• Date: Sun 09 May 2010
  • Venue: Villa Park
  • Ref: Bennett, S
  • Attendance: 41,799

Aston Villa vs Blackburn Rovers

Team Lineups

Aston Villa

Brad Friedel
Richard Dunne
Carlos Cuellar
Stephen Warnock (Luke Young, L, 41)
James Collins
Stewart Downing
Ashley Young, A
James Milner
Stiliyan Petrov
John Carew (Emile Heskey, 76)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Nathan Delfouneso, 78)

Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson
Christopher Samba
Gael Givet (Phil Jones, 63)
Martin Olsson
Michel Salgado
Grant Hanley
David Dunn
Amine Linganzi (Morten Gamst Pedersen, 46)
Keith Andrews
David Hoilett
Jason Roberts (Brett Emerton, 85)

Match Report
Aston Villa's season of high expectancy ended as it began with an unexpected home defeat as Richard Dunne's own goal helped Blackburn win 1-0. It was Villa's first home defeat in nine games, while Rovers extended their unbeaten away run to four matches. In such a closely contested game when Blackburn defended magnificently, it became increasingly obvious that only a mistake would separate the two teams. There could not have been a bigger contrast than that compared to their previous meeting in January which produced a ten-goal Carling Cup bonanza. The big bonus for Blackburn in only their third away win of the season was the mature performance of teenager Grant Hanley on his debut. The young central defender was never over-awed by the occasion or the opposition and dealt with the threat of Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew in commendable fashion. Rovers, keen to make amends for their 6-4 defeat in January, drafted in the Algerian teenager Amine Linganzi for his first game in the Premiership. He began in a lively fashion when Rovers found themselves under considerable pressure from a Villa side keen to finish the season on a high note. The only real threat to Rovers occurred in the sixth minute when Paul Robinson displayed international form to parry a glancing header from James Collins following a Stewart Downing corner. Villa, unchanged for the sixth successive match, found Rovers' defence in a resolute mood with skipper Christopher Samba and youngster Hanley both dominant in keeping the home side at bay. It was Hanley who could have made a dream goalscoring debut as he went closest to giving Blackburn the lead in the first half with a header from a David Dunn corner which went just wide. As the first half wound down Collins tested Robinson with a low drive which the keeper could only parry but Rovers' blanket defence quickly averted any further danger. Robinson was again forced to display top form when he dived low to push away a James Milner free-kick three minutes before the break. Generally,Villa's attacks were often far too complicated and this enabled Rovers to nullify any threat. As a result Rovers gained in confidence to take the second half to Villa but, in the 58th minute, their leading goalscorer Dunn was booked for diving in the penalty area. Blackburn then had an escape when Milner failed to make contact with a Downing cross. Frustration crept into Villa's play and the response from manager Martin O'Neill was to make a double substitution, sending on Emile Heskey and Nathan Delfouneso for Agbonlahor and Carew. But it was to no avail as, in the 84th minute, Dunne had the misfortune to head Junior Hoilett's left-wing cross into his own net.
Live Text Commentary
Full time

Full Time: ASTON VILLA 0-1 BLACKBURN. At the end of a very poor game that Villa probably had the better of, it is Rovers who take all the points thanks to Hoilett.


Villa don't seem to have a response in them at the end of a tiring season and it seems that Rovers are going to record a very good away win.


Big Sam wants to secure the three points now as he replaces Jason Roberts with Brett Emerton.


ASTON VILLA 0-1 BLACKBURN. Alas! A goal! And it comes in bizarre fashion as David Hoilett's shot deflects wickedly off RICHARD DUNNE'S head and flies into the net.


Drifting towards the final few minutes now and while there are goals galore elsewhere its been a dour affair here.


A change for Villa now as Nathan Delfouneso replaces the disappointing Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Yellow Card

Ashley Young is cautioned by the referee.


A change for Villa now as John Carew is replaced by Emile Heskey who could do with a performance today for his World Cup hopes.


This game has 0-0 written all over it now with both sides seemingly veen happier than they were earlier to stroll through to the final whistle with a point a piece.


Petrov getting himself forward for Villa again now and hitting another stinging drive but this one is dragged a bit wide.


David Dunn is teed up now by Keith Andews on the edge of the box but Richard Dunne throws himself in the way to block.


Phil Jones comes on for Blackburn in place of Gael Givet.


Suddenly the visitors have burst into a bit of life with Pedersen finding Jason Roberts unmarked in the penalty area but the striker can only angle his shot wide.


Keith Andrews now fires in a ferocious drive from all of 30 yards that Friedel does superbly to keep out of the top corner.

Yellow Card

David Dunn collects a booking.


Pedersen wins a free-kick for a foul by Ashley Young and then takes it himself and forces a smart save from Brad Friedel.


Villa are definitely the better side in this half but Rovers defence look well organised and are not about to let them through without a fight.


Stiliyan Petrov on the burst from midfield for Villa, who are enjoying plenty of possession at the moment, but his driving shot goes wide of the post.


Oh dear! It as timid at the start of this half as it was at the start of the first.


A change at the break for Rovers as Amine Linganzi is replaced by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Second half

The second period is underway at Villa Park.

Half time

Half Time: ASTON VILLA 0-0 BLACKBURN. Well let's just hope the second half is as good as the final few minutes of the first half because frankly the previous 40 were a waste of time.


Now we don't want half time as the game bursts into life! Dunn is denied by Friedel before Villa break and Agbonlahor forces another super stop from Robinson.


Where did that come from? A stunning quadruple save from Paul Robinson as he denies Collins, Agbonlahor, Carew and Agbonlahor again one after the other in a penalty box scramble. Sensational goalkeeping!


That could be the end of any lingering World Cup hopes for Stephen Warnock as he is forced off with an injury and Luke Young is on in his place.


Paul Robinson has not had a thing to do so far apart from take a couple of goal kicks and that is a massive surprise given Villa's penchant for attacking football.


There is such a relaxed atmosphere here. Villa are secure in a Europe League spot and Rovers are safely in mid-table.


David Dunn has been given a new lease of life this season and he is at the heart of all Blackburn's good work so far today.


The hosts are starting to assert themselves a little more now with Young looking a bit busier but the balls seems to be magnetised to big Samba.


Ashley Yound and Stewart Downing have provided a few bright moments for Villa so far but Christopher Samba has been there every single time to get his head on it.


Rovers have definitely began the better of these two sides but to no great avail with the defences very much in command.


The pace and tempo here could definitely be described as pedestrian. Half of the players out there seem to already be on the beach.


The Rovers defence look very comfortable in the opening stages here and Martin Olsson springs forward to fire just wide from 25 yards.


Villa have shown nothing at all so far and that is a surprise because with rumours that their manager could be on his way out in the summer they should be out to impress.


And now the first shot in anger of the day but Davin Dunn's effort from inside the edge of the box is a little off target.

Yellow Card

The first action of the afternoon is from the referee as he shows an early yellow card to Richard Dunne.


Not much action at Villa Park in the early stages with both sides starting with an end of season feeling.


Slow start in the cloudy skies of Birmingham - is it just me or has the weather gone from always being brilliant sunshine on the final day to distinctly average in recent years?


Here we go! For the last time in this brilliant Premier League season we are underway, lets hope for a cracking finish in the Second City.

Awaiting Kickoff

Obviously the story in the Premier League today is elsewhere but the contrast in styles here could prove interesting viewing.

Awaiting Kickoff

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Hanley, Givet, Hoilett, Linganzi, Andrews, Dunn, Olsson, Roberts

Awaiting Kickoff

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor

Awaiting Kickoff

Blackburn have had a brilliant season under Big Sam and will want to sign off for the summer with an away win for their travelling fans.

Awaiting Kickoff

Aston Villa have enjoyed another solid season and only dropped out of the Champions League race a couple of weeks ago and will want to finish with a flourish in front of their home fans.

Awaiting Kickoff

Welcome to Villa Park for a virtual dead rubber as Europa League confirmed Aston Villa entertain safe mid-table Blackburn Rovers.