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Villa through after thriller
Published : 20 Jan 2010 22:05:47
Aston Villa finally ended an agonising 10-year wait to appear in a showpiece final following an astonishing 6-4 win in their last -four Carling Cup showdown with Blackburn.
A brace from Niko Kalinic inside 26 minutes rocked Martin O'Neill's side, only for former Rovers defender Stephen Warnock to haul Villa level on aggregate before Chris Samba's dismissal turned the tie on its head. After James Milner converted the penalty for Samba's challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor, Villa swept into the final with three goals in nine second-half minutes.
An own goal from Steven Nzonzi, a Milner strike that deflected off Agbonlahor and an Emile Heskey header saw Villa home, although they still conceded two more as Martin Olsson and Brett Emerton restored some pride, only for Ashley Young to round off a 6-4 win - and 7-4 aggregate success - in injury-time.