Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 2 Aston Villa

Goals from James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor secured a vital victory for Aston Villa to raise their hopes of a place in the Champions League.

Milner made the breakthrough in the 26th minute and Agbonlahor sewed things up on the stroke of full time.

It meant a seventh successive away win for Villa - an all-time club record - and an indication of their progress under manager Martin O'Neill.

Villa played with the confidence of a side riding high in the table on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run.

They carved out the first chance of the game as early as the second minute when England striker Emile Heskey saw his effort blocked after good link up play between Gareth Barry and James Milner.

Blackburn were finding Heskey hard to handle and he chested the ball into the net in the 16th minute following an inswinging free kick from Barry.

However Heskey was left bewildered that his effort was disallowed after an apparent foul on Christopher Samba.

A minute later Blackburn came close when Morten Gamst Pedersen sent a close-range shot wide of the target after good skill by Jason Roberts.

Ashley Young then won a free-kick off Pedersen but his free-kick was headed to safety and away from the danger area by Samba.

Villa took the lead in the 26th minute when Milner played a clever one-two with Barry from a corner.

Blackburn failed to pick up Milner when he made the run and he rifled a shot into the corner beyond goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Villa maintained the momentum and Agbonlahor whipped in a cross after 34 minutes that Ryan Nelsen cleared to safety.

Young took the corner and Curtis Davies got clear of his marker, only to head narrowly wide of the post.

Milner then got back to divert a shot from Benni McCarthy to safety after Roberts had engineered the opening.

Blackburn then had claims for a penalty waved away in the 40th minute when McCarthy seemed to be hauled back by Barry.

A minute later Villa had the ball in the net again but Agbonlahor's effort was ruled out for an infringement.

The visitors were growing in confidence and Agbonlahor got clear on the stroke of half time but failed to test Robinson.

The goalkeeper did well to parry Milner's shot in stoppage time as Blackburn again found themselves on the back foot.

Milner was putting in a hard shift and he gave Agbonlahor half a chance in the 53rd minute but he scuffed a shot wide of the post.

Villa looked dangerous on the counter attack and Milner's shot was blocked ten minutes later after he was set up by substitute Craig Gardner.

A minute later Agbonlahor was out of luck when he saw his effort cleared off the line by Vince Grella.

It was a good spell by Villa against a home side desperate not to drop any more points on their own patch in their battle to beat the drop.

Milner should have added a second for Villa in the 76th minute but somehow screwed a close-range shot wide following a surging run from Young.

Santa Cruz almost pulled Blackburn level five minutes later, only to drag his effort the wrong side of the post.

Agbonlahor then made the game safe on the stroke of full time when his effort spun off Nelsen and past Robinson.

Blackburn remain locked in a relegation battle after their first defeat since Sam Allardyce took charge ten games ago.

No comments :

Post a Comment