Ten-goal thriller has Aston Villa hero James Milner jumping for joy

21 January 2010 07:56
James Milner is high and mighty after scoring a penalty during a man-of-the-match display which inspired Aston Villa to their first Wembley appearance in 10 years.

In an astonishing Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park, Martin O'Neill's team won 6-4 7-4 on aggregate and a delighted Milner said: 'Getting to a final's fantastic, The fans were fantastic, It's great for them and for us as a club. Hopefully we can go and win it.'

O'Neill echoed his young charges' sentiments, telling how his players 'grew up' on an amazing night, which saw Villa recover from being 2-0 down thanks to Blackburn striker Nikola Kalinic's first-half brace.

Villa will contest the Carling Cup final against either Manchester United or Manchester City after the breathless encounter, with O'Neill adding: 'It was an extraordinary amazing game, no doubt about that. I was almost losing count of what was happening.'

High times: Milner celebrates his penalty

'I thought we started nervously, conceding two goals, and Wembley was a fair distance away at that stage.

'But we finally got a bit of life into us, fought back brilliantly, and we got back to 2-1.

At that point I always felt we would score again, but not in my wildest dreams did I believe the score would end up 6-4. It was 6-4 wasn't it?'

Over the moon: O'Neill can barely contain his delight

His Blackburn counterpart Sam Allardyce, perhaps with a touch of sour grapes, bemoaned referee Martin Atkinson for failing to spot a shove from Agbonlahor on captain Ryan Nelsen that allowed Warnock to make it 2-1.

'It's a bit difficult to take, scoring four goals and not getting through to the final. We were in complete control of the game, and if anybody is going to score to make it 3-0 it's us.

'But then the referee allows a blatant foul on Ryan Nelsen to go unpunished, and at this level you have to make sure the referee gets those decisions right.'

 Aston Villa 6 Blackburn Rovers 4 (agg 7-4) Villa reach Carling Cup final after winning amazing ten goal thrillerTHE FIRING LINE: Big trouble for Big Sam - the Rovers boss heads our list of gaffers heading for the exitASTON VILLA FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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