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Aston Villa 1 Blackburn 0

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
Roberts, Formica

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

1-0 Villa

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.

Full Time
Aston Villa 1
Blackburn 0

The Good-

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

The Average:

Brett Emerton: Looked some what off the pace in patches
Michel Salgado: Wasted the ball one too many times

The Poor:

David Dunn: Ineffectual, very...
Gamst: Wasted set piece, after set piece

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday July 27 2011
Time: 1:43PM


Good run out for the boys here and to be honest I am not too bothered by the score... we looked good and attractive to watch but we DEFINITELY need a proper striker. The big bonus of the match is Formica who looked fantastic at times. Was Kean right about him all along?
Mikey Delap
27/07/2011 13:52:00
So so performance, very evenly balanced game which neither side really deserved to win. I don't think we looked dangerous enough in their half, lacked penetration. Givet gives me the yips sometimes as well.
27/07/2011 14:02:00
Good to see Firmica have a decent game. Didn't think Villa were any better than us but it was a good exercise for all involved. I thought our weaknesses were the same as last season... The lack of a top marksman as well as Givet in the centre. We need Givet at left back so Olsson can push forward. We were very narrow IMO.
27/07/2011 14:14:00
Sorry that's obviously Formica... Dodgy iPhone typing!
27/07/2011 14:16:00
i don't think the way Roberts played today suited Formica, no fault to Roberts he was prob told to hold up the ball, they were just playing a different game. Formica looked keen to slide the through balls into space but Roberts had his back to goal most of the time. I'd like to have seen Rochina play up top for the last 20mins, facing goal and prepared to get in behind the defence. Blackman looked keen to run, he could've been effective up top too. I think he looked abit nervy on the ball which is understandable, but he found himself getting into the right positions which is encouraging...!
27/07/2011 15:32:00
I like Blackman as well but he have to get chances as a striker not as a midfielder as it seems in today. He will be good. Is I'm the only one that think Olsson did some very poor defending, it might be that he should play gamsts place at the midfield. All Aston Villas chances in the first half came from his side. As a defender he need to step up or else we will have a problem there....cheers
27/07/2011 16:07:00
I don't put much stock into pre-season games. But we had a strong line up. Hopefully in a couple of weeks the lads will be back to their best.
27/07/2011 19:44:00
completely agree with cliffseagull, looks like formica was more used to playing through balls behind
27/07/2011 23:41:00
the match only highlights our weakness up front. nzonzi was immense in the middle and gata looked promising...gamst was very poor
28/07/2011 07:08:00
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