Peter Odemwingie's 14th league goal of the season pulled West Brom level
By Les Roopanarine
A late strike from Youssouf Mulumbu gave 10-man West Brom their first league victory against Aston Villa for more than a quarter of a century.
The home side fell behind in the fourth minute when Abdoulaye Meite sliced a Stewart Downing cross into his own net.
West Brom hit back on the hour when Peter Odemwingie volleyed home a close-range equaliser.
Paul Scharner was dismissed moments later, but with six minutes left Mulumbu flicked home the winner.
It was another feather in the cap for West Brom manager Roy Hodgson, whose side not only overhauled Villa, all but extinguishing any lingering relegation fears, but also claimed their first league win against their local rivals since a 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns in April 1985.
Hodgson delighted at comeback win
Back in February, when Roberto Di Matteo was dismissed as manager with only goal difference separating the Baggies from the bottom three, that scenario would have been unimaginable.
Yet such is the alchemy wrought by Hodgson, who has overseen just one defeat in nine matches since his appointment, that his side now sit proudly above their three West Midlands rivals in the Premier League table.
That looked an unlikely outcome after four minutes, when West Brom's hopes of keeping a clean sheet for the first time since the second game of the season were snuffed out in inept fashion.
Had Meite shown greater faith in his left foot, he would surely have completed a routine clearance from Downing's flicked centre.
Instead, with Darren Bent lurking behind him on the six-yard line, the Ivory Coast international attempted to flick the ball away with the outside of his right boot, sending it spinning beyond the stranded Scott Carson.
To score one faintly comical goal may be regarded as a misfortune. But, when a Stiliyan Petrov effort deflected off the hapless Meite's outstretched boot a few moments later, almost causing Carson further embarrassment, you began to suspect it was not going to be the Baggies' day.
Looking to extend a four-game unbeaten run, Villa were as relentless in their onslaught as West Brom were ineffectual.
Mulumbu tried his luck for the home side from 25 yards, drawing an acrobatic save from visiting keeper Brad Friedel, while Carlos Vela's first touch let him down following a defence-splitting ball from Simon Cox.
Otherwise, though, it was all Villa. Downing fired into the side netting when a pass to Bent or Gabriel Agbonlahor would surely have brought greater reward. Kyle Walker capped a lightning Villa break by standing up a far-post cross for Bent, obliging Carson to tip away. Agbonlahor drilled wide.
Dressing room hurting after derby defeat - McAllister
Villa would have cause to rue these moments of profligacy. Only Tottenham have equalled the home side's ability to salvage points from a losing position this season, and when Odemwingie won a 60th-minute free-kick along the right channel, the worm began to turn.
James Morrison curled the resulting set-piece to the far post, Jonas Olsson sent a header back across goal and, as Cox's scrambled effort popped up off Petrov, the Nigeria international stabbed home a close-range volley.
It was Odemwingie's 14th Premier League goal since his August move from Lokomotiv Moscow, although the home support had little time to enjoy it.
Two minutes later, Scharner - earlier booked for unsporting behaviour by referee Phil Dowd - recklessly hauled Petrov to the ground and promptly received his marching orders.
A sustained spell of Villa pressure followed and, as Downing drew a sprawling save from Carson, it briefly looked as though the depleted home side might be overwhelmed.
But when Cox slotted the ball through to Mulumbu with six minutes remaining, the Congo international spun away from Ciaran Clark and lifted the ball over Friedel to bring West Brom's 26-year wait for a win against Villa to a deliriously celebrated end.
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