Date: 27th September 2009 at 2:27am
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With both teams finding them selves at alternate ends of the table, Aston Villa made the trip to Ewood Park. Villa would of been anticipating success, as they have beaten the Lancashire outfit 7 out of the last 8 times. Allardyce decided to make a few changes, Di Santo coming in for Roberts, Nzonzi in for Andrews, Jacobsen at right back and Nelsen in for Givet….

The Rovers game plan was tossed out the window after only 3 minutes. A long ball by Brad Friedel was flicked on by James Milner, with Agbonlahor finding open space, rolling the ball past the outstreched arms of Robinson, hitting the far post and trickling inside the goal. 1-0 Aston Villa….

Rovers, stunned, but responded well. David Dunn scuffed a shot outside the box, with the ball rolling across to Pedersen who blasted over. Di Santo had an opportunity off a Rovers throw in, however Ex Rover Stevie Warnock put his body on the line, blocking the Argentinians effort.

Ashley Young looked a threat on the flank for the Villians, however, his traditional perfect delivery just wasnt happening. 2 crosses narrowly missed the free John Carew, whilst set pieces found their way straight into Robinson’s arms.

Rovers made Villa pay for wasting set pieces. RYan Nelsen sent the ball skywards into the box, with Di Santo battling with his marker, the ball bounced into the path of Samba, who half volleyed into the bottom left corner of the goal….1-1

In what was proving to be an entertaining encounter, Villa were next in line to take some chances, with Young and Carew blasting wide and over respectively. Friedel then reminded Rovers (if we ever needed reminding) of the quality he possesses, making a perfect reflex saving preventing Dunn scoring from an acrobatic bicycle kick.

With the pressure on, Rover’s almost gave one away as a sloppy pass from Chimbonda found Milner, who darted into the box, however his shot couldnt get past Robinson. Half Time, 1-1

The second half started with more of the same, however Rover’s had the upper hand, with Villa holding back. The game then took a twist, with Vince Grella picking up a second yellow for a reckless tackle. Rovers made the changes, bringing on Brett Emerton and Keith Andrews for Dioufy and Pedersen in an attempt to condense the midfield. And boy didnt it work!

Friedel continued to be the thorn, pulling of another reflect save of Brett Emerton’s powerful strike. Di Santo continued to press, and impress the Rover’s faithful with his ability on the ball, and work ethic. He was denied a penalty in the 83rd minute, however, was’nt to be denied in the 88th. Di Santo controlled the ball, and struck an acrobatic bicycle kick, which was handballed by Richard Dunne. David Dunn stepped up to the plate, blasting into the left corner, 2-1 Rovers…

Villa almost snared an equaliser, a Collins long shot found a slight deflection, however Robinson was up to the task, parrying it wide… Rovers 2-1

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 7.5
Made some good solid reflex saves, great in the air, shutting down several Aston Villa free kicks, and the save in the dying minutes. Well Done Robbo

Ryan Nelsen 7
Solid performance from the Admiral. Looked a touch underdone, but he got stuck in and did what he normally does

Chris Samba 7.5
Would of got a higher rating, but was out of position for the Villa Goal. Great finish from the big man, and got to almost ever attacking header first

Lars Jacobsen 8
What a bargain Jacobsen is proving to be. Great on the counter, worked hard to shut down Young, and composed on the ball

Pascal Chimbonda 7.5
Good performance from Pascal, holding the left flank very tightly. Poor pass almost cost us

Steven Nzonzi 7.5
This guy will be amazing. Great long passing game, and shows his prescense. I think the future of the Rover’s midfield is a Nzonzi Grella combination.

Vince Grella 6.5
Got stuck in in defence, couldnt do much about his first yellow, he had to bring his man down otherwise they were free, however poor challenge for the second yellow, should know better….

Gamst Pedersen 6
Poor performance from Gamst. His crosses couldnt beat the first man, and no real impact in attack

El Hadji Diouf 7
Decent game from Dioufy, too much whinging as we expect, but did cause some damage down the flank

David Dunn 10
Ok, i have given about 2 or 3 ratings of 10 since I started doing reports a season and a half ago. But, Dunn’s performance was one of the best single man display’s I have seen in years. The way he took control, the way he dazzled with the ball at his feet, and the way he encouraged Di Santo throughout the game was something to behold…

Franco Di Santo 9
What a performance from the young Argentinian. His bicycle kick was goal bound, he fought and fought the hole 90 minutes as a loan striker and really proved what he has. Hopefully their is more to come!


29 Replies to “10 Man Rovers Stun Villa”

  • a great result, if a little unexpected, lots of changes were needed, and to sams credit he made em, one slight worry again one man up front, and he is only on loan ,which bemuses me as that means all four of our strikers are deemed not good enough, great read on match report and spot on!!!

  • YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!! What can we say – it wasnt even a fluke, we were the better side and wanted it more. Total agree with your rating buddy – David Dunn put on a Steven Gerrard like performance yesterday, he was simply outstanding. What a team effort and a great result… more like this please.

  • Oh and I might add the courage shown when down to ten men to go for the 3 points was excellent. Our home form will be key and this is the way to play at home with that level of effort and drive.

  • well done chaps, showed more fight than us yesterday and so deserved the win, or at least the draw. Good sign that your lads didn’t let their heads drop when Gabby scored, this is where Villa aren’t learning I think, go one up and don’t sit back, go for the jugglar …. we don’t kill teams off, not your problem that though really is it?! Thought the pen was harsh, one of those that you could debate all day though, seen them given before, seen them not given, to be fair the high kick was possibly as bad… again, could debate that all day but only the ref’s opinion really counts and no complaints really as we had too many passengers (and in this case ridiculous tactics at times) to really deserve to push on and get the 3 points. Nice scalp as we’d made our best start for a decade…

  • Great report. Di Santo- if only there was a buy option. him and DUNN were immence, with Pascal and Robbo being the other standouts. I apoligise for Grella, but Emo looked sharp when he came on. fantastic game and fantastic win

  • footy fans – coincidentally neither Dunne’s head or arm got kicked by Di Santo so that rules thought out! the shot would of been on target as well – so it could of gone in. Like I said buddy, no fluke.

  • thats what I meant… it COULD of gone in, not definite but could of gone in. If you go in like that with your hands in the air you are asking for it in my opinion matey.

  • Very good performance and a deserved win – well done the lads – I was worried before the game and when we went a goal down – however, I was delighted with the win and the performance. As for the penalty – it was nailed on. His hands were up and blocked a shot… Andrews, I think, had a pen awarded against him for having his hands at his side and his back turned… so if you get one for that you definelty get it for Dunne’s activity!

  • I dont see why he wont! THough it was pretty random he started v Villa, Roberts had led the front line until then, with Kalinic and McCarthy, as well as Hoillet coming of the bench…..who knows what Sam has in store

  • changes were needed and Sam made them, a thumbs up as far as I’m concerned.

    As much as we deserve a little luck, I don’t think this was it. As mentioned above the penalty was a penalty. He was up with his arms in the air, and his arms prevented a shot on goal reaching the net, hence a goal-scoring opportunity.

    If this had happened for Utd or Chelsea, there wouldn’t be a debate. It would have been a stone-waller!

  • Luck or not it was a penalty and dunny took it well hehe 3 points and about time we played like we did, showed commitment and great determination with some lovely touchs of flair from several individuals.

  • Luck be damned! That was effort earning results. And goals are contagious the way near misses are contagious. Nzonzi has a fantastic future. Surrounding him with experienced players is only going to bring him along faster

  • I actually think him playing next to Grella will free him up a bit to express himself a bit more… IF Grella stays on the pitch!!! lol

  • Mikey – Yeah, it kinda is ‘asking for it’, just a bit gutted it was given i suppose – still think he was protecting himself tho…

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