Aston Villa 1 Blackburn 0
A rather lacklustre performance from both the Villans and our Rovers ended in a 1-0 defeat to Steve Kean's men. A goal by Darren Bent was, all that was needed as both teams struggled to maintain any possession and take control of the fixture.
Mauro Formica made his first team debut, sitting just in behind Jason Roberts
Salgado, Olsson, Samba, Givet
Emerton, Dunn, Nzonzi, Gamst
Aston Villa were of to the stronger start. A neat through ball found the path of Darren Bent, strongly shouldered off the ball by Chris Samba, with Gael Givet collecting the spoils. Mauro Formica showed what he was all about early on, a handful of neat passes and flick ons, as well as some tough challenges indicated he might just be ready for English Football
Formica was in the thick of it early, a neat flick on for Jason Roberts saw the big target man hold it up, then lay-off for Formica, a first time effort parried by Shay Given. Dunn was next to try his luck, driving from 30 yards, flying inches over the goal.
Villa attempted to counter on several occasions, but you could clearly tell it was pre-season, as both teams struggled creating a clear opening. Nzonzi was doing his all to shut down the midfield, and looked rather comfortable at that. Gamst Pedersen on the otherhand, looked rather sloppy, whilst Brett Emerton was a touch off the pace
Aston Villa's first opportunity came through the sharp and effective Bannan sending in a drilled cross. Warnock was on the otherend, however he couldnt make strong contact, his attempted shot cleared by Gael Givet. Minutes later, Petrov skinned Givet, skipping through on goal, however his shot was straight at Robinson, making his first save of the night.
David Dunn and Steve Warnock clashed after a tough 50-50 chBallenge, with Dunny coming off worse. He did managed to pick his socks up, the challenged probably looked worse then what it was.
Half Time 0-0
Early scare through the Rovers camp, Olsson jamming his foot in the ground. After a little shake and breather, the Swede returned to play.
A slow start to the second half changed when Villa opened the scoring via prolific striker, Darren Bent. Bannon found some space down the right flank, whipping in a bending cross. Bent made the daftest of touches, leaving Robinson stranded
Rovers best chance of the game fell to Australian international, Brett Emerton. Chris Samba picked the ball up well inside the Rovers half, and set off downfield, scooting 60 metres. Captain Samba released Emerton, who jinked back in on his marker, before a delightful left foot strike was tipped wide by Given.
Vince Grella and Nick Blackman made their way on the pitch for David Dunn and Michel Salgado.
Blackman proved to be wasteful, taking two tame strikes from distance, whilst Grella would just be happy to last the 14 minutes.
The fixture did end in a touch of controversy, Blackman booked for diving, and a little off the ball incident causing a minor scuffle.
Aston Villa 1
Formica: Looked really lively. They say some South Americans cant physically handle the Premier League. Formica is not one of those
Nzonzi: Solid 70 odd minutes. Will need to step up and be the man to hold the midfield
Roberts: Looks like he enjoyed having Formica running off him. Worked hard as always
Brett Emerton: Looked some what off the pace in patches
Michel Salgado: Wasted the ball one too many times
David Dunn: Ineffectual, very...
Gamst: Wasted set piece, after set piece