Classy Spur spurs Villa
Villa nab 3 goals despite a drab display Debutant Kyle Walker put on a show for Villa fans at Bramall Lane with a goal to lead the way and a dazzling footwork move that ended with Petrov sealing a 3-1 win. Villa started slower than Sheffield, but the game was still in its early stages when Walker announced his arrival on the scene. The gangly right back slipped past his defender stepped into the area and slipped his shot to the side of Simonsen in goal. Villa had just started to look less nervy at this point, but immediately went on the back foot. United pushed them back without threatening too much. They had a good shout for a penalty, but the ref didn't see it. Eventually Villa got a foothold into the game and Agbonlahor set Young off down the left with lovely pass and his cross was thumped home by Albrighton. Gabby should have sealed the game by half time, but the keeper got a hand to his shot. Sheffield got back on the front foot in the second half and were awarded a soft penalty early on. Robinson appeared to be already going down without being touched, before Cuellar got his tackle in. Former Villan Jamie Ward smashed the ball down the middle for 2-1. Villa were now in a funk and the Blades were much sharper than the visitors. Young got booked for a daft professional foul and Houllier and McCallister decided a change needed to be made. McCallister decided to put Downing on for Young and Petrov for Pires. Then, Houllier changed the substitution and brought off Bannon instead of Young. A few minutes later, Young fouled again and the ref produced another yellow and Young was off anyway. Petrov missed 2 golden chances to end the match. He headed a corner toward goal, but the defender cleared, just before that he had the keeper 1 on 1 and the keeper got low and saved. It kept looking like Sheffield would get a deserved equaliser. Ertl's overhead kick produced Friedel's second fine save of the game, but some more magic by Walker and Villa passed their way down the pitch with Petrov side stepping his defender and sending a tremendous shot into the top corner to earn a spot in the 4th round. Overall it was not a good Villa performance. When they get the ball and get it under control, they can pass the ball a la Houllier all around the field. The problem is, they hardly ever get the ball under control. The defence did a good job, although the thought of Wayne Bridge at left back is a nice one, Clarke looks shaky there, much better on the ball down the field. Dunney, played well, had his usual blunder, but Friedel bailed him out. Anyone recall the FA cup mare he had at Bramall a few years back with Citeh? Cuellar played well and was unfortunate with the pen. Reo-Coker was terrible. Too many under hit passes, getting caught in possession. But, I can't fault his heart & drive. Bannon was good, when he can get the ball. A couple of sloppy passes, but some nice stuff too. Albrighton, did better out on the left. Nice goal though. Young was awful. He laid on a goal, always nice, but he couldn't get past their defenders, which really shouldn't have been that difficult. He did his usual hobbling int the middle of the pitch, so when the ball was passed to him he gave up possession which ultimately led to their penalty. Pires is a joke. I could run better than him and pass better and tackle better and I'm 11 years older. Agbonlahor, was operating alone, which is difficult for him. He did have a couple of nice passes and a couple of nice runs, but no disrespect to Sheffield, but he made their defenders look like Spain's defenders Puyol and "Biscuits" as I like to call him. Downing came on and looked like a waste. He also couldn't get past their left back, although Albrighton had no problem. When he did get behind the defence he side footed a cross to the first defender. He also shot from 8 yards over the bar with all the central defenders up in the box looking for a scrap. Petrov looked interested and had 3 chances. I'm glad he took one or I would have been scathing on him especially given that stupid deliberate handball and thenscreaming at the ref over it. Man of the match: walker. One or two mistakes, like that errant crossfield pass to Dunne that was intercepted by Sheffield, but overall, this kid already looks better than Hutton or Corluka, so I am not sure why Harry isn't playing him.
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