MON: We did what we had to do to keep double hopes alive
By Villa reporter
Saturday 23 Jan 2010 20:50:00
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Martin O’Neill felt his side upped the pace when they needed to in order to see off Brighton and progress to the last 16 of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win at Villa Park.

Gus Poyet’s League One side twice fought back well to give Villa a scare, but MON’s men eventually went through to keep alive their hopes of a cup double and keep open another route into Europe.

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Nathan Delfouneso opened the scoring but Tommy Elphick levelled with a close range effort before Ashley Young and Fabian Delph made it 3-1.

Nicky Forster bagged an injury-time consolation but there was not enough time for the Seagulls to make Villa sweat.

O'Neill said: ‘We obviously started off brilliantly. We got the goal early on.

‘Marc Albrighton going off early forced us into bringing James Milner on earlier then we'd have hoped for. As it turns out we probably needed him. Brighton really came into the game the last 20 minutes before half time.

‘I think on the balance of play they deserved their equaliser. We had a scare a moment or two before that. I think we really had to up the pace in the second half, which I think we did.

‘It's not unusual here to be hanging on by your fingertips at the end. I'm pleased to have won.’

The fifth round draw can be seen on ITV around 6pm on Sunday after the televised Scunthorpe-Man City game.

Who’s best placed to finish fourth – Villa, City, Spurs or Liverpool? Can any of them finish in the top three? Give us your verdict on our forum. It's quick and easy to register

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