Dunne and Bent score in the first half and Villa goes into halftime leading Arsenal nil-2 at the Emirates in Round 4 of the FA Cup. But then the 2nd half collapse...all within 15 or so minutes. Part of it was the referee's awful calls - all against Villa. Two of the three goals that Arsenal scored were pk's which means the ref basically gave Arsenal 2 goals. Their 3rd goal was a deflection of an Arsenal player in front of the Villa net. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!! Got to forget about this one and move on. It was ugly. Not a good time to be without Albrighton and why didn't AMc bring in Bannan sooner??
Despite going up 1-nil against Wolves on a Darren Bent PK, Villa's form wavered just as in past games. Villa's defense looked unorganized and ripe for the taking at an moment. So - what was the difference in the game? A man named Robert David Keane (on a short 2-month loan from the MLS side LA Galaxy)! Keane scored 2 goals for the Villa from range and he carried Villa to a victory.
It was nice to see Bent get back in the scoring mode. It's been awhile. Congratulations to Shay Given - first game coming back after injury and he made a magnificent save against a header from....Stephen Warnock, his TEAMMATE. That was scary!
Villa was fortunate to get through the first-half nil-nil. The lads were playing uninspired football. Second half brought more energy and resulted in the Bent goal. Then we shifted into "let's try not to lose" mode and we give up the equalizer.
Let's take the point and move on. (...I'm not a Donovan fan, but it would have been nice to have someone with his skill level on loan to Villa from the MLS)
It was good to see the boys get a win...1-3 over Bristol Rovers in Round 3 of FA Cup. Those last few minutes sure were a little stressful (giving up a goal to Bristol because of a huge mistake on defense and then almost giving another goal on a penalty kick). I really liked seeing the young guns out there and the energy that they exude. Side note: after watching them play on that pitch, it sure makes you appreciate the pristine ground at Villa Park. It is easy to get spoiled playing on premier league quality pitches. We have drawn either Arsenal or Leeds ofr the 4th Round (Leeds and Arsenal play today).
Well, the players had the same names and they were wearing claret and blue, but it sure didn't look like the same team that beat Chelsea just days ago. The difference? Bent in, Albrighton out. Seems that the team plays completely different when Bent is in. Simon A. also pointed out that Villa is really only playing with 10 players on defense when Bent is in. I agree. The offensive play is focused on Bent which is really one-dimensional. Without Bent, all the other players need to think a little more offensively and keeps the other team guessing more. Can't figure out why AML didn't go with the same starting 11 that played against Chelsea? We definitely could have used Albrighton's pace. Seemed like Villa was always a step or two behind Swansea players. Oh well...back to normal. Villa loses 2-nil.
Villa's visit to Stamford Bridge today was a demonstration of the skill and determination that we know is within Aston Villa Football Club. Stephen Ireland, Stilyan Petrov, and Darren Bent scored as Villa rolled over Chelsea 1-3. What a great way to end 2011. 3 well-earned points against one of the top teams of the Premiership. Brad Guzan played a great game as did everyone on the team. What really made a huge difference was that the Villa defense did bend, but did not break. UTV!