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Villa win plaudits but Morten Gamst Pedersen's Blackburn get the points
Tim Rich at Ewood Park - 3 years ago

Two goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen ensured that the sixth game between these two sides in 2010 finished with the scores level at 3-3. Interestingly, Aston Villa took the three cup games while all three Premier League fixtures were won by the same uncompromising brand of football Sam Allardyce's men brought to bear here.

His counterpart, Gérard Houllier, would argue with justice that Aston Villa played the better football and created the better chances but the young players who had deserved more than a draw against Manchester United eight days ago left Ewood Park with nothing.

Blackburn's main weapon was Pedersen's set pieces and, generally, Aston Villa did not cope with them well. Houllier would have been especially furious with the first since it was the result of an utterly needless free-kick, conceded on the stroke of half-time when Stephen Warnock, who had just been accidentally elbowed by El Hadji Diouf, decided to take the striker's legs from beneath him.

Pedersen's free-kick was meant for Ryan Nelsen but it was slightly misjudged and Brad Friedel, who had come out to meet, it realised too late that it was bound for the top corner of his net.

It seemed a matter of time before Villa struck back. Ashley Young had been their most consistent and inventive threat. In the first half after a collision between Gaël Givet and the referee, Michael Oliver, had allowed him through, he had been denied only by Paul Robinson's arm. Just after the restart, he aimed another fierce shot at the Blackburn keeper's gloves and then outjumped Chris Samba to head on to the post.

Nevertheless, with Blackburn's new owners, the brothers Balaji and Venkatesh Rao, at the ground they deny they are going to rename, the afternoon demanded a home win. It was sealed by another set piece, this time an El Hadji Diouf corner that Villa did not properly clear. Pascal Chimbonda's shot was blocked, the ricochet fell to Nelsen, who played it back in and Pedersen stuck it away from close range. It was not pretty but then the Rao family have bought Blackburn not Barcelona.

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

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