spirit after a dodgy start. Apart from the last seconds it all worked extremely well.”
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: “I think it was the least we deserved, it would have been a travesty if we had been beaten.
“We were the aggressors. I’m still wondering why the penalty was given against us. Whoever is at Stockley Park, surely you have to make him [referee Stuart Atwell] have a look at the monitor.
“We controlled the ball really well, we moved it well and caused them problems. We showed we can be a team when Jack [Grealish] is not playing.”
More saves than anyone else – the stats
- Including nine in this game, West Brom’s Sam Johnstone has made 137 saves in this season’s Premier League, more than any other goalkeeper.
- Anwar El Ghazi has scored five goals against West Brom in all competitions, at least three more than he has against any other opponent in his time at Aston Villa.
- Tyrone Mings’ own goal was Aston Villa’s first of the season, and 47th overall in their Premier League history. Only Everton (53) have scored more own goals in the competition.
- West Brom have picked up just 11 points in their 17 away league outings this season. Only relegated Sheffield United (four) have fewer away points in this season’s Premier League.
Villa are away at Everton on Saturday (20:00 BST) while West Brom host neighbours Wolves in the Black Country derby on Monday, 3 May (18:00).
West Bromwich Albion
- 27El Mohamady
- 6Douglas LuizSubstituted forRamseyat 78′minutes
- 15TraoréSubstituted forWesleyat 90+1′minutes
- 20BarkleySubstituted forDavisat 82′minutes
- 21El Ghazi
- 35YokusluBooked at 77mins
- 12Costa Pereira
- 18GallagherBooked at 54mins
- 30Maitland-NilesSubstituted forO’Sheaat 86′minutes
- 7RobinsonSubstituted forPhillipsat 67′minutes
- Stuart Attwell
Match ends, Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.
Attempt saved. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady.
Attempt saved. Wesley (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady with a cross.
Goal! Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 2. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Wesley replaces Bertrand Traoré.
Attempt missed. Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matheus Pereira.
Foul by Matt Targett (Aston Villa).
Mbaye Diagne (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Tyrone Mings following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Ezri Konsa Ngoyo (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Anwar El Ghazi with a cross.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Dara O’Shea replaces Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Darnell Furlong.
Attempt saved. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bertrand Traoré.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Keinan Davis replaces Ross Barkley.
Attempt missed. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady.
Matt Targett (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa).