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Villa Crush Italian Champs!

Aston Villa basked in the mid afternoon sun to see off Inter Milan 3-0.

Villa were the brightest throughout the game and Inter seldom threatened and didn't test our keeper, Taylor, once throughout the 90 minutes.

Gareth Barry scored two, one from the penalty spot and the towering inferno that is Martin Laursen scored the other.

Milan looked short of pace and match rusty, but then again, they took on and beat Manchester United midweek (or so I believe, can't claim to have seen that result myself!). It certainly wasn't a weak side that Milan put out:

Inter: J.Cesar, Stankovic, Maxwell, Ibrahimovic, Cruz, Jimenez, Dacourt, Materazzi, Samuel, Chivu, Cesar. Subs: Toldo, Fillipini, Pedleli, Figo (replaced Jimenez at half time), Adriano (replaced Ibrahimovic 64), Fikol, Fatic (replaced Samuel 78), Balotelli, Boltoni, Santiago (replaced Materazzi ht), Suazo (replaced Cruz ht)

But Villa were brighter, had more pace, didn't let the Italian champions settle on the ball and played good attacking, passing football. Nice to see the long balls were non existent and that the full use of the pace of Luke Moore, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor was used to good measure.

So, no worries then, ready for Saturday against Liverpool? Well, a friendly is a friendly, the Premiership is a different matter. With a new goalie and a recognised right-back, we might just hold our own though, certainly the squad (albeit short on numbers) is looking good pace wise and there are a few options up front. An injury or two though and this paper thin squad would be decimated. Hopefully the next week will see that situation resolved, if not it'll be a Russian roulette first half to the season.

For this game, Villa lined up with Cahill as right back in the first half, he looked ok and did a couple of lovely insightful passes forward. The second half Craig Gardner was right-back and to be fair, he was beaten for speed a few times and made a lunging tackle that resulted in a yellow card. In the Prem he'll simply not get away with those sort of challenges, more's the pity because that is the sort of football I like, good on him!

The main worry again was Stiliyan Petrov, he seemed to give the ball away more than the others although he did pull off one nice shot that was well saved. Hopefully he'll blossom into our playmaker this season, at the price he came in at, he's got to hasn't he?

Overall it was a good entertaining game and a great afternoon out. I believe the announcer said the attendance was 36 000 something, although it was muffled so I'm not certain on that. I had to be on my best behaviour this afternoon because I took my mom and dad to the match, I was very subdued (by my standards anyway) but did have to ask Louis Figo why he had banana's on his feet. Well, you do wonder don't you?

The new season? Bring it on!

VILLA: Taylor, Cahill, Mellberg, Laursen, Bouma, Young, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Barry, Moore, Agbonlahor. Subs: Bevan, Harewood (replaced Agbonlahor 72), Berger (replaced Mellberg 72), Gardner (replaced Cahill ht), Osbourne (replaced Laursen 81), Maloney (replaced Young 74), O'Halloran, Stieber, Lowry.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 4 2007

Time: 6:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I thought Petrov did ok. Reo-Coker was definatley MOM for me, the guy showed great spirit and determination. Ibrahimovic was awful for them.
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04/08/2007 18:26:00

Gabby's a flyin machine! I thought Petrov was mediocre and blamed every one else when he lost it. Reo is the type of player you'd want to punch he's nigly.
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04/08/2007 18:32:00

Don't know why it posted when I hadn't finished? Anyway... Reo got really stuck in, Barry was sublime, but in the 10 mins Harewood was on i didn't take to him. He seemed well off the pace. Superb day out, and a great competitve friendly. Highlight of the day... the ejit in the suit running on the pitch with footy boots on??
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04/08/2007 18:35:00

Reo-Coker was excellent, Inter didn't like it when we got stuck into them and Reo v Dacourt was interesting as was Laursen v Ibrahimovic who was made to look a complete ***** on occasion. Adriano and Figo were very disappointing but by then we were so much in control there wasn't much they could do. At the end of the day it was a pre-season friendly , but still it was Internazionale and we absolutely battered them.............
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04/08/2007 18:54:00

ppl are still moaning about the game and we won Jesus but am over the moon its just too bad Steibler didn't get to play yet again
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04/08/2007 19:00:00

Positives - Well obviously the fact we won 3-0 against Inter; Laursen was sensational; for your hard man to start a fight 20mins into his home debut is always a good thing; Gabby's pace is scary; I'd say Barry was exceptional but he always plays like that; Freddie Bouma has learned how to pass a ball! Negatives - We need a right-back badly; we ended the match with one defender on the field; Marlon was a bit wayward most of the time; and would somone please buy the Inter physio a tracksuit!?!!?
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04/08/2007 19:10:00

Christo - We're still in transfer rumour mode so when you watch a match you don't just say we won 3-0 and leave at that. You look at how you can improve. Are you saying we can't and there's no need to buy anyone? Did you see how inexperienced our bench was. We finished with Obsorne & Barry at centre back with gardner at RB. I thought it was a superb performance and when I looked at the scoreboard to see the name Inter Milan on it, I thought how brilliant it would be to have those Euro nights again. UPV
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04/08/2007 19:19:00

Who's moaning?
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04/08/2007 19:24:00

I aint seen the match yet but I do still think we need to buy players I love seeing guys come in but am just saying am really happy with them and it seems were good even with just them but we cant carry on like that all season though
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04/08/2007 19:25:00

some people on the forum
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04/08/2007 19:25:00

just watched the game and thought we were outstanding,Reo Coker was immense,its clear that MoN has fashioned an extremley tight unit with everyone playing for each other.Im absalotley thrilled by the team spirit.However I dont think Inter were taking that game particularly serious and we shouldn't read too much into it.We definatley need more defenders and I thought Petrov looked a bit padestrian again.If Laursen gets injured we are effed,he's superb.
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04/08/2007 19:35:00

amazing performance that was,just watched it on setanta.villa absolutely ran them ragged.barry,ashley,reo,gabby and martin all superb.was watching that and saying to myself what a team we looked like there,pure joy to watch and as i have it taped on sky plus it will be getting watched later again.inter milan tore apart now how often can you say that whoever they play,ffs they beat man u in midweek! excited again about new season now,tremendous.rb and a gk for next saturady and i say we are flying.UTV
Belfast Villain
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04/08/2007 19:36:00

Yes, it was only a friendly, no, it doesn't mean a monkeys with regards to our premiership potential this season, but right now, I couldn't care less. Lets savour the day, and celebrate the fact that we've just well and truly stuffed one of the top outfits on the European footballing scene, a team that a mere three days ago came up against the media darlings that are Manchester United, and beat them 3-2 in their own backyard. For once lets discard the negativity and caution that some will try into inject amongst us, and bask in the glory of the fact that MON's boys have just well and truly stuffed Inter-Milan by three goals to nil. A very enjoyable, and celebratory afternoon, with an excellent pre-season crowd on hand to witness the demolition job.
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04/08/2007 20:21:00

Where is AVFC48???
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04/08/2007 20:36:00

cant wait 2 next saturday now! well said glensider,all in all we looked an outstanding outfit 2day and no one can argue with it. UTV
Belfast Villain
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04/08/2007 20:42:00

Where can we find "Vital Inter Milan" to see what their fans are saying?? :o)
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04/08/2007 20:55:00

Surely by now "myleftfoot" you should have realised that avfc48 has no interest when it comes to football matches.
pongo wearing
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04/08/2007 21:13:00

I cant really fault anyone today, but would like to say Laursen and Coker were class, i will admit i was a bit worried about next week and i know Liverpool will cause us a lot more problems, but today i saw an all round team display of which im proud! UTV!!!
silkie villain
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04/08/2007 21:18:00

Where was Carew ??
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04/08/2007 21:40:00

Apparently he's got a groin strain according to MON on WM
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04/08/2007 21:43:00

Just one comment about the poll - should've had the option "MON is prepared to wait for the players he wants, regardless of the time it takes to get them."
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04/08/2007 21:46:00

good stuff,was starting to get worried he was on his bike there for a while 2! hope he ok for next saturday though. UTV
Belfast Villain
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04/08/2007 21:46:00

Miss_Aston - A bit of worry. Carew just seems to be a bit injury prone - perhaps its just his frame - would like to see him play along side Moore. I just a feeling that this combo would be the revelation of the season.
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04/08/2007 21:49:00

just got home from the game, absolutely amazing performance!, Mellberg and Laursen threw themselves into tackles and read the game well, Cahill did ok at Right back, bouma solid, NRC very good im impressed! Petrov was like last season blamed everyone but himself, was slow and not aware of things around him, Young very good, Barry solid, a little lazy sometimes in tracking back, Gabby did some neat stuff but sometimes need to just tap it down the line and just run, Moore fantastic work rate, very pleased, didnt think much of harewoods flick ons without looking at who is around him and when he tripped himself up lol, very promising but lets not make that an excuse not to buy 5 more players :-P
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04/08/2007 22:45:00

Bob the builder: check this out. Dont give us much credit but there you go. Memories of 94 with God in his pomp. UTV.
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04/08/2007 23:30:00

P.S, Hope Laursen stays fit. is Curtis Davies a reality?
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04/08/2007 23:31:00

Great performance from Reo. Just the player we have been missing. Laursen was brilliant, the look on his face when he scored was priceless. Great noisy Holte aswell. Brilliant.
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04/08/2007 23:34:00

heard Harewood and Petrov did nothing
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05/08/2007 08:34:00

Agree with most of that ... Petrov still worries me. He seemed to want to blame everyone else if things didn't go to plan ... I can see him getting a right mouthful from NRC at some stage this season! Favourite bit of the match had to be when Ashley Young started stopming towards Rennie who made one agreesive step back towards AY who pronptly ran off with his tail between his legs. Still a bloody awful ref though :o(
Silver Fox
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05/08/2007 08:54:00

always has to be about uriah rennie when he is ref doesn't it? Awful performance from him.
The Fear
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05/08/2007 09:02:00

i was there, excellent performance from the boys
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05/08/2007 09:22:00

Fear, Rennie was awful, he could not get it into his head that it was a friendly. Am i correct in saying that he is still demoted from the preimership?
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05/08/2007 10:02:00

I thaught, given the opposition, that we were great. Good performances all round. Especially nice to see Laursen doing well for a full 90. Gardner fulfilled what looked like a lifetimes ambition when he kicked Figo up in the air. Has to fill the team with confidence. Now for Liverpool.
return of godzvilla
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05/08/2007 10:12:00

Just let People know that there is now footage on you Tube after you type in Aston Villa click on date added
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05/08/2007 10:30:00

Good to have a quality pre-season friendly back at Villa Park by the way. I'd missed them.
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05/08/2007 11:01:00

Re; Rennie, usual performance from him, crap, although I too liked the incident with Ash mentioned above. He also missed alot too like in the second half when Luke was down in the penalty area and Samuel left his foot in and stamped on him long after the ball had gone. The only other concern I had yesterday was Maloney who didn't seem to be with it. Even when warming up he barely acknowledged the crowd. Hope he settles down and gets a few good games under his belt as i think he could be a great player for us. There were four Italian guys sat next to us on the Holte and they went from quiet arrogance to open mouthed disbelief during the game, eventually leaving about ten minutes before the end. Great stuff.
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05/08/2007 11:02:00

I agree about Uriah Rennie JF. He obviously knew it was being televised. Grat game, the lads did really well. Only down-side was Petrov again, agree with all the other coments about him on here. Were you wearing a bright red shirt Fear? I would recognize that baldy head anywhere!!! Next time "Look behind you" you'll see another one in the upper trinity!!
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05/08/2007 13:13:00

Once again it seems Gabbys pace had the defence at sixes and sevens, please let him have a run in the team this season and never mind resting him because he is young etc etc.
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05/08/2007 14:48:00

Petrov was OK - not great but ok. Personally though I think gardner will force is way into the team ahead of Petrov. I know petrov is more creative - but we see so little of it , that it wouldn't be missed. MON was incredibly loyal to petrov last season - I hope come, say October - he picks the midfield on Merit - and I reckon Gardner will start to edge Petrov out. At this stage I wouldn't be totally surprised if Petrov throws his toys out the pram
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05/08/2007 16:13:00

And we do not want a cry baby in the team thats for sure
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05/08/2007 16:26:00

I bloody predicted 3-0 and didnt bother putting a bet on! Gutted! great result tho!
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05/08/2007 16:29:00


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