Aston Villa vs Blackburn match thread.
Full time: After a bit of danger which ends up with a Blackburn striker being booked for diving, the game finishes 1-0. Very encouraging display, top performances in particular from Collins and Warnock. Defence looks much more solid already. McLeish has already got us to a final good times.
89 mins: Almost a catastrophe for Villa as Albrighton plays a ball back without looking and the Blackburn striker is put through. Collins tracks back to make a terrific challenge and then a more fortunate one. Let-off for the Villa. A bit of handbags a few minutes later. Almost there.
86 mins: Albrighton with a cracking chance as he capitalises on Emerton’s mistake. Unable to take advantage though as Robinson makes a good save, Bent heads over from the corner.
84 mins: Good bit of play by the Fonz but his final ball is lacking. Collins just named man of the match, good choice.
82 mins: It’s gone a bit sloppy from Villa but no real danger. Let’s see this out. Heskey has a shot deflected over.
77 mins: Clark gives the ball away cheaply but Blackburn can’t capitalise. Delph makes his presence known with a few crunching challenges.
74 mins: More great defending from Collins who diverts the ball away to safety with a great header. Couple of changes for Blackburn.
72 mins: Samba heads over from a Blackburn corner. Petrov comes off to be replaced by Clark. Great shift from our captain who passes the armband on to Dunne. Lots of people see Clark as a possible midfielder of the future so be interesting to see how he does.
69 mins: Play is stopped as Petrov takes a ball flush to the face from a Collins clearance. Our captain is soon back up though as the players take advantage of the break to take on some fluids.
66 mins: More reaction to the goal and it really was a terrific ball by Bannan into the box with only the faintest touch needed. Bent applied it and as the commentator Martin Tyler said “Right Place, Right Time”. What a striker.
61 mins: Warnock makes another great interception before giving the ball away too easily. Blackburn can’t capitalise though as Salgado hits his effort wise. Subs for Villa as Delph, Albrighton and Delfouneso replace Makoun, Bannan and Agbonlahor.
57 mins: Another chance for Blackburn but yet again our defenders are prepared to put their bodies on the line. Collins is the man this time as his presence is enough for the Blackburn effort to skew his effort wide.
52 mins: Great run by Samba who feeds Emerton on the edge of the box. Emerton skins Dunne before hitting his shot towards the far top corner. Our new number one won’t be beaten though and makes a brilliant save to keep us 1-0 in front.
49 mins: Goalllllll!!!!!!!!! 1-0 to the Villa as Darren Bent gets on the end of Barry Bannan’s terrific ball into the box. Get in!
46 mins: Second half kicks off with no changes on either side. Olsson goes down after a tangle with big Emile and receives some treatment.
Half time: Villa 0, Blackburn 0. Pretty impressed with the first 45 mins. Dominated possession and some great movement, not enough chances created though. Warnock was really impressive and love seeing the defenders putting their bodies on the line, especially considering it’s a friendly. Few changes and hopefully we’ll get the goal we deserve.
41 mins: Bit sloppy from Villa with a few loose passes but nothing too threatening created by Blackburn.
34 mins: David Dunn has an effort exceptionally blocked by Warnock (who has really impressed so far). The momentum of the challenge causes Dunn to fly up and land on the back of his head but after a few minutes he’s back up. Great to see our defenders putting their bodies on the line, especially in a friendly.
32 mins: A bit quieter the last few mins as the heat looks to be taking it’s toll. Collins is clattered after clearing the ball but is soon back up. Seven subs are allowed and you have to imagine the majority will be used.
28 mins: First yellow card of the game as Olsson is booked for Blackburn.
24 mins: More pressure by Villa almost results in the first goal. Great long ball by Collins is controlled by Bent who lays it off to Bannan. Bannan’s cross is met at the far post by Warnock who has his effort deflected wide for a corner. The resulting corner is headed over. In the last few moments Petrov makes a cracking fun but his effort is straight at Robinson. Really positive start by the Villa.
17 mins: David Dunn just fires the ball over from 25ish yards. Should be looking to close those down a bit quicker. Another good move by Villa with us keeping possession for a period before a great cross by Gabby is just headed over by Bent.
14 mins: Great move by Villa. Petrov (who has started well) plays the ball wide to Gabby. Gabby’s low cross finds Bent who is unable to bring the ball under control before the danger is cleared. Very positive start from the Villa. Lot’s of movement considering the conditions and keeping the ball well.
11 mins: Bannan involved again as his lofted cross is met by Bent. Not enough pace on the ball though and Bent’s header drifts wide.
9 mins: Few scares for Villa. Firstly Bannan gives the ball away cheaply but as the ball is played through Warnock tracks back really well to cut it out. Shay Given makes the first meaningful save of the game, positioning himself well to save an effort from the edge of the box.
5 mins: Nice bit of play by Villa mainly involving the wee man Barry Bannan. He’s starting on the right and already played some great passes with that sweet left foot of his. Villa continuing to play well.
2 mins: Good through ball by Gabby to Bent. Bent is just unable to bring it under control and loses his balance under pressure from a few Rovers defenders. Good start though.
It’s a preseason match but I think we’re all beyond excited to see the Villa back in action. For those of you who can’t watch it or if you want to get involved and discuss the match as it’s happening feel free to comment or take a look at our Facebook page (if you click the logo at the top of the page you’ll be taken there) where we’ll also be updating.
Here’s the line-up and it’s once again a very strong starting eleven.
Given, Young, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Bannan, Petrov, Makoun, Heskey, Agbonlahor, Bent.
Subs: Guzan, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph, Clark, Beye, Lichaj, Herd, Marshall, Lowry, Gardner.
Interesting to see Bannan get a start with Albrighton on the bench but I’m really looking forward to seeing him in action. No Ireland so I’m guessing he’s still carrying the slight injury he picked up against Walsall last week. Hoping Gary ‘the better’ Gardner get’s a run out in the second half.
Right let’s do this! UTV.