This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Sunday, January 01, 2012


"He was fantastic today," Bent said. "To be fair, what people saw in the game was what we see everyday in training. I mean he's always the best player on the park in training. He keeps the ball and sees a pass that others just don't see and today he deserved all the credit because he was fantastic."

The goalscorers share a special moment.

Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa
"Counter Attack"

Super Stevie Ireland
When Stephen Ireland produced dynamite displays week in week out for Manchester City and turned up at Villa Park last season, we all expected him to be an instant hit, yet his first performance ended in tears; a crushing 6-0 defeat against Newcastle.

Named in yesterday's squad, Stephen Ireland's smile never diminished. He filled the void that our midfield has been missing and that we've been shouting out for, showing that creativeness that's been lacking. Being able to read the game with ease - enabling the third goal to be scored - and pick out that crucial, clinical pass to dissect the Chelsea defence.

Labelled 'Superman' he deserves his chance to shine and he took it with two hands. Now leading the way into first team contention, he should deliver the goods.


Ending Chelsea's title bid hopes Aston Villa snook away from Stamford Bridge with all three points and a boost of confidence going into the new year.

Chelsea took the lead through a Dider Drogba penalty before Stephen Ireland levelled the scoreline. Stiliyan Petrov then put Villa ahead, with Darren Bent finishing off the fine display with the third.

On the twenty-third minute, the hosts opened the scoring after Richard Dunne gifted them a penalty. After James Collins had already fouled the opposition outside of the box, it seemed advantage had been played only for Dunne to then lung into Drogba. Falling to the floor, the referee pointed to the spot.

However, just five minutes after the goal, Villa stunned Stamford Bridge by restoring parity much to the delight of the away support.

Dunne made up for his earlier mistake when his lofted ball found Stephen Ireland perfectly for him to then exchange a one-two with Charles N'Zogbia. N'Zogbia weaved his magic down to the byline before giving the ball back to Ireland for him to shot first time. When John Terry's hand deflected the ball away, Ireland was there for a second bite only for him to bury the ball into the back of the net.

His first goal for the club since joining last summer as part of a package deal including Milner, provided that little bit of magic needed.

After a clean breakaway and a bright counter attack, Charles N'Zogbia picked up the loose ball from defending a Chelsea corner on the edge of the eighteen yard box. Dribbling up to the half way line he then spread the ball to wing wizard Marc Albrighton. Then releasing a fizzling ball to set Gabby Agbonlahor free, the striker was faced with a one-on-one situation with Petr Cech. Unfortunately for Aston Villa, there was no final product produced by Gabby to put Villa in front.

High Spirits.

Chelsea decided to shake things up a bit in the second half, introducing both Fernado Torres and Frank Lampard onto the field of play. Torres making an instant impact, rattled the bar and assisted Drogba's shot, which floated just wide of the target.

Yet still Villa were there to steal it right at the end. Chelsea's defence; who had looked vulnerable all match; started to crumble and gaps appeared in the middle. Ciaran Clark took full advantage of that, threading a neat through ball into the path of Stiliyan Petrov, only for the Bulgarian to score his forth goal of the campaign.

Things went from bad to worse for Andres Villas-Boas' men when Lampard's pass was intercepted by Ireland who looked clear through on goal. Unselfishly squaring the ball to Darren Bent, the hit man finished off the move with a well hit finish.

"That was a fantastic result. Going into the New Year, the players were outstanding, they never gave up, went to the final whistle, defended well." McLeish told media.

Even though Villa weren't all over Chelsea, in my opinion, we were smart on the counter attck and gave as good as we got.

Aston Villa made sure to end 2011 with a bang thanks to attacking tactics, determination and a will to fight it out to the end.

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