Jordan Ayew’s instinctive finish helped Crystal Palace secure back-to-back Premier League wins with victory over 10-man Aston Villa.
The hosts looked to be heading for another Selhurst Park blank despite Villa’s Trezeguet seeing red for a second bookable offence, before Ghanaian Ayew fired beyond Tom Heaton with time running out.
It meant Ayew, who was part of the Villa side relegated from the top flight in 2016, scored for the second Premier League weekend in a row, having also struck in the win at Manchester United.
Trezeguet’s dismissal, for a late challenge on Wilfried Zaha, was among seven bookings dished out by referee Kevin Friend.
The visitors were incensed by a late disallowed goal for Henri Lansbury in six added minutes, Friend having already blown to book Jack Grealish for simulation in the build-up.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: “The disallowed goal for @AVFCOfficial in the last minute has to be seen to be believed. Why VAR didn’t correct what appeared to be an awful refereeing error is beyond me.”
In truth, it saved Roy Hodgson’s side from ending a match which they had dominated in embarrassment, with the hosts having had 22 shots on Heaton’s goal.
Cheikhou Kouyate was among the most wasteful, with just one of his six shots being on target. Captain Luka Milivojevic also went close, seeing an effort from distance pushed away from the top left hand corner of Heaton’s goal straight after Trezeguet was dismissed.
Meanwhile, it was another frustrating day for Zaha, who has now scored just once in his last 17 home league appearances.
Villa feel ‘robbed’ of away point
Aston Villa beat Everton at home last time out, but are now winless in 20 Premier League away games, losing their last nine in a row.
And after a late collapse at Tottenham denied them any points in their only other away league game this season, Lansbury’s disallowed goal was a bitter pill to swallow for Dean Smith’s side.
Deep into added time, a hand from Zaha appeared to set Grealish off balance as he bore down on the Palace 18-yard box.
But the Villa captain succeeded in completing his pass to Lansbury before running into first Gary Cahill and then the turf.
The decision of referee Friend prompted desperate protests from the visitors and their supporters, with Cahill holding Grealish back from the official as he was booked.
Speaking afterwards, Villa midfielder John McGinn said replays of the incident “speaks for itself” and claimed his side had been “robbed of a point”.
‘We don’t need to apologise for our win’ – what they said
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson:
“It’s unfortunate in some ways for us that it’s all going to centre around the controversy at the end. I think it was a very good performance from our side, we could have been way out of sight before that controversial situation.
“We think we’ve thrown this away in the last minute and are going to lose two points. Lucky for us the referee had made his decision before the ball had gone in the net and that was to give the free-kick. I don’t think we need to apologise at all for the fact that we won the game.”
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith:
“Palace have got good players and playing against them when they have a numerical advantage is a challenge. We kept going until the end and in my opinion got a good goal. I’m not sure any of us know why the referee has given the decision.
“We’ve all looked at it back and nobody can see why he hasn’t given the goal and given the free-kick but we have to take it on the chin.”
Man of the match – Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
Hodgson keeps spell over Villa – the stats
- Crystal Palace have kept a clean sheet in both of their opening two home games in a league season for the first time since 2008-09, while it’s the first time they’ve ever done so in a Premier League campaign.
- Palace have also now won two of their last three Premier League home games, drawing the other. It is as many wins as they had in their previous 10 at Selhurst Park.
- Trezeguet became the first Aston Villa player to be sent off in a Premier League match since Aly Cissokho against Watford in April 2016.
- Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2015, when he was an Aston Villa player.
- Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has won his first Premier League meeting against Aston Villa with all five of his clubs in the competition (Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom and Crystal Palace).
After September’s international break, Palace resume their Premier League season with a trip to Tottenham on Saturday, 14 September (15:00 BST).
Villa’s next fixture sees them host West Ham on Monday, 16 September (20:00 BST).
More to follow.