FULL TIME: Aston Villa 3 – 3 Liverpool

A late double from Jhon Duran – including a ludicrously fortuitous equaliser – snatched Aston Villa a 3-3 draw against Liverpool as they closed on a Champions League place next season.

Duran was only introduced in the 79th minute as a substitute but made a stunning impact as Liverpool’s poor run continued. Villa are guaranteed a top-four finish if Tottenham fail to beat Manchester City on Tuesday.

Substitute Jhon Duran struck a dramatic late double as Aston Villa edged a step closer to securing UEFA Champions League football next season by hitting back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool at Villa Park.

The visiting Merseysiders were gifted an early advantage when Emiliano Martinez contrived to fumble Harvey Elliott’s deflected cross into his own net on two minutes.

Villa equalised against the run of play 10 minutes later when Ollie Watkins teed up Youri Tielemans before Cody Gakpo gobbled up a rebound to restore Liverpool’s lead on 23 minutes.

It was in keeping with an end-to-end contest and the only surprise was that there were no further goals prior to the interval, with Diego Carlos going close to a second for Villa with what must go down as the miss of the season.

Liverpool added a third within three minutes of the restart when Jarell Quansah crashed home a header to snare his first ever Premier League goal.

Unai Emery’s men continued to create openings but looked to be heading towards defeat until Duran netted twice in the last five minutes to somehow snare a share of the spoils.

The result means fourth-placed Villa are now five points clear of Spurs with a game to play. The Lilywhites – in fifth – have two matches left but need to win at home to title-chasing Manchester City on Tuesday night to take the race for the final Champions League berth to the last day of the season.

Villa will end the campaign with a tricky trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday while Jurgen Klopp’s men, who will finish third, bring down the curtain on his tenure as Liverpool boss at home to Wolves.

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