Game #5158

Season | 2010-11 |

Matchday | #35 |
League Game | #28 |
Premier League Match-week | #26 |  
Manager Game | #28 |
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Premier League | Home | Blackburn Rovers | Villa Park | 34,309 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Gérard Houllier |

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Martin Atkinson | 
HT Score | 0-0 |

FT Score | 4-1 |
FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | WLDDW | 

Scorers | Ashley Young | 49’ | 82’ | Own Goal | 62’ | Stewart Downing | 64’ |

Assists | Ashley Young | 64’ | Stewart Downing | 82’ |

League Position | 12th | +3 |

Line Up |

GK Brad Friedel |
CB Richard Dunne |
RB Kyle Walker |
CB Nathan Baker |
SUB OFF | 36' |
CB Ciaran Clark |
M Nigel Reo-Coker | 
M Robert Pirès |
SUB OFF | 76' |
W Stewart Downing | GOAL | 64' | ASSIST | 82' |
W Ashley Young | GOAL | 49' | 82' | ASSIST | 64' |
W Marc Albrighton |
F Darren Bent |
SUB OFF | 83' |

Substitutes |

M Fabian Delph for CB Nathan Baker | 36’ | 
M Stiliyan Petrov for M Robert Pirès | 76’ | 
CF Emile Heskey for F Darren Bent | 83’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Andy Marshall
F Gabriel Agbonlahor
M Michael Bradley
M Chris Herd

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.11 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 39.81 |

Youngest Player | CB Nathan Baker | 19.86 |

Unavailable |

Injury |

RB Luke Young |

CB Carlos Cuéllar | 

Banned |

M Jean Makoun | 

Bomb Squad |

M Moustapha Salifou |

RB Habib Beye |

LB Stephen Warnock | 

Loaned Out |

D Shane Lowry | Sheffield United | 1 January 2011 - 1 May 2011 |

GK Brad Guzan | Hull City | 1 January 2011 - 8 May 2011 | 

CF John Carew | Stoke City | 21 January 2011 - 26 May 2011 | 

M Jonathan Hogg | Portsmouth | 25 January 2011 - 31 May 2011 |

M Isaiah Osbourne | Sheffield Wednesday | 30 January 2011 - 5 April 2011 |

M Stephen Ireland | Newcastle United | 31 January 2011 - 31 May 2011 |

D Eric Lichaj | Leeds United | 9 February 2011 - 31 May 2011 |  

Match Stats |

Possession F | 59
Possession A | 41
Shots F | 17
Shots A | 5
Shots on Target F | 10
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 10
Corners A | 2
Fouls F | 4
Fouls A | 12

Match Report

BBC Sport

Saturday, 26 February 2011

*A vibrant Aston Villa eased their Premier League relegation worries with an emphatic win over Blackburn Rovers.*

Ashley Young’s penalty put Villa ahead after a Keith Andrews foul.

Marc Albrighton’s low cross went in off Rovers defender Grant Hanley before Stewart Downing raced clear and guided in a shot to put the home side 3-0 up.

Nikola Kalinic’s deflected shot looped into the Villa net but Young fired in to reassert his side’s advantage before Ryan Nelsen was sent off for Rovers.

At one point the “Ole’s” rang round Villa Park as the home side dominated and produced some eye-catching football with England manager Fabio Capello watching from the stands.

Capello had opted to cast his eye over a number of Villa’s English contingent and was not left disappointed.


Darren Bent, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Kyle Walker were all in Capello’s last squad and each played a vital part as they moved the Midlands outfit a step closer to top-flight safety, leapfrogging Rovers in the process.

Winger Albrighton will also have impressed the Italian as he epitomised the exuberance and energy which overwhelmed a Blackburn side with only retired England international Paul Robinson of fleeting interest to Capello.

This was the ninth meeting between these two sides since the start of last season, with Villa having won the five games in cup competitions and Rovers the three league fixtures.

With the benefit of familiarity, Rovers deployed a defensive formation in the hope of containing Villa and catching their rivals out with a set piece or counter attack.

But it proved a flawed strategy as Villa gradually got in their groove and eased to the three points, with 37-year-old Robert Pires providing a touch of elegance to proceedings.

The former French international was involved in some clever interplay with Bent, who went down after appearing to be caught as he tried to turn Hanley, only for referee Martin Atkinson to wave away any penalty appeals.

But, after Nelsen headed over for Rovers, Villa continued to press and Pires had a well-struck shot fended away by the increasingly busy Robinson.

The Rovers keeper had to keep out a long-range Walker strike, with Young ballooning the rebound high.

Bent might have done better when he was inadvertently played in on goal courtesy of a Morten Gamst Pedersen back pass but, rather than taking a first-time shot, the Villa striker tried to cut inside and was foiled by Nelsen.

Villa’s failure to take their chances almost cost them at the start of the second half when Roque Santa Cruz dispossessed Villa centre-back Richard Dunne and played in Jermaine Jones, whose shot was saved by Brad Friedel.

However, Rovers midfielder Andrews helped Villa take the lead from which the home side never looked back.

Andrews responded to being robbed of the ball by Young by hauling his rival down and the Villa player picked himself up to score from the spot.

The goal gave the home side added impetus and they added to their lead when a spell of concerted pressure ended when Albrighton’s low cross was diverted into his own net by Hanley.

Rovers boss Steve Kean brought on strikers Jason Roberts and Kalinic and, although the latter managed to get a consolation goal, Rovers never looked like turning the tide.

Instead, Downing raced in from the right and curled home a shot before setting up Young to steer in a strike either side of Kalinic’s effort as Villa threatened to win even more convincingly.

Rovers’ misery was complete when their captain Nelsen, who played at the end of a worrying week following the earthquake in his hometown of Christchurch, was sent-off for a second yellow after hauling down Young.

*Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier praised the leadership qualities of Ashley Young after his side’s 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers.*

The 25-year-old midfielder scored twice after being made stand-in captain with Stiliyan Petrov on the bench.

“Ashley is an inspiring leader when he is on the pitch,” said Houllier.

“I know the captain is Stiliyan when he plays but, when he is not playing, Ashley is a leader because of the efforts he puts in.”

He added: “As the game goes on, his efficiency and work-rate goes on as well and does not diminish.”

The display of Young, who kept the armband after Petrov declined it when he came on as a late substitute, will have impressed watching England manager Fabio Capello as the 25-year-old operated in an advanced role between midfield and attack.

“I like him [Young] to play in that position to be fair,” said Houllier. “He can be a real specialist.

“He can be a striker and he can also be a link between the midfield and the attack.”

Young opened the scoring with a penalty having been fouled by Keith Andrews before Villa winger Marc Albrighton’s cross went in off Rovers defender Grant Hanley for the home side’s second.

Stewart Downing added to Villa’s lead and, despite Nikola Kalinic pulling one back for Blackburn, Young slotted in to complete a convincing victory which gave the Midlands side some breathing space from the relegation zone.

“I think some people may have been disappointed with the first half,” said Houllier.

“I was not and I told the players to keep their heads up, keep believing in what we were doing.

“We had to put more tempo, which we did in the second half. I said keep passing and moving once we get in the final third and eventually we would find a solution and that paid off.

“More than the result, was the quality of the play. We made some mistakes but I want the team to play that way with confidence and to me, it has got to be entertaining.”

Houllier also reserved praise for veteran midfielder Robert Pires as he played his first game since the FA Cup win over Blackburn on 29 January.

“The game Robert played against Blackburn in the FA Cup gave him match fitness and confidence,” said Houllier.

“In training he has been good, nearly scoring and making goals, so I thought he would bring something.

“It was his best game for Villa. He was more confident at taking the ball.”