Jhon Duran doubled Aston Villa’s draw against Liverpool

May 14, 2024
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Jhon Duran scored twice in the closing five minutes to earn Aston Villa a 3-3 draw against Liverpool.

Jhon Duran scored twice in the closing five minutes to earn Aston Villa a 3-3 draw against Liverpool, but they fell short of securing a spot in next season’s Champions League on Monday.

Villa appeared set for a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions, but an Emiliano Martinez own goal and goals from Cody Gakpo and Jarrell Quansah put the visitors ahead in Jurgen Klopp’s final away game in charge.

However, substitute Duran’s double edged strike propelled Unai Emery’s side closer to Europe’s top table for the first time since 1983.

A win for championship contender Manchester City at Tottenham on Tuesday would seal Villa’s spot in the top four.

However, they are stumbling over the finish line as the strain of competing for the Champions League while also reaching the Europa Conference League semi-finals has taken its toll.

Martinez’s return to fitness after missing last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Brighton should have been a significant boost for the home team.

The Argentine World Cup winner, however, misjudged Harvey Elliott’s deflected cross into his own net, giving Liverpool the lead after only two minutes.

Villa responded positively, with Ollie Watkins outpacing Quansah and pulling back a cross for Youri Tielemans to equalize.

However, momentum shifted back in Liverpool’s favor in an end-to-end match when Gakpo tapped in after Martinez could only block Joe Gomez’s shot.

Villa could have been level before halftime, but Diego Carlos turned wide with the goal gaping after pushed Watkins out of the way.

Instead, they trailed 3-1 just three minutes into the second half as Quansah rose highest to head in Elliott’s free kick.

Jhon Duran a ‘nightmare’ against Liverpool lead

There was still time for Villa to stage a remarkable comeback as Liverpool’s own defensive flaws were exposed.

Watkins’ 20th Premier League goal of the season was blocked as Bailey cut across Moussa Diaby’s move and went offside.

Following a furious exchange of words between Bailey and Watkins, the latter was found to have obstructed Douglas Luiz’s path when the Brazilian should have had a clear shot at goal.

Duran might not have played if substitute Nicolo Zaniolo had not been injured.

However, the Colombian executed a fantastic finish, capitalizing on Alexis MacAllister’s blunder to score from the edge of the box.

Duran didn’t know much about his second as Diaby’s pass ricocheted off his thigh. Nevertheless, Hollywood celebrity and Villa supporter Tom Hanks was among the 40,000 who didn’t mind.

“Big Jhon is a bit nuts,” McGinn remarked. “He’s a nightmare sometimes to have on your team, but he’s got moments of quality.”

Only a spectacular save by Alisson Becker prevented Diaby from winning in stoppage time.

A point for Liverpool may be worthless in their bid to win the title, since wins for Manchester City and Arsenal over the weekend essentially eliminated Klopp’s chances of leaving as Premier League champions.

However, it could still be vital in the title race since it keeps Tottenham’s Champions League hopes alive ahead of City’s visit to north London on Tuesday.

Even if Spurs surprise everyone, Villa still has a shot of finishing in the top four against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Even if Tottenham wins their remaining two games against City and Sheffield, a draw at Selhurst Park should enough given Villa’s eight-goal lead.

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