Post-mortem: Aston Villa dominate Blackburn

I imagine some of the banter today will focus on the football from yesterday instead of the fantastic football from Saturday and you know what, I don't think it should be an issue.

Didn't someone once write or say that if you have enough monkeys in a room and they all have a typewriter, they'd be able to string a sentence together. Well, it turns out if you give a football club 135 years, they will win two pieces of silverware.

My point; let them have it. We all know the score and the bigger picture. It was Aristotle who said 'one swallow doesn't make a summer' and by that he meant that The Clowns, every now and then will win something, but they'll always be the second club in the city and deep down. The thing is, they know it too, so just let them have this moment.

What the Papers Say

Sandy Macaskill, The Telegraph
Paul Robinson was steadily working himself into a supernova in the Blackburn goalmouth and with good reason. In front of him Blackburn Rovers were being scattered like tissue paper in a tornado.
Anna Kessel, The Observer
Aston Villa took their time in winning this match – perhaps the knowledge that three points would move them a vital leap further away from the drop zone caused a few jitters. Once they got going, however, Gérard Houllier's team confidently took Blackburn apart – form winning out over league position as Villa leapfrogged the visitors and showed just what they are capable of once they hit their stride.

After a soporific first half, the game sprang to life for Villa shortly before half-time with a series of near misses, including a penalty appeal from Darren Bent. Having enjoyed the lion's share of possession and with their confidence buoyed, Houllier's side returned after the break with renewed conviction and settled the result in a 15-minute assault on Paul Robinson's goal that took them 3-0 up. Only Jermaine Jones's effort for Blackburn, cleared by the feet of Brad Friedel early in the second half, suggested anything otherwise.

The Manager

Gerard Houllier
I think some people may have been disappointed with the first half. I was not and I told the players to keep their heads up, keep believing in what we were doing. We had to put more tempo, which we did in the second half. I said keep passing and moving once we get in the final third and eventually we would find a solution and that paid off. More than the result, was the quality of the play. We made some mistakes but I want the team to play that way with confidence and to me, it has got to be entertaining.

Players and Man of the Match

You won't be surprised to learn that the man of the match vote went to Ashley Young, but as I'm not in front of my regular machine I can't get you a nice looking image showing where all the votes went, but I will do that later when I get in front of my regular machine. He delivered the performance and he deserved it. Now for the contract in the summer and I do think he will stay even if all things point to him leaving.

Brad Friedel, Richard Dunne, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker (Fabian Delph, 36), Kyle Walker, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, A, Robert Pires (Stiliyan Petrov, 76), Marc Albrighton, Nigel Reo-Coker and Darren Bent (Emile Heskey, 83).

Final Analysis

At the end of the day, everything worked out well. In the first half Blackburn came not to lose and maybe steal something and we had to get used to that. We did and in the second half, we dominated. I don't use that word often, but it is fitting for that second half display. We dominated.