Villa won at a canter, Hull look deep deep in trouble, they have little fight, spirit of attacking guile… ho hum for them, great for us!
On another day this really could have been a cricket score, Luke Young nearly scored within 30 seconds and Emile Heskey when through on goal scuffed his shot, such a shame, another goal for him really could have boosted his confidence as well as his chances of making the plane to South Africa next year. As a striker you really HAVE to bury those chances.
However, even with those misses I still didn’t think – as often is the case – that this was going to be ‘one of those games’ when the chances go begging and we end up with a dull draw, mainly because we were simply battering them AND playing some lovely passing football which is SO much better than some of the hoof ball we resort to, when you have players of the quality that we have there is no need at all to do route one all the time and as said, in the first half especially, the Villa were playing nice cultured, fast flowing and attacking football. More of that please!
What Heskey as an international striker couldn’t do Villa defender Richard Dunne did with aplomb, shot and scored. 1-0 and to be fair, that was game over, Hull hardly threatened. Still, you never feel totally safe with a 1 goal lead and when the 2nd went in the job was done! The goal was a great one as well, their keeper came out of his box for some unknown reason, the ball went out for a throw, sub Steve Sidwell who was warming up at the time picked the ball up and gave it to – damn, can’t remember who took the throw in – who got it to Milner very quickly and Milner just lobbed it with superb skill.
The second half was duller, I don’t think our boys like the rain much… but we got a 3rd, all helps with the goal difference after all, from a penalty. At the time I thought it might have been a little bit of a dive from Ashley Young but having seen the replay, it was a stone wall pen and John Carew banged it in the back of the net. Nice to see a striker taking a penalty, I’ve never understood why more don’t take them, surely they are the easiest chances a striker can ask for ?!?!
Anyway, the Hull fans no doubt went home very miserable knowing they are on a hiding to nothing this season and even worse, poor Jimmy Bullard picked up another nasty looking injury. Good to see him getting a standing ovation from the Villa faithful but awful to see him walk passed where I sit totally distraught and fighting back the tears.
So Villa march on, we’ve some tough games coming up so – as Downing rightly said in the week – this really was a must win game and Villa did it with seeming ease. Happy days, bring on Manchester United, they only won by 4 goals v West Ham so …..!
Brad Friedel 7
can’t recall him having to do that much to be honest
Richard Dunne 8
super defender, solid at the back and now on 3 goals for us this season
Carlos Cuellar 7
looks so much better in the centre, lets hope he stays there, I think we are all starting to see why we paid so much to Rangers for this guy now!
Stephen Warnock 7
solid at the back and great going forward
Luke Young 7
looks like he is back to full fitness and good form, a real good member of this team, such a shame he didn’t put his chance away, would have been a lovely and no doubt for him surprising goal!
Ashley Young 6.5
not firing on all cylinders yet but still putting in the work and earnt us our penalty and think he had a hand in the passing leading to Dunne’s goal
James Milner 10
hey, why not?! I’ve not given a 10 for ages but he was all over the pitch yesterday, he just never stops.
Stiliyan Petrov 7
a good solid display
Stewart Downing 8
Happy with that for a debut, nearly scored as well. Looks good, he swapped a while with Ash and that didn’t look quite right but hey, he is going to be another very useful player for us and another reason why we can and should leave the hoof ball well alone in future.
Emile Heskey 6
he did put in the work but you just can’t miss chances like he did – football cliché coming – early doors!
Gabriel Agbonlahor 6
not his day chances wise and no one really got the ball to him where he can be dangerous but he does give defenders something to worry about with his pace and energy
John Carew (on for Heskey 78 mins)
Took the penalty, scored the goal, enough said!
So all good. We had the Vital Villa get together – thanks as always to Alison Plant for getting us some space in the Holte – and met many users new and old.
Nice steak and kidney pie as well. Hmmm, I could just eat one of those now come to think of it!
The only dampener on the day and to be fair it was a major dampener, is some mindless bully boy thug in the Trinity head butting a good friend of mine (a real nice guy, a true gent and a total undeserving recipient of such vile thuggery) just so he could jump the queue. Where do these people come from and why can’t they go back to wherever it is? I wish nothing but badness and hatred to that thug – to attack anyone is bad enough but a fellow fan and one who has been a dedicated follower for close to 40 years – baffling. Fingers crossed he gets a life time ban, if he doesn’t then maybe it is time for the normal, good honest fans to call it a day, these things should just not happen, simple as that.