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Damn and Blast!

Aston Villa
0 - 2
Manchester United

Villa Park


Attendance: 33 630


Damn! I must admit with 10 minutes to go I thought that Villa were as likely - or with so few shots and no saves for either keeper to make should that be as unlikely - to score as Manchester United.

Then one minute of madness and it was game over. Wilfred Bouma was perfectly positioned to keep Ronaldo out after Giggs crossed the ball (through the otherwise solid all game Curtis Davies legs) only to ball watch and allow Ronaldo to nip in.

Damn, damn, damn. And especially damn the Man Utd fans who then celebrated by running on the pitch, pushing the cops and throwing a flair. With Brian Barwick of the FA there, I wonder if any action will be taken this time - as they've done this before. I bet there will be action, I bet Villa get fined for allowing it to happen!


The first 80 minutes both teams cancelled each other out, Villa didn't have a shot on target but to be fair, Carson had very little to do either although he is starting to concern me slightly the way he spills the ball. In the first half Ryan Giggs had an open goal only to scuff his shot and many started to wonder if that might have proved to be our get out of jail card, that one stroke of luck where we could go on and get a famous victory.

The answer is no.


In fact, I'll go further. Damn and blast!

So, Villa are now out of both cups, I must admit the defeat against Leicester City hurt far more but with just ten minutes to go, I couldn't help but wonder... but then DAMN.

Lets face it, the game was dull and as Villa didn't shoot on target, they were never going to score. Petrov did have a great effort - which I think would have just about beaten Van der Sar - go just over the bar. Now that would have been a screamer of a goal and it was good to see the Bulgarian back in the team, fit and playing far better than the whole of last season put together.

There weren't any shockingly bad performances today and the 2-0 score line certainly flattered United, a 1-0 either way would have been a fair result. I just can't quite understand why we looked to stifle the game so much and why we didn't show much - if any - attacking intent. That said, we all know if Villa had pushed forward in numbers that we'd have been caught on the break. It looked at times as if a draw would have suited us but frankly I'm happy we didn't get one as a replay doesn't help a small squad and we rarely get any change out of a visit to Old Trafford.


I also thought it was horrible to see the ground not full today, maybe the price of the tickets was wrong, maybe there have been too many games and some fans simply can't afford to go, maybe the stupid kick off time killed it and obviously the fact it was on tv did have an effect. Personally I'd have got the place packed out with kids for free if that was what it took to get Villa Park full. To be outsung at home is always sad, to be outsung by 'that lot' is even sadder.

Damn. Damn and blast. Damn, damnations and blast to smithereens.

Oh well, there is always next year.... if we spend some money and bring in new players obviously. If not, well, there is always time to dream.


Oh my lord, I nearly forgot to mention the ref. Who the hell was he and can he be sent back from whence he came? What a one sided pillock. I watched the match back when I got home to check some of the fouls on our players that he didn't give and they were unbelievable. I'm not blaming that for the result but come on, grow a pair of balls and give decisions against the 'big' teams.


And finally, whilst we are on a damnation roll, why the hell do some of our players wear gloves? Football is for men not fairies, take them off, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. If not, try the bloody ballet! ;-)


Star Player

Hmmm, we lost again and are out of the cup, so not sure I can muster a star player. And the crowd didn't sing much so can't give it to us either. So star player, my chicken pie, hmmmm, pie.

Player Ratings

Scott Carson 5

Not commanding and flapping about. Couple of decent saves but also spilled the ball.

Wilfred Bouma 5

Fine defending until that massive mistake but his forward play is awful as is his distribution

Olof Mellberg 6

Did ok but a tough task for him today

Martin Laursen 8


Curtis Davies 8

Solid, really looks like he is taking his chance now he is finally in the team

Ashley Young 5

Pretty much marked out of the game

Gareth Barry 5.5

Not the usual captains performance (although listening to the radio on the way home, some were saying he was immense, so maybe my eyesight is off as I usually wax lyrical about the Villa skipper)

Stiliyan Petrov 7

Great to see him passing forward, shooting and getting stuck in with tackles.

Nigel Hokey-Cokey 7

Got stuck in today and helped break down the Man Utd midfield

John Carew 6

Can't remember any shots, but then the service was awful and the hoofing up to him to flick on to no one just does not work.

Gabby Agbonlahor 5

Fast of foot but now he has to learn to be fast of mind. Doesn't pass or lay the ball off nearly quick enough

Luke Moore (on for Carew 64)

No impact at all - would so have loved him to be the hero today. Marlon Harewood must surely be about to be sold (or is he injured again?) as he really should have got a game or two over Christmas/New Year. Or is he really THAT bad? If so, why 3.7m fee?

Maloney (on for Petrov 75)

Would have been a good one to start with, he is a lively little bugger!

Gardner (on for Wilf 83)

Not on long but got in a good position for a header on goal, sadly too high but at least he got in there I guess!

Manager Rating

MON. Needs to spend, spend much, and spend wisely. The squad is a good starting point but we lack quality. We aren't Leicester City Mark II. We are Aston Villa. We are used to quality players not cast offs. Hopefully we'll have more of the Young and Davies variety soon and less of the Harewood and Knight signings.

Opponent Rating

Sir Alex Chewalot. Praised Villa after the game so fair enough... he says begrudgingly

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday January 6 2008
Time: 12:10AM


I, like all other Villans are dissapointed to lose to them yet again, but at the end of the day they have far more quality than us. They are where we want to be, we are still on an upwards curve which will take time. In my opinion Davies was at fault for the first goal. He played the ball to Mellberg who was under pressure from 2 Man Utd players, he should have hoofed it up the field. It spoilt was was otherwise a good performance from him. Zat Knight is a good signing MON gets the best out of him. I admit he has a tendancy to make an error but who doesnt? Ask Curtis Davies. Who over time will be a very good player......bring it on next season, we hafe to beat them of averages....dont we?
06/01/2008 10:35:00
"To be outsung at home is always sad, to be outsung by 'that lot' is even sadder." A lot can be said about the Old Trafford support (or the lack of it) but our travelling fans have always been great, they are never quiet.
06/01/2008 11:09:00
imavillan, we do have to beat them at some time..... some time this decade hopefully. Zae, away fans are always the most vocal and your lot do ok away from home, but they also (not all of them obviously) don't know how to behave, they are amongst the worst in the game for running on the pitch etc not helped when Fergie and all his lot do similar.
The Fear
06/01/2008 11:52:00
Excellent player ratings, agree entirely. Why can't we have Wee Shaun Maloney and big John playing together, with Gabby on the wing.
06/01/2008 12:22:00
Why was there so many Manure fans there yesterday. reports say 6000. More like 8 or 9. Even if we can't sell our allocation I would rather have empty seats than Mancunians everywhere giving them a home atmosphere. Couldn't see from where I was sat but apparently they stood up all game and because there was so many of them the stewards couldn't do anything. They love coming to Villa (as they always win) and it will soon be known as their second ground rather than ours.
06/01/2008 12:29:00
Is it only me? I thought we were awful yesterday. We played like a bunch of rabbits who had been startled by an oncoming car's headlights!! Tactically, we got the game all wrong. Man U were there for the taking and we should have gone at them like we did against Chelsea and Arsenal in the second half - play to our strengths and get in amongst them. As it was, with nine men behind the ball, once we had got it off them, there wasn't an outlet ball so it was just hoofed forward in the hope that John Carew could control it and hold it up long enough for the midfield to cross the half way line! He looked out of sorts yesterday and did his best, but it didn't work. Maybe I just wanted this too much.
06/01/2008 12:59:00
Decent match report, but I have to take issue with Barry's rating - I wouldn't have him as immense, but he was pretty much head and shoulders ahead of the rest of our guys yesterday, with thepossible exception of Laursen - easily a 7.5 (and I don't think any of our guys would deserve an 8). I would think possibly him and Reo Coker would've been the only ones under 'supervision' that didn't do themselves any harm. I for one am not too disappointed to see us knocked out - the FA Cup isn't winnable for us this season, but 6th place in the league is - lets refocus on qualifying for Europe and then we can start to legitimately attract the right calibre of player that we seem to already be demanding...
06/01/2008 13:09:00
my big worry is the likes of Gabby will get fed up playing in a system like that and will want to play a more attacking system at a different team.
06/01/2008 13:11:00
We have scored more goals than most teams in the prem and more goals away from home than anybody, how attacking a system do we want? We are probally the most attacking team in the prem. I also feel we are not just a long ball team and if you look at the opta stats it does suggest we have a lot more to our game than just one option. We are a young team that is still developing and does need one or two more players but we certainly do not need a whole host of new players. The core of the squad is good and yesterday matched the best team in the prem for 80 minutes in a competition I don't believe we were serious about. On the crowd there are rules set by the FA on allocations and I although I went I think most fans interest in the FA Cup is low. The crowds at all the cup games are always well below the prem. We are still on target to get we want to be and our day against Man U will come
06/01/2008 13:27:00
anyone noticed the hokey cokey cannot pass more than 3 yards? I know he is a battling midfielder who is quite partial to a yellow card but surely its football you can pass its a basic in football. Look at gerrard he sprays the ball right across the pitch, some go awry but most hit their intended target. So what does everyone else think?
06/01/2008 13:29:00
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