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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Lucky Win, The Verdict

Martin O'Neill probably shuddered like me when he found out Steve 'Gordon' Bennett was in charge of the game, if he did however, we both did Mr Bennett a disservice tonight.

The controversial penalty award, as Bennett originally believed Ashley Young had handled the ball over the bar looked set to tear away the freaky and lucky 3 points we had secured in the second half of the match. After a mass protest by the Villa players and maybe a few mentions of 'sleep' and 'with the fishes', Bennett decided to seek the advice of his assistant who convinced him he was wrong and to Bennett's credit, he changed his mind and cancelled the penalty award.

So it's no surprising who gains all of Martin O'Neill's 'praise' this match in his interview on the official site.

O'Neill used words like courageous to describe Bennett's reversal of opinion....I bet Arsy Wenger is really spitting feathers about referee's again tonight.

'We got the goal and then we had the drama at the end.

'The referee was exceptionally courageous to change his mind.

'He had already given a penalty but Gareth [Barry] asked him to consult the linesman. The linesman overruled him.

'It was a brave decision because he was relying on the lineman getting it right. He did! Delight turned to despair and thankfully, it turned to delight again.'

As ever O'Neill is rarely ever shy of saying we played crap, even if he's more eloquent than me in saying so.

'We didn't play well. We left a little bit behind at Villa Park after our exploits against Arsenal. But that was understandable.

'I thought the game opened up in the second half and Hull probably sensed they could win.

'Just when it looked like it was heading for stalemate, Ashley Young produced a bit of magic. Absolutely brilliant!'

Well not so magic really, he failed to beat the first man when making a cross which we all know is an amatuer mistake. Thankfully the first man saved Gabby the bother of putting it in though and did that himself saving Ashley's blushes.

You've got to love our spirit though. Last season if we were 2-0 down, especially against a team like Arsenal it would've been curtains....yet now we can battle back. Against Hull we were awful, like we have been in other games like Blackburn and West Ham for a large part, yet we still manage to steal a winner however 'lucky' the winning goals may have been.

For years we have hated the fact we couldn't kill off teams, we couldn't turn over teams and secure even a point when we were behind and we hated the likes of Liverpool and Man U who could play worse than we did but would always nick a goal and the points.

Each and every match we seem to be moving closer to the team we have always wanted, the luck we have always wanted and the attitude we have always desired.

Some quality buys in the New Year could turn this into a better season than it has already been.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 30 2008

Time: 11:58PM

Your Comments

Luck isn't in it. Villa kept a clean sheet against a side who have served up a lot of surprises this season. The goal was always going to have something flukey about it...
Sindbad
It's now official, Jamie Redknap is a complete t w a t . He said of the penalty claim; 'luckily, the ref came to the right decision in the end, although it was the wrong way to go about it.' WHAT EXACTLY was the wrong way to go about it Jamie Spunk bubble? What are linesman there for, to look pretty? Nob
Villan-in-Cyprus
I think Jamie's point was he should have spoken to his linesman (assistant referee) before giving the penalty. That way he wouldn't have had to seemingly change his mind. Oh well, Who gives a flying fish?!? I scared the crap out of our cat by leaping around and screaming when we scored. Sorry cat.
Adam Deuce
I had 50 on Villa winning so i'm happy lol won 51pound although the 5% comission takes it down to about 48.45 lol, Anyway we are 4 points off Chelsea in 2nd place and Liverpool are 7 points from us, Liverpool won't be spending, Man Utd won't be spending Arsenal are in a mess with a few key players probably on the way out like Gallas, That would be a bloody buy actually bring in Gallas, how solid would our defence be then, we also need a creative midfielder someone that will create something different, at the moment Barry and Petrov/Sidwell aren't playing like top 4 players and we need that bit of flash that bit of magic in the middle of the park, we also need a striker and possibly a left back depending on how fast Bouma gets back to full fitness, what a joy it will be when he comes back, we are missing Laursen aswell even though we kept a clean sheet, and will Cueller ever be the player we thought we brought ? excellent one game ***** the other, maybe he'll take a few seasons like Petrov....
Villa 4 Ever
Great 3 points, pretty average tonight but as others have said if we keep finding ways to win games like this, that can only bode well. Definitely need another striker and a creative midfielder to come in. Thought Petrov was great again, Barry and Sidwell looked tired. Finish the year off with a win and that's a great feeling, to be in this position at this stage is unreal. Hoping for a good transfer window and for more quality than we got at the same stage last season when we also had a great chance to push for the top 4/5. I really don't think the defense needs strengthening and even though it's not ideal to play NRC and Young at the back, they keep on playing well. Bring on the second half of the season and lets hope it brings us what we all want. UTV.
grimaldo
Brad is past it. Can still stop a shot but cannot catch. twice he dropped the ball under minimun pressuse. The first should have been a goal for Hull..........just look at Brads face before he saw the ref give the foul. Strange game but we won!
dannyvellow
dannyvellow: did you see friedel get us the 3points against west ham this season?? saying he's past it is abit far fetched
aaron_villa87
A lucky win?? Please, do me me a favour, Hull played like they were playing the 1st leg of a European tie away from home, every player behind the ball, they started the game looking for a point and got exactly what they deserved, 4ck all, this from a team 2 places below us! so LUCK, no chance, we thoroughly deserved our 3 points. It's funny how some think we were lucky, yet when we used to play the big four and play like Hull did last night, we were branded negative by the media and the opposing manager, so for a team who could have been 5 points behind us with a home win last night, it 4ck's me right off, that we get tarred with the lucky brush, from one of our own, hang your head in shame Vital Villan.
eltoro
aaron, well maybe a bit far fetched, but I do like a keeper who can catch the ball.
dannyvellow
The ref was wrong to give it and then take it back Villan, he should have consulted with his linesman first, but as Jamie said, the right decision was made in the wrong way.
The Fear
I think he was close to the ball and knocked off it twice, both times it was right to give a free kick under the current rules although I wish the goalies weren't so protected these days!
The Fear
To be fair we have had a lot of luck this season and defiantly need more quality brought in to have a chance of finishing fourth.
chris the villan
Was it a lucky win though? Hull were so ultra negative that they didn't deserve to get anything from the game. As the home side, they should have been ready and willing to take the game to us. They weren't. We were below par, yes, yet still they couldn't beat us.
glensider
Sweet ball in from Ash for the winner, the type of ball so difficult to deal with. We're getting a lot of away wins under our belt when performing below par, so clearly as a team we are doing something very right.
glensider
 

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