Aston Villa drew 3-3 with Preston North End at Villa Park on Tuesday evening in a game full of drama, which left a bitter taste in the mouth for home fans.
The hosts raced into a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham in the first half but James Chester’s dismissal nine minutes after the restart turned the game on it’s head.
Daniel Johnsen’s penalty kickstarted Preston’s comeback, who equalised through Paul Gallagher and then took the lead four minutes before the final whistle through Louis Moult but Yannick Bolasie’s last-gasp equaliser ensured the spoils would be shared.
It could have been even sweeter for Aston Villa though as the hosts were awarded a penalty in the dying stages but Glenn Whelan saw his spot-kick saved by Chris Maxwell in the final action of the game.
While Whelan is not the first and certainly will not be the last to miss a decisive penalty, fans were left scratching their heads as to why a 34-year-old who has just six league goals in the past decade of his career was on duty to take the crucial penalty.
Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Yannick Bolasie were all on the field, and surely stood out as better choices to take the penalty, but the events show just how bizarre things have got under the guidance of Steve Bruce.
Fans made their feelings towards the boss known during the match, with one even throwing a cabbage onto the pitch, and Whelan’s penalty fiasco must surely be the final nail in the coffin for Bruce at Villa Park.