Aston Villa and Preston North End played out a bonkers 3-3 draw on Tuesday night.

Aston Villa fans would have been forgiven for thinking they had a crucial three points all wrapped up when they were leading Preston North End 2-0 at half time on Tuesday night, but few could have expected the chaos to follow.

After one win in eight, under-fire boss Steve Bruce desperately needed a positive result to slow down the questions about his future, and it all started so well at Villa Park as strike duo Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham struck in the first half to put Villa 2-0 up against bottom of the table North End.

However, the game completely changed in the second half. James Chester brought down striker Lukas Nmecha for a Preston penalty, and the Welsh defender was given a straight red card before Daniel Johnson stepped up to score against his former club.

Substitute Paul Gallagher then scored from a free kick to put Preston level, and Louis Moult’s header appeared to have given Preston an unlikely win as he put the Lilywhites into a 3-2 lead with just three minutes to play.


However, North End can’t stop leaking goals at the moment, and did so again as Yannick Bolasie equalised for Villa from close range, and Villa then won a 95th minute penalty after Johnson brought down Birkir Bjarnason – only for Chris Maxwell to save Glenn Whelan’s spot kick in a staggering end to the second half.

Preston’s come back was unlikely, and appeared to start even before Chester’s red card, as they were far more composed on the ball, pushed higher up the pitch and looked more creative, which was largely down to the introduction of midfielder Johnson at half time.

A £50,000 signing from Villa’s reserves in January 2015, Johnson has been in and out of the Preston side over the last year, but came back to haunt his former club with a superb second half showing.

Villa fans took to Twitter to react to his performance, suggesting that he was made to look like Andrea Pirlo as he controlled the game in the middle of the park, whilst praising the Villa academy graduate for running the show for North End.

Preston supporters – a little more used to Johnson’s inconsistency – were pleased to see Johnson change the game on Tuesday night but called on him to improve further and prove fans wrong, noting that he was ‘awesome and ‘superb’, but admitting that it’s performances like this that make him so frustrating.

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