Same again on Tuesday please - Villa ease past Blackburn
By Villa reporter
Saturday 02 Jan 2010 18:38:00
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Villa have the psychological edge over Blackburn ahead of the sides’ Carling Cup semi-final after beating them 3-1 at Villa Park to move into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Goals from Nathan Delfouneso, Carlos Cuellar and John Carew earned Villa their victory against ten-man Blackburn, who have to recover from this defeat before hosting Villa on Tuesday night.

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Delfouneso struck his first goal of the campaign and Cuellar added a second before Rovers saw David Dunn's spot-kick saved by Brad Guzan and then had El-Hadji Diouf sent off for a lunging challenge on Habib Beye.

But Sam Allardyce's side overcame their numerical disadvantage to reduce the arrears through Nikola Kalinic after a Guzan error before Carew settled the issue with a late penalty.

Villa and Rovers made it clear their priorities lie with Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg between the clubs by making seven and nine changes respectively.

But Villa's line-up still looked considerably stronger with the likes of Ashley Young, Emile Heskey, James Collins and Habib Beye among the players recalled to the starting line-up.

Villa broke the deadlock after 12 minutes through Delfouneso. Fabian Delph found Ashley Young on the left and he cut inside before sending over a teasing cross from which Delfouneso glanced his header past Brown from 10 yards.

Blackburn could have drawn level after 31 minutes when Nigel Reo-Coker brought down Steven Reid inside the area. But Guzan saved the spot-kick from former Birmingham midfielder Dunn to his left.

After 37 minutes Cuellar doubled Villa's lead. Michel Salgado was yellow-carded for a challenge on Stephen Warnock and the resulting free-kick from Ashley Young was met by Cuellar who glanced his header past Brown.

In the 42nd minute Diouf was given a straight red by referee Howard Webb for a lunging touch-line challenge on Beye.

An error by Guzan handed Blackburn a lifeline in the second half. He failed to hold onto an inswinging corner from substitute Pedersen and Kalinic had the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.

It was nervy for a while but in the 90th minute, Gael Givet brought down Carew in the box and the Norwegian international sent Brown the wrong way from the spot.

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