It was a wet and windy day in Burnley as Villa travelled to Turf Moor. One change for Villa with Stiliyan Petrov brought back in at the expense of Nigel Reo-Coker, undeservedly. Stewart Downing was on the bench much to everyone’s surprise but nice to see him return to action.
It took just nine minutes for Burnley to score. Steve Caldwell rose highest against Brad Friedel and headed in from a Robbie Blake free kick. Poor piece of goalkeeping by Brad Friedel really. Burnley carried on their early promise with Andre Bikey shooting over from the edge of the area. Villa threatened for their first time as hard work by Gabby Agbonlahor left Brian Jensen on the ground. He pulled it back to Ashley Young but his curling effort was some way over the bar.
Villa started much brighter than their opponents in the second half. Gabby Agbonlahor raced through but Brian Jensen managed to pull off a top save to put it out for corner.
Brad Friedel then made two top class saves. The first from Robbie Blake’s 25 yard shot and the second from Stephen Fletcher’s shot. Villa introduced a couple of subs. Surprisingly, Stewart Downing came on to make his Villa debut and Emile Heskey replaced Luke Young. It gave Villa a new lease of life. Milner then got the ball on the right, swung the ball into the box and Emile Heskey rose above everyone to rescue a point for the Claret and Blue.
All in all, a poor display from our point of view, but a point at Turf Moor is no poor result and moves us up to fourth, at least until tomorrow.
Brad Friedel: 7
Mistake for their goal but made up for it with two great saves.
Luke Young: 6
Made some good tackles, was solid.
Stephen Warnock: 5
Didn’t have a good game, the boo’s from the Burnley fans seem to get to him.
Richard Dunne: 6
Carlos Cuellar: 6
Pretty Solid but can’t help think Collins will replace him when fit.
James Milner: 6
Worked hard as usual, not a lot came off for him, but got the assist.
Ashley Young: 6
Did ok. Crosses need improving.
Steve Sidwell: 5
Poor. No idea why he played instead of Reo-Coker.
Stiliyan Petrov: 6
Battled well. But was on his own in there and struggled against a tough Burnley midfield.
John Carew: 5
He frustrates me so much. He should be so good, but he just wasn’t in the game.
Gabby Agbonlahor: 7
Strongest of the forwards. Looked like he could score, was getting into the positions, unlike Carew.
Stewart Downing: 6
Just nice to see him out there, made a couple of nice touches.
Emile Heskey: 8
Super sub. Ruffled some feathers when he came on. Deserved goal. Well done big man.
Fans: Villa sold out an allocation of 3,000 and were in full voice as usual.