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Match Report: Bristol Rovers 1-3 Aston Villa (Villa Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 8th January 2012
Aston Villa made easy work of what was a potential banana skin at the Memorial Stadium.

The Villans progress to the 4th round of the FA Cup after a convincing 3-1 victory over League Two strugglers Bristol Rovers.

Rovers started well, but failed to make the early pressure count. Villa were failing to keep control of the ball, and The gas were looking a good match for the Premier League club.

The game changed on 35 minutes when Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov's wonderfully weighted pass fell into Marc Albrighton's path and he drove the ball into the back of the net, via the helpless Rovers keepers' legs.

Again Rovers came back and had the better of the opening exchanges in the second period, but then the top flight side started to turn on the style, and the second goal came midway through the second half when substitute Gabby Agbonlahor placed the ball in the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

It was a non-contest after that, and the Villa midfield started to run the show. Ciaran Clark, who was impressive in the holding role, made it three with twelve minutes to go, when he ran 30 yards untouched and curled the ball, left footed into the bottom right hand corner from the edge of the area.

The home fans did have something to shout about when first half substitute Scott McGelish lobbed the ball over the over Brad Guzan into an empty net in the 90th minute. Rovers were instantly given a chance to close the deficit to one goal just a minute later when Stephen Warnock was adjudged to have handled in the box. McGleish's penalty was saved by Villa's Brad Guzan, which meant that Villa were then saved of any potential late comeback.

Man of the Match – Marc Albrighton gave the full back the run around most of the time, but the final ball was not poor. Gabby Agbonlahor made a difference when he came on, his injection of pace scared the Rovers defence, but Ciaran Clark had another tremendous game. The young defender who is equally as comfortable in midfield held the ball well, as well as protecting the back four. He rarely gave the ball away, and to cap it off he scored a great goal.

Villa will be looking forward  to the 4th round draw, where they could potentially get to meet local rivals Birmingham City, who drew 0-0 with Wolves earlier in the day. Villa are number 7 in tomorrow's draw which will be shown live on ITV around 5.40pm.
John Leavy

Total articles: 3

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