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Reading 2 - Aston Villa 4

Madejski Stadium


Attendance: 23 175

Give Us Beta Blockers Villa - Match Report

Oh for the love of God, pack it in MON, we'll all have heart attacks. They should give us all beta blockers with our cup tickets don't you think?!

Well football really is a funny old game!

We were 2-0 down against Blackburn in the Carling Cup and came back to win.

Today we were 2-0 down to a very bright Reading team and again, we looked lost, lacking in spirit, tired and to be frank at times, clueless.

Final score. 4-2.

Half time consensus was pretty much that we'd been 'pathetic' and then the questions start - as they do with fans of all teams - about the manager, tactics etc. I pointed out that MON wasn't on the pitch, it was the players who had performed (not performed) so badly, not the manager. The retort was Petrov looked shattered, that Heskey and Carew up front doesn't work, that Luke Young is a right-back not Carlos Cuellar (who was not good at Wembley it has to be said). It is difficult to argue with those points, I'm sure many of us make the same arguments with mates etc.

And yet... final score. 4-2 to the Villa boys!

I don't know. I can't explain. I just am clueless as to what is going on! The only thing you can say with some certainty is if we'd been 2-0 down 5 years back, we'd have lost the game, now we can come back and often do.

Team sprit?

Only thing I can put it down to.

There is a desire, it was hard to see in the first half but it was in abundance in the second half.

Baffling, exciting, heart attacking inducing. Just a few of the emotions!

Credit in a totally non condescending way to Reading, they made that a REALLY good cup tie and will think they threw it away. I'd disagree, with a half time rollicking still ringing in the players ears, Villa did exactly what they had been told to do, got an early goal. Ashley Young converted a nice pass from John Carew which was dummied by Carlos Cuellar. Ok, ok, Cuellar either missed it or miss hit it, moving on. 2-1 and game on.

Then up stepped John Carew.

Ah, John Carew. The biggest enigma we've had since Stan Collymore. At least Stan could put his enigmatic status down to a mental disorder (which is what depression is, no matter how much people make light of it in total ignorance) but JC?

He has everything. He showed that today. If he showed that 90% of the time he'd be up there with the Drogba's and Rooney's of the world. I have no doubt of that at all.

His first attempt not long after Young's goal was a tame attempt at a flick on. HIT THE BLOODY THING I moaned in the forum. Not long after he connected beautifully after actually running in the box and getting in the right position to head in from close range. Fantastic. 2-2. Then he got another chance and flicked it, showing why he is up front for Villa and not me! Same sort of attempt as the first, only this time he connected and in it went.

3-2 and game over?

Well no, we had a few more chances, Emile Heskey most notably who was one on one with their keeper and mucked it up. Surely the plane to South Africa is getting further and further away from Emile if he can't convert those? 5 goals in 32 games I believe the commentator said today. Hmmm? Then Reading came back at us, Ashley Young cleared one attempt off the line and there was much in the way of scrambled defending but we held strong. Then finally the game was put beyond doubt with a penalty. John Carew was brought down and the pen was the right decision. He converted and collected the match ball with a very nice hattrick.

John Carew.... on form like this .... IS bigger than me and you, WOULD be being offered a new contract and WOULD deserve hero status. Come on JC, you have the world at your feet, do that in every game to the end of the season (come on MON, start the guy to do it, Emile is not going to score!) and we could not only lift the FA Cup but we could also finish fourth.

Now that would make his name worth singing.

Thanks to Ashley Young for not hiding today, his second half performance was every bit as important as the big man's goals.

Bring on the FA Cup semi draw and bring on Wembley again.

Damn, wish Wembley last week hadn't wiped out my finances (I was there for the two nights and beer might have been consumed!) as I really wish I'd not been an armchair fan today.

Oh and hoodoo? I don't think so!

Stats: Click Here

I believe if we are very good there will be a Glensider away match report will follow later or in the morning.

Star Player

John Carew and Ashley Young and yes, I know I'm being greedy with two.

Player Ratings

Brad Friedel 6

Never good at rating keepers but hey, we won! Not sure he was to blame for the goals, the defense left us wide open, he did spill a ball he saved but again, that didn't cost us.

Carlos Cueller 5.5

Really not the same player when on the right, what is up with Luke Young on the bench all the time, surely he isn't going to be shipped out come the summer?

James Collins 5.5

Had a shaky game today I think?

Richard Dunne 7.5

Made up for the others

Stephen Warnock 6

Looked tired?

Stuart Downing 6

Not the best, not the worst, plenty to come from him, hopefully a good pre-season will also help him

James Milner 6.5

Plenty to do combating a lively Reading midfield

Ashley Young 8

Helped transform the game

Stiliyan Petrov 6

Not his best, not his worst, certainly looks shattered though, squad rotation isn't really a thing we do though and he always seems keen to play

John Carew 8

On the second half performance, anon like the rest in the first half. Just shows what a danger he is when up for it and when the supply is right though

Emile Heskey 5

Time to put him out of his misery, he gets sort of stuck in but the bits that count he isn't there for and to miss a one on one like that as a potential world cup candidate isn't good. Fed up looking for the positives and trying to defend him, I'd have had Delfouneso on in the second half.

Sidwell (on for Downing 91 mins) 10

Inspired performance! :o)


Think the semi is played April 10 when we were meant to be facing Everton, so more fixture changes and long may that continue. Will confirm and do the FA Cup semi final draw when done (after Chelsea/Stoke game)

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 7 2010

Time: 5:02PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I agree with the commentator on telly when he said we were still suffering a hangover from the Carling Cup in the first half .. Very exciting game .
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07/03/2010 17:10:00

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The Fear
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07/03/2010 17:15:00

Great report, must have been excellent for the neutrals watching, I put it down to effort personally, they came out looking to win everything in the second half, first half was woeful, no energy, no ideas, with a bit of running the opportunities came, the third goal was really good, seeing our fullback over lap was a shock, Oh and when Heskey was through on goal not for one single second did I think the ball would end up in the net, just watched resigned to the fact that he would fall over, hit it wide or straight at the keeper. Seeing Carew RUN into the box for the second goal was new too.
Report Abuse
07/03/2010 17:19:00

Great report. You said it right....we would, in the past, have lost it from there. But now, more often than not, we come back.
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07/03/2010 17:24:00

I was gutted before the 2nd half started but as soon as we scored our 1st goal i knew it was our game and i turned out right aswell.
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07/03/2010 17:32:00

Great report J. Have to say though I think it was my Olivia coming home at half time not MON's team talk. She transformed the game! Lol.
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07/03/2010 17:36:00

Carew's finish for the disallowed goal first half was also excellent. Four goals in one game? Got to play more between now and the end of the season. Don't believe that he doesn't try on purpose, obviously enjoys the rapport with the fans. Just how can we get him to be consistent?
Report Abuse
07/03/2010 17:39:00

Reading pushed you all the way - damn fine game though!
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07/03/2010 19:01:00

Will someone now listen to me when I say START CAREW!
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07/03/2010 19:07:00

On another note - our defense is starting to look really shaky. Maybe is time to move cuellar back to the centre with dunne. We were at our best with that central pairing. Bring in Young too while we are at it, atleast then we have a wing back who can cross the ball from out wide! :P
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07/03/2010 19:09:00

Yes Astriel, it looked really good when Warnock over lapped and put in a great cross for the 3rd goal, so if we can get L Young doing that on the other wing all the better
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07/03/2010 19:47:00

Agree with you Mr Fear, Collins was shaky today
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07/03/2010 20:08:00

Agree with the Fear and i Totally agree with Astriel, think that Cuellar should be back in the centre, Collins looks like his confidence has gone, MON could hit on the novel idea of playing a right back at right back! Think Carew has earned the opportunity for a start ahead of Heskey.
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07/03/2010 20:17:00

collins was ordinary for me as well, for the last few games.... MON has to see this.... drop him and heskey for luke young and fonz...
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07/03/2010 21:33:00

When JC is hot, he's unplayable. When could you ever say that about Heskey? He alluded to some niggling injuries in his post match interview today, which he hopes are sorted now. He must start with Gabby again, because if he does we will score goals, plain and simple. Great heart from the lads today to come back. Bring on Chelsea and the last 12 league games.
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07/03/2010 22:49:00

Boring, boring Villa!!!!! Boring, boring Villa!!!!!
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07/03/2010 23:09:00

Boring Villa.. Wow 4goals 1 half? being 2v0 down, Come on thats not Boringg! UTV!
Report Abuse
08/03/2010 00:33:00

How come MoN wasn't an option for Man of the Match?
chocolate teapot
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08/03/2010 10:09:00

LOL Blitz!!!! Sarcasm doesn't really come across on the internet, does it!!! Just making a point after the Blackburn Semi, the Burnley game and now this. Many people (who probably don't watch us much) have labelled us boring. Just shows, once you are identified as such it sticks, even when it is not true.
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08/03/2010 10:16:00

Brilliant day out, the crap performance in the first half just made the second half twice as enjoyable.. The Reading fans were loving taking the ***** in the first half (1 nil and you *****ed it up!)in reference to wembley.. But were regretting it in the second half (2 nil and you *****ed it up) but twice as loud.. Bring on Chelsea.. Nothing to do with our game but on the drive home I was listening to Chelsea - Stoke and was straining to here the song Stoke were singing about Terry, did anyone catch it..? You can beat a bit of terrace humour..
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08/03/2010 11:26:00

Fieldy does the man of the match poll things chocolate teapot as I'm more often than not at the games. MON was only once put up as man of the match from what I can remember and it baffled me why as he isn't playing. That will be why I guess!
The Fear
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08/03/2010 12:06:00


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