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Shane Long opens the scoring for WBA at the Hawthorns.
Shane Long opens the scoring for WBA at the Hawthorns.
Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Sublime Shane Long fizzes in Baggies double but Villa snatch draw

The Irish striker’s touch for his first goal was reminiscent of Denis Bergkamp at his best.
Nov 25th 2013, 8:47 PM 10,437 13

WEST BROMWICH ALBION squandered a two-goal lead at the Hawthorns to draw 2-2 against a determined Aston Villa side. The Baggies were 2-0 against Villa after 11 minutes thanks to a wondrous double from their Irish striker.

The Tipperary native broke a 10-game scoreless streak for his club with a goal against Chelsea two weeks ago and kept up the habit with a first-half brace against Paul Lambert’s men.

His first goal was effortless in its simplicity yet a joy to behold. He pulled down a diagonal long ball from teammate Chris Brunt with his right foot and shifted it inside to his left before unleashing a low drive.

YouTube credit: allthegreatgoals

Eight minutes later and it was 2-0. Leandro Bacuna played a horrendous ball across the Villa backline that fell to Long. He took a touch to get himself, and the ball, away from Nathan Baker before chipping a deft effort in off the underside of the bar as goalkeeper Brad Guzan watched on helplessly.

YouTube credit: bOOPER312

Long’s teammate Stephane Sessegnon then missed a sitter from four yards out before Villa responded through Libor Kozak. He controlled a Christian Benteke flicked header before rattling the woodwork with a rising strike.

The hat-trick never arrived for Long as Steve Clarke’s side failed to close out the tie. Karim El Ahmadi roofed a strike from close range after 67 minutes and Ashley Westwood swerved in a low strike to level affairs. The sides could not be separated on the night and remain side by side in the league table, with WBA 11th and Villa a spot further behind.

VIDEO: Kerry junior soccer player summons his inner Denis Bergkamp

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Patrick McCarry

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