Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday October 25 2005
Basically, in a cup tie, the above line is all that matters. The Burnley fans towards the end were singing 'Premiership, you're having a laugh' and in some ways, you could understand why. There certainly didn't seem to be a massive divide between the teams. BUT, again, the one line that matters. We won.
The match was basically Dull. In fact, it was Duller than Mr Dull, Grey Dull Street, Dullsvile. But then, you can't always expect an 11 goal thriller (Wycombe 3-8 Villa) and Burnley came to frustrate and try to catch us on the break. IF they had been better in front of goal, their attempts to attack may well have added up to more but despite some nifty speed, Mellberg and Ridgewell pretty much had Akinbiyi in their pocket all game. Despite plenty of desire and 52% possession Burnley offered little and Sorenson was never really under threat. In fact, the Villa players looked like they were playing within themselves. Whether they had another gear to step up into if we had conceded, I don't know. It was a game of very few chances for either team; but for Villa, job done.
Yes, we will need to pick up from that performance for the Premiership fixtures coming, but then, this wasn't a Prem fixture, this was a scrappy cup tie. These ties are never easy - and on tonight's showing, rarely entertaining! But if we'd beaten them by 2 or 3 goals, everyone would have said 'so we should' and the fact we 'only' got one gets everyone up in arms as well.
Villa move on to the fourth round of the Carling Cup, and Burnley, despite running their legs off (John Harley especially looked dead on his feet towards the end!) will have to make do with 'concentrating on the league' (copyright Managers book of clichés). Towards the end ref Rennie gave us a free kick on the edge of the box when the foul was committed inside the box, but then again, from where I was sitting, it did look like a Villa player had handled the ball in the Burnley box a few minutes earlier. Not having the benefit of a replay, I couldn't swear by either.
My hope is we pull a team like The Baggies for the next round so we get a bit of spice thrown in to the mix.
I reckon the score all round for Villa players tonight should be 6. Played well, but only in patches.
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Date:Tuesday October 25 2005
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