Apr 30, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,653
Watford
3-2
Aston Villa
Abdi (45'), Deeney (90', 93')
Berghuis (78'), Abdi (82')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Clark (28'), Ayew (48')
Bacuna (41'), Gueye (45'), Bunn (77')
Cissokho (73')

Result: Ten-man Aston Villa denied late on by Troy Deeney-inspired Watford

Aston Villa twice let a one-goal lead slip at Vicarage Road as they fall to a 3-2 defeat in the Premier League.

Troy Deeney scored twice in added time to earn Watford a dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

The 27-year-old, released by the Villans as a youngster, turned the game on its head after the visitors twice held the lead in Hertfordshire.

Villa were on the brink of just a fourth league win of the season when Jordan Ayew restored his side's advantage early in the second half, but a red card shown to Aly Cissokho would prove to be a big turning point.

Watford switched from their intricate style that had failed for much of the game to a more direct approach, and it paid off in some style with two goals from Birmingham-born Deeney in added time to secure all three points.

Troy Deeney scores his side's third goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Aston Villa on April 30, 2016© Getty Images

Befitting the end-of-season feel to the match, the opening quarter of the contest saw chances kept to a premium with neither side able to find a single shot on target.

That made way for a far more exciting 20-minute spell leading up to the interval, however, beginning with a fine Ben Watson attempt which crashed back off the Villa upright.

The midfielder teed himself up for a 25-yard volley, which had the beating of the returning Mark Bunn but just lacked the dip to find its way under the crossbar to open the scoring.

Three minutes later the visitors were ahead, thanks to Ciaran Clark's first goal of the campaign that came via a simple set-piece delivery into a central position.

Clark simply slipped past marker Craig Cathcart and nodded the ball down the middle to give the Villans a rare lead, which they so very nearly added to later in the half.

Aly Cissokho is shown the red card by Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match between Watford and Aston Villa on April 30, 2016© AFP

Cissokho crossed from the left and did well to pick out Ayew, whose subsequent header came back off the post and was eventually cleared to safety.

That would prove to be another turning point in the opening 45 minutes, as Watford were quickly up the other end where Ikechi Anya was able to draw a foul from Idrissa Gueye.

Almen Abdi dispatched the resultant free kick, bending the ball up and over the wall and out of Bunn's reach to level things up with the final meaningful act of the half.

Villa were quick to regain their lead following the restart, however, when a nice piece of link-up play between Rudy Gestede and Ayew ended with the latter rifling into the corner from the edge of the box.

There was more intricate build-up play to follow, too, as Ayew this time slipped in Gestede just two minutes later for the striker to blast well over the bar, signalling a few boos from the home end.

Almen Abdi celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Aston Villa on April 30, 2016© Getty Images

Watford, with three wins in their last 11 in all competitions now, nearly swung momentum back their way just before the hour only for match-winner Deeney's header to be cleared off the line by Cathcart.

Despite being the division's lowest scorers it was Villa who were proving to be the more threatening in attack, and they perhaps should have had a third when teenage full debutant Kevin Toner guided his free header wide of the far post.

More attempts were to follow at either end in the final quarter of the match; substitute Steven Berghuis seeing his deflected shot easily collected by Bunn before Gestede's side-footed effort was blocked aside by Cathcart.

Villa were looking comfortable enough as the match wore on, but they were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes still left to play when last man Cissokho brought down Anya.

Heurelho Gomes fails to stop Ciaran Clark's header during the Premier League match between Watford and Aston Villa on April 30, 2016© AFP

A simple punt up field from Watson allowed the Scotland international to burst into acres of space, with referee Anthony Taylor left with little choice after Cissokho lunged in.

Despite seeing their opponents being reduced to 10 men it looked like being an afternoon to forget for the Londoners, until Deeney converted Berghuis's cross from the right in the 90th minute, before smashing home a loose ball two minutes later to win the game.

Remi Garde is perpetually baffled during the Premier League game between West Ham and Aston Villa on February 2, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLeicester CityLeicester362211364343077
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs361913467283970
3Arsenal361910759342567
4Manchester CityMan City361971068383064
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd35179943311260
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham351514660431759
7Southampton361691153391457
8Liverpool3515101059481155
9Chelsea351212115548748
10Stoke CityStoke36139143852-1448
11Everton351014115549644
12Watford35128153642-644
13Swansea CitySwansea361110153750-1343
14West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom361011153246-1441
15Bournemouth36118174363-2041
16Crystal Palace36109173646-1039
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3689193964-2533
18Sunderland35711174058-1832
19Norwich CityNorwich3587203561-2631
RAston Villa3637262772-4516