Conor Hourihane came off the bench to help inspire Aston Villa to a win over West Brom – and some of the club’s supporters hailed him for his performance.
Villa secured a 2-1 victory to take the lead in the play-off semi-final and now have to protect that when they travel to the Hawthorns next week for the second leg.
After just 16 minutes played, visitors West Brom went in front through prolific striker Dwight Gayle as he managed to capitalise on a Glenn Whelan mistake.
But Dean Smith’s side fought back in the second period with two goals and Gayle was also crucially shown a second yellow card late on.
Hourihane came on in the second-half and scored a left-footed piledriver after being set-up by Jack Grealish on the edge of the box.
The Irish midfielder now has nine goals and 12 assists across all competitions this season for Villa.
Tammy Abraham’s penalty then gave the hosts a win after he sent goalkeeper Sam Johnstone the wrong way.
Hourihane had to be content with a spot on the bench, but proved his value when introduced by manager Smith and he surely has to be in contention to start the second leg.
The 28-year-old has divided fans during stages of the season, he was the savour at the weekend and some on social media praised his impact.
Here are some Villa fans on Hourihane’s contribution against West Brom:
Honestly, have we ever had a more underrated player than Conor Hourihane? Always, always delivers when we need it most. Big game player and we’re lucky to have him. #AVFC
— _ (@WanDilliams) May 11, 2019
— S h a n (@shankitchen_x) May 11, 2019
Hourihane class when he came on, Gayle daft at the end, tough game Tuesday, need to play better overall to go through, great result #AVFC
— Adam Bunting (@adambunts) May 11, 2019
— rampage2444 (AVFC) (@rampage24441) May 11, 2019
I won’t tell you again about Hourihane!!! Game changer, what a comeback and more importantly a win! Onto Tuesday UTV https://t.co/0RTqlaZleh
— Regan (@ReganFrancis) May 11, 2019
— Hay (@R0lfeyy) May 11, 2019
— Sourcorn (@MrSourcorn) May 11, 2019