Villa can hold heads high - shame it's not the Carling Cup instead
By Villa reporter
Sunday 28 Feb 2010 20:35:00
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Villa can hold their heads high after pushing Manchester United all the way in the Carling Cup final – but could also be holding the cup high had it not been for one controversial refereeing decision.

Villa boss Martin O’Neill was adamant Nemanja Vidic should have been sent off as the last man when he fouled Gabby Agbonlahor in the area. A penalty was given but Vidic was not even booked. With 11 men, United came from behind to beat Villa 2-1.

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O'Neill believed the decision changed the outcome of the match.

He said: ‘I think it would be universally accepted they should have been down to 10 men. There's no other decision to make. It's not a good decision by an otherwise fine referee.

‘It's the major point of the match. In two or three weeks it's forgotten and the trophy's on their mantlepiece, but it's a poor decision.’

O'Neill backed his side to recover and book another Wembley date in the FA Cup final after Wayne Rooney’s headed winner gave United their second successive win in this competition.

‘It's hard to take. I thought we played splendidly, particularly in the first half, and got in front. Manchester United got the equaliser but at half-time I felt we were very, very capable of winning,’ said MON.

‘I'm disappointed for the team but they're resilient, they're strong, they're young and they'll fight back. We felt we were capable no matter what side they played. We have to try and get back here again in May because it's a worthwhile journey.’

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