It Wasn't Pretty - It WAS Our 6th Win!
Attendance: 42 788
THAT was not pretty. Do any of us care? Not one jot!
I must admit, I'm shattered. I've not shout so much and banged the boarding's so loudly since... well, the last game probably! I thought if the claret and blue specs were taken off, a draw would have been a fair result but I have NO intention whatsoever of taking off the claret and blue specs, why should I? Especially not since the Blues fans gave the finger and w****r signs to our reserve champions doing the lap of Villa Park with the trophy. Seriously guys, seriously!?
The first half was a pretty thrilling end to end affair and Villa edged it on chances, if you've not seen the game then watch the highlights just to see Joe Hart's instinctive save from a James Collins shot. Ok, it went his way (either side and it was in) but it was wellied in with some force and the save was outstanding. The second half was largely the blues and the chances they had they really should have taken at least one but we had Brad Friedel in goal with other ideas. He was our man of the match by some way.
I've run out of steam with match reports and don't have the memory that Sir Glen of Sider does for the away reports and after a great local derby win (and just how great are local derby wins?!) I think I can be excused for wanting to nip off and have a pint of Guinness!
I must admit I've just watched the replays of the penalty - Gabby brought down and James Milner gleefully slots home the award - I think it was one. I know some of the experts and the likes of Andy Gray are saying it wasn't BUT the challenge was at best from the side and really from behind. Now he got the ball but only served to deflect the ball more towards goal with Gabby still running towards the goal. Gabby was brought down by the follow through. IF the ball had gone away from goal, I'd argue otherwise but I must admit, I thought tackles from behind were against the rules whether the player got the ball or not?
If it was a bad decision, and there are plenty saying it was, then I'll bow down to their greater knowledge, for me I don't think the ref can be blamed for the decision as he only gets to see it once, not 15 times from all angles and as said, the player was brought down and the ball was still going goal wards. If the Blues had not had a penalty awarded for similar on their players, I think they'd be saying otherwise.
Whatever, we battled, the Blues battled (and they did REALLY battle, no more of the 5-1 humiliations) and we got the win. It is sweet to win any derby game, to get our 6th against them just makes it that bit sweeter.
Oh happy days. Oh, I even got a wave from MON. Well, the Holte End didn't sing 'Martin give us a wave' so I thought I would. A chorus of one on the front row of the Trinity. Yup, I really should get out more!
Stoked by that result, not so much the performance but the latter doesn't show up in the record books or in the league table, all that shows up is 3 points.
Feel free to give your match ratings in the forum match thread or in article comments here:
Brad Friedel 10
Stephen Warnock 6.5
Richard Dunne 8
James Collins 8
Carlos Cuellar 6
Stewart Downing 6
Ashley Young 7
James Milner 8
Stiliyan Petrov 6.5
Gabby Agbonlahor 6.5
John Carew 5
Emile Heskey 6