THAT was not pretty. Do any of us care? Not one jot!
I must admit, I’m shattered. I’ve not shout so much and banged the boarding’s so loudly since… well, the last game probably! I thought if the claret and blue specs were taken off, a draw would have been a fair result but I have NO intention whatsoever of taking off the claret and blue specs, why should I? Especially not since the Blues fans gave the finger and w****r signs to our reserve champions doing the lap of Villa Park with the trophy. Seriously guys, seriously!?
The first half was a pretty thrilling end to end affair and Villa edged it on chances, if you’ve not seen the game then watch the highlights just to see Joe Hart’s instinctive save from a James Collins shot. Ok, it went his way (either side and it was in) but it was wellied in with some force and the save was outstanding. The second half was largely the blues and the chances they had they really should have taken at least one but we had Brad Friedel in goal with other ideas. He was our man of the match by some way.
I’ve run out of steam with match reports and don’t have the memory that Sir Glen of Sider does for the away reports and after a great local derby win (and just how great are local derby wins?!) I think I can be excused for wanting to nip off and have a pint of Guinness!
I must admit I’ve just watched the replays of the penalty – Gabby brought down and James Milner gleefully slots home the award – I think it was one. I know some of the experts and the likes of Andy Gray are saying it wasn’t BUT the challenge was at best from the side and really from behind. Now he got the ball but only served to deflect the ball more towards goal with Gabby still running towards the goal. Gabby was brought down by the follow through. IF the ball had gone away from goal, I’d argue otherwise but I must admit, I thought tackles from behind were against the rules whether the player got the ball or not?
If it was a bad decision, and there are plenty saying it was, then I’ll bow down to their greater knowledge, for me I don’t think the ref can be blamed for the decision as he only gets to see it once, not 15 times from all angles and as said, the player was brought down and the ball was still going goal wards. If the Blues had not had a penalty awarded for similar on their players, I think they’d be saying otherwise.
Whatever, we battled, the Blues battled (and they did REALLY battle, no more of the 5-1 humiliations) and we got the win. It is sweet to win any derby game, to get our 6th against them just makes it that bit sweeter.
Oh happy days. Oh, I even got a wave from MON. Well, the Holte End didn’t sing ‘Martin give us a wave’ so I thought I would. A chorus of one on the front row of the Trinity. Yup, I really should get out more!
Stoked by that result, not so much the performance but the latter doesn’t show up in the record books or in the league table, all that shows up is 3 points.
Feel free to give your match ratings in the forum match thread or in article comments here:
Brad Friedel 10
saved us many times over
Stephen Warnock 6.5
few ropey moments but plenty of good
Richard Dunne 8
one very ropey moment between him and Friedel which nearly led to a goal for Blues but also a very good clearance via his bandaged head with the ball certainly looking odds on to go into the back of the net. Had to take a great deal of pressure, as did the rest of the defence.
James Collins 8
another solid display and oh so nearly a goal.
Carlos Cuellar 6
looked quite awkward at times and kept passing the ball either backwards or out? Still made some good tackles etc though, mostly when covering in the central parts, it is the going forward that is the problem as being as he isn’t a right-back, it is difficult to be harsh about that?!
Stewart Downing 6
not as bad as some say, he also saved a dead cert goal by his goal line clearance. He’ll be much much better for us next season after a pre-season to get well and truly sorted.
Ashley Young 7
good display, for a little fella he doesn’t have get stuck in with tackles, some of his crosses deserved a striker on the end of them as well.
James Milner 8
covered every blade of grass and slotted in a great penalty with the full pressure on him.
Stiliyan Petrov 6.5
fairly solid in midfield, his one shot was ‘slightly’ off target (ahem!) but at least he had the good grace to laugh about it!!!!!!!!
Gabby Agbonlahor 6.5
got us the penalty and put in the effort for sure, few dozy moments when he could have shot but looked to pass but hey, the lad is still improving each season, can’t say fairer than that.
John Carew 5
quite quite happy to see him go to Fulham or anywhere else. Looked leaden footed and when he had the chance to shoot, he didn’t take it. Such a shame, should be a hero, has chipped in with goals this season but should be SO much more. Nice song mind.
Emile Heskey 6
put in the effort and perhaps (not seen the replay) should have scored?