Date: 21st August 2011 at 5:47pm
Written by: Laurence Daly, 13 years and 10 weeks!

Aston Villa vs Blackburn Rovers 20th August 2011.

The season has truly commenced! Technically, it commenced last week but I was on holiday, the game was away to Fulham and we drew 0-0 so hey! You can`t have it all.

The wait was finally over, Villa Park was rather underwhelming with an attendance of around about 32,000. The teams came out in their new kits, jumping, skipping, hopping, warming up in the usual fashion except for the case of Charles N`Zogbia. This No. 10 Frenchman, who cost £9.5 million pounds, almost swaggered onto the pitch with the stylish atmosphere he portrayed and boy, he didn`t disappoint!

Anyway, back to the game. Blackburn Rovers were the unfortunate victims in shooting distance of McCleish`s boys shotgun. Instead of gunpowder, it was Stillian Petrov and man of the match Fabian Delph`s fluent passing that fuelled the barrel of Villa`s creative front men.

The front men, Emile Heskey, Gabriel Agbonlahor and needing no introduction, Darren Bent, each had a goal to their name.

It was Agbonlahor`s excellent diversionary run then swivel around Salgado that set up his floating finish to the far right corner.

Villa didn`t slow down then, rather the opposite as Agbonlahor played the ball into the path of Heskey, who practically hooked the ball around Blackburn`s centre back and their No.1, Paul Robinson. It was all too easy!

The raucous reception given by the Holte End- presumably to McCleish, was rather fitting as Villa went in at half time 2-0 up.

The minor blip in Villa`s concentration was punished severely by Martin Olsson on the left wing. The almost controversial substitution of Agbonlahor put fan favourite Mark Albrighton in the limelight. A beautiful cross from Olsson was steered home in remarkable fashion by the forehead of Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Yes it really was a minor blip. After that lapse in character from the Villa defence, the men in Claret and Blue soldiered on in the same essence as they did before half time. Heskey, although he gave a considerable impact to the game, looked tired and was substituted for the ever reliable Barry Bannan.

Instantaneous was Bannan, he automatically complimented N`Zogbia`s creative flair. The two interlinked on a number of occasions (both fighting to take spot kicks) and so often striking fear and reopening uncertainty in Steve Kean`s defence.

The relentless intensity of Bent`s work finally paid off as he snatched the opportunity to leap onto Petrov`s scuffed shot. He turned his marker and powered home with his weaker foot and as it struck the net the threshold of sound must have raised past any measureable decibels.

The sense of completion was near, as the seconds passed, so did the ball from one Villa player to another- running rings round the Blackburn players. Just as the players started to enjoy themselves the whistle blew.

By: Laurence Daly, 13 years and 10 weeks !


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