Villa 2 Portsmouth 0: Unremarkable win - but Villa are fifth
By Villa reporter
Saturday 19 Sep 2009 15:28:00
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Villa have climbed to fifth after brushing aside battling Portsmouth to claim their fourth straight league win.

James Milner put them ahead after 34 minutes from the spot after Stiliyan Petrov was fouled by Nadir Belhadj, before Gabby Agbonlahor doubled the lead two minutes before the break.

Portsmouth had plenty of possession and chances in the second half and looked better than their no-points-yet record suggests, but Villa were pretty comfortable at two up and will be pleased with a solid if unremarkable afternoon's work.

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John Carew was back in the starting XI following Nigel Reo-Coker's bust-up with manager Martin O'Neill. Portsmouth had an unchanged line-up.

Ten minutes before half-time, Nadir Belhadj fouled Stiliyan Petrov in the box - a clear penalty - and James Milner stepped up to fire into the top left-hand corner. Just before the break, it was effectively game over thanks to a superb finish by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who turned Tal Ben Haim on the edge of the area and smashed a fierce shot past David James.

Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Petrov, Milner, Sidwell, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Carew. Subs: Guzan, Delfouneso, Delph, Heskey, Shorey, Beye, Gardner.

Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Kaboul, Ben-Haim, Belhadj, Mokoena, Smith, Brown, Boateng, O'Hara, Piquionne. Subs: Begovic, Mullins, Williamson, Utaka, Webber, Kanu, Yebda.

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