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Pills, Thrills And Burnley Bellyaches

Aston Villa
2 - 1

Villa Park


Attendance: 34 618


I love Cup games, at £10 a head, (£9 for season ticket holders) I must admit it baffles me why the place wasn't full - not just us though, loads of grounds had worse attendances I'm sure. Still, onto the game.

We'll have a new match reporter later I believe, something to look forward to instead of my rambles... however.

Burnley impressed me, at times they were all over us like a rash and were unlucky in some ways to go home the losers. However they did go home the losers and we march on. That is why I love the Cups so much!

The game started brightly enough although there was a bit of confusion as to why Villa had no strikers on the pitch. A new master tactic perhaps?! To be fair, Ashley Young could become a striker - remember Thierry Henry went from the wing to become a truly great striker (and if I remember rightly, was truly awful to begin!) and Stephen Ireland does know where the goal is as well. Still, I guess a more obvious choice would have been Nathan Delfouneso, I hope he gets his chance. Still young, I'm sure he will.

The team were full of bright young talent, the Cup is a great testing ground for them, it is only great for us the fans if we win though, if not the Spanish (or in this case French) inquisition starts. I've not read our match thread in the forum yet but I'm sure it is full of its share of doomsayers and as always, will reflect the roller coaster ride of the game.

We had our chances and, ahem, most unusually for us, cough cough, weren't clinical enough in front of goal. It looked like a 0-0 and extra time all the way. That isn't to say it wasn't a good game though, there was plenty of incident, mostly from the woeful referee. I asked him when he came close to where I sit if he was on there for a joke and if he'd been put up to it to make the decisions as comical as possible. He really was dire.

It took good old Emile Heskey to come on and get us a goal, that with just four minutes left. Game over, job done. Nah, with Villa nothing is ever that simple, a poor decision for a free kick (Heskey tackled and got the ball, the ref blew anyway) led to panic in our defence - who were pretty solid last night judging by the fact we had a couple of the youngsters in there (in fact despite the sponsors giving Cuellar the man of the match, the one youngster Ciaran Clark was many peoples mofm, beaten just by Friedel for me) - and there you had it, 1-1

It had taken 86 minutes for the first goal, 89 for the second, surely no one would score in extra time at that rate? GOALLLL! Stuart Downing, on as a sub, looked like he had missed his chance to score, he'd run the ball too far across the box, however he had time to run back (!) and then shot with such venom (having missed a much easier chance earlier) that the keeper stood no chance.

THAT was the win and no mistake!

Well, sort of. We did have one more incident when Marc Albrighton was sent off. Now the decision for him to walk was the right one, he was the last defender and he pushed over the Burnley player. HOWEVER... how come the same didn't happen to the Burnley player in the first half who did the same? The referee, as I've said already, was on for a joke!

Oh and Ashley Young, one on one with the keeper, missed the chance to put the tie beyond reach. Nigel Reo-Coker had also missed a great chance in (I think?... it is all a blur now!) normal time, he desperately needs a goal to prove to himself he can score, be good if he shot where the keeper wasn't in future maybe?!

Oh when the Villa, go marching on.... oh when the Villa go marching on.

What a roller coaster though, as cup games should be I guess!

Draw is on Saturday...

Stats: Click Here

Star Player

Brad Friedel, superb saves kept us in the game at times

Player Ratings

Brad Friedel 9

outstanding, kept us in the game at times with several fantastic saves

Carlos Cuellar 7

solid enough

Habib Beye 6

Decent performance

Eric Lichaj 6

Solid as well

Ciaran Clarke 7.5

outstanding for a youngster, what a prospect.

Steve Sidwell 4

disgraceful performance really, gave the ball away in midfield all night long. Not good enough at all

Marc Albrighton 5.5

not really at the races tonight, he is young and learning, he'll have off nights for sure, still a great player and a wonderful prospect for Villa

Barry Bannan 6

put in the effort, had a chance on goal as well

Nigel Hokey-Cokey 7

put in plenty of effort, just a shame he panics in front of goal

Ashley Young 6

got to take your chances Ashley and please stop all the moaning and gesticulating to the referee

Stephen Ireland 5.5

not clicked for him yet, it will. Didn't look at all happy coming off

Emile Heskey 7

did what was required, scored

Stuart Downing 7

did what was ... you get it

James Collins

not on long enough to rate

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday October 28 2010
Time: 9:06AM

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loved it, a real cup roller coaster ride. Burnley fans equipped themselves well also!
The Fear
28/10/2010 09:15:00
Was a good game. Just what my week needed. Full range of emotions used last night. Totally agree about the ref, and the free kick, it was even worse watching the highlights last night. And if you send Albie off surely you'd got to send their guy off in the first half when... I can't remember who was through.
28/10/2010 09:31:00
In the McGregors lounge after, Ciaran Clarke was introduced as the MOTM (rightly imho). My daughter and her pal were chuffed because they tell me Ciaran is much better looking than 'goofy teeth and curly hair'.
28/10/2010 09:48:00
The ref was pants, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper at his decisions to really see what damage he has done. I do not agree that the Burnley defender should have been sent off in the first half for his challenge on Ashley, as there were three defenders covering. However his decision to give a free kick in the last minute against Heskey was scandalous. Heskey had made a poor pass and raced back to win the ball, which he won cleanly. The ref gave a free kick from which Burnley equalised. The repercusions other than the equaliser were 30 minutes of energy sapping football. During extra time Sidwell picked up a knock making him a doubt for Sunday. But most importantly Albrighton got red carded meaning he is definitely out of Sundays match against Small Heath. That one crap decision has created several knock on effects that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
28/10/2010 09:54:00
I also have to totally disagree with the the rating for Sidwell. He won everything in the first half and was instumental in starting all that was good for Villa. His strength was immense and his ability to see the space, close it down and win the ball was very good. However in the second half he didn't get ito the game as much (maybe the fact he hasn't played much for 18 months had a bearing on this) and made a couple of sloppy passes and a couple of mis controls of the ball. But this shouldn't be used as a yardstick to judge his overall game which was actually very good imho. I think the comments on his performance are what are actually disgraceful, not the actual performance.
28/10/2010 10:00:00
As for disgraceful, 8000 empty seats for a game during half term, at prices that were simply brilliant is the disgrace. Well done to those who turned up. To any pretend Villa fan reading this who will no doubt be pleading for Wembley tickets should we get there, but couldn't be arsed to go last night, you should thoroughly ashamed. To watch the Villa for the price of a big mac meal and fail to take advantage of that offer is disgraceful. No doubt the same supposed 'fans' were demanding extra investment in the team, not to sell our best players, that prices be reduced blah blah blah. And when they get it they do not turn up. They were probably at home watching the Barcodes against the Arse, not being clever enough to understand the irony in knowing their Sky subscription cost more than it does to actually watch the Villa.
28/10/2010 10:10:00
I'm not usually one to single out individuals but Sidwell really was ultra poor last night. I so want him to do well but it just NEVER happens. Clarke was immense. voiceoftheholte's point about the ref and the repercussions is spot on. No Albrighton for Sunday is a real blow. :( Hope we don't get Arsenal in the next round because they are on fire AND have loads of long term injuries all about to return.
Adam Deuce
28/10/2010 10:27:00
he gave the ball away every time voice thought he was shambolic.
The Fear
28/10/2010 11:24:00
the ref voice... didn't see the replay BUT it was one of ours v one of theirs and the other defenders were behind. Red... simples. We got a red, they should have. However, as said, seen no replay of it!
The Fear
28/10/2010 11:25:00
Got to disagree with a couple of points in the article. The ref was right NOT to send of their defender - he wasn't the last man. Heskey's foul for the free kick WAS a foul, yes he got the ball but also wiped out the man - change the colours & we'd all have been screaming for it! And Sidwell - great energy, good tackling & desire, but gave the ball away constantly - not something a passing team can afford, and could have had a hat-trick with a bit more confidence last night - he may yet prove the doubters wrong though....
28/10/2010 11:35:00
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