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Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Match report

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Hanson header kills off Villans as Bantams secure historic Wembley date

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 22 January 2013

James Hanson was the hero for Bradford City who secured a place in the Capital One Cup final despite defeat on the night, courtesy of an aggregate victory over Aston Villa.

The hosts flew out of the traps and seemed to be overwhelming the npower League Two side in the early stages of the first half and took a deserved lead through Christian Benteke in the 24th minute.

The Bantams held on and Hanson's header in the 55th minute sent the masses from South Yorkshire wild, the first team from the fourth tier in 51 years to reach a major final.

Andreas Weimann scored a late goal, but it was a mere consolation for Villa who now only have a relegation battle to face this season.

Phil Parkinson's side will face either Chelsea or Swansea in the final on February 24.

More to follow…

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

Match facts

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett (Weimann 70), Ireland, Delph, Bannan (Bent 62), N'Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor.

Subs not used: Guzan, Holman, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Booked: Clark, N'Zogbia, Delph.

Goals: Benteke 24, Weimann 89.

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good, Hines (Thompson 71), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells (Turgott 87).

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Nelson.

Goals: Hanson 55.

Aggregate: (3-4)

Attendance: 40,193

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Twitter reaction

Shaun Teale: I'm embarrassed that these players will walk off the pitch and go home while the fans will be distraught . To many players not good enough

Michael Owen: Villa devoid of ideas. Resorting to knocking it long. No width at all. Bradford fully deserve to be heading to Wembley.

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3 – match report

Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3: Ruthless Benteke runs riot at Anfield with two goals and an assist

PUBLISHED:

16:50 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 15 December 2012

Aston Villa exposed Liverpool's flaws and the flakiness of their challenge for a top-four place by inflicting the Reds' worst home defeat for more than three years.

Christian Benteke scored twice, either side of Andreas Weimann's well-worked goal, before Steven Gerrard's late consolation as the hosts' three-match winning run was ended in surprising fashion.

It was the first time Villa had scored more than once in any half of league football this season and extended their own unbeaten run to five matches, with only a second away win in 17 away league games.

Brilliant: Christian Benteke celebrated scoring his first goal at Anfield

Brilliant: Christian Benteke celebrated scoring his first goal at Anfield

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Lucas (Henderson 60), Allen, Sterling, Shelvey (Cole 46), Suarez,

Subs not used: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom, Suso

Booked: Suarez

Goal: Gerrard 87

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan (El Ahmadi 85), Herd, Holman (Delph 69), Benteke, Weimann (N'Zogbia 90)

Subs not used: Given, Bennett, Albrighton, Bowery

Booked: Lowton, Benteke

Goals: Benteke 29, 51, Weimann 40

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Attendance: 44,607

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Villa inflicted the same scoreline in
August 2009, and although both sides are at a lower level now, this was
a result no-one would have predicted.

The visitors almost doubled their
league away goals tally for the campaign, which now stands at seven, in
recording only their fifth Anfield victory in 34 visits.

Yet barely 24 hours earlier Liverpool
manager Brendan Rodgers had been talking about targeting second-placed
Manchester City so high was the confidence in his squad.

City are now 14 points ahead and,
worse still, Liverpool failed to take advantage of Everton's draw at
Stoke to close the gap on fourth place with many of their rivals playing
tomorrow.

For their part Villa moved three
points clear of the relegation zone. The opening half-hour was virtually
one-way traffic as the home side set off at pace in search of a third
successive Barclays Premier League victory for the first time since May
2011.

But their eagerness seemed to get the
better of them as there was an air of over-complication and lack of
finesse about their play in the final third.

Stewart Downing, who in the matchday
programme revealed Rodgers had told him he could leave and he would
assess his options in January, started left-back for the injured Jose
Enrique but enjoyed plenty of space down the flank.

From bad to worse: Pepe Reina is left on his back after Andreas Weimann put the ball beyond his reach

From bad to worse: Pepe Reina is left on his back after Andreas Weimann put the ball beyond his reach

Gerrard bundled a shot at goalkeeper
Brad Guzan after a poor pass behind him from Luis Suarez, returning
after suspension, rebounded back off Raheem Sterling before Downing shot
wide after cutting in on his right foot.

It continued with Joe Allen driving
wide, Gerrard's feet getting in a tangle after being picked out by
Suarez's inch-perfect cross-field ball, and Shelvey delaying his shot
long enough got Nathan Baker to block after Suarez capitalised on Chris
Herd's mistake.

Liverpool's inability to take their chances has hurt them in the past and it proved to be the case again in the 29th minute.

Tormentor: Benteke was rampant for Villa

Tormentor: Benteke was rampant for Villa

Coming together: Luis Suarez (right) collides with Brad Guzan

Coming together: Luis Suarez (right) collides with Brad Guzan

Brett Holman passed inside to
Benteke, who took a touch and – with no-one closing him down – unleashed
a low shot which beat Reina off the inside of his right-hand post.

What a difference the goal made as Villa suddenly started playing 30 yards further up the field.

It almost paid off when Weimann
seized on Glen Johnson's weak header to lob Reina, only for the ball to
drop on to the roof of the net.

The Austrian did not make the same mistake just before half-time with a brilliantly-worked goal.
Weimann released Benteke in the inside-right channel and raced into a
gaping hole in the Liverpool defence to turn the striker's clever
backheel under Reina.

Joe Cole's emergence for the second
half at the expense of Shelvey highlighted the lack of genuine
match-winners outside of Rodgers' first XI.

Contested: Liverpool could not capitalise on their strong start

Contested: Liverpool could not capitalise on their strong start

Cheery: Brendan Rodgers had the smile wiped off his face when Benteke and Co ran riot

Cheery: Brendan Rodgers had the smile wiped off his face when Benteke and Co ran riot

They should, however, have got back
into the game early in the second half when Ciaran Clark clearly pulled
Daniel Agger's shirt in the penalty area, but referee Neil Swarbrick
maintained Liverpool's record of not winning a penalty this season by
ignoring the appeals.

It proved costly as when Cole was
robbed by Holman on the halfway line, Benteke was sensibly quickly given
possession and he danced through the Reds backline to chip a shot past
Reina.
Liverpool laid siege to Guzman's goal in the final half-hour, with
further claims for a penalty when Johnson's header hit Baker's arm also
going unanswered.

When they finally made a breakthrough it came too late with Gerrard heading in Johnson's cross-shot three minutes from the end.

There was just enough time left for
Benteke to escape with a yellow card for pushing Johnson in the face in
front of a rapidly-emptying Anfield.

Double trouble: Benteke and Weimann ensured Villa were out of sight by the time Steven Gerrard scored

Double trouble: Benteke and Weimann ensured Villa were out of sight by the time Steven Gerrard scored

Notching them up: Weimann has been in fine form of late

Notching them up: Weimann has been in fine form of late

Paul Lambert stays grounded after Norwich beat Aston Villa

Villa boss Lambert stays grounded after thrashing former club Norwich to progress

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UPDATED:

23:41 GMT, 11 December 2012

Paul Lambert remained humble in victory after Aston Villa booked their place in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup with a 4-1 win at old club Norwich.

Lambert received a mixed welcome as he walked out at Carrow Road, with a few jeers heard among general applause for the man who masterminded the Norfolk club's meteoric rise up to the top flight from the depths of npower League One.

However, the former Canaries boss, who is in dispute with his old employers after an acrimonious departure during the summer, enjoyed the last laugh as substitute Andreas Weimann hit a second-half brace to turn the tie around after Brent Holman had cancelled out Steve Morison's opener.

Gracious: Paul Lambert watched his new club cruise past Norwich in the Capital One Cup quarter final

Gracious: Paul Lambert watched his new club cruise past Norwich in the Capital One Cup quarter final

Christian Benteke cracked in a fourth during stoppage time to move Villa within 180 minutes of Wembley.

'I thought we were excellent for the whole game,' Lambert said.

'We have been playing like that since the Sunderland game, but I am delighted, I really am.'

Lambert, who is been represented by the League Managers' Association in his arbitration hearing with Norwich, which is set for early next year, maintained he will always look back on his time at Carrow Road with pride.

'I had three great years here. We gave anyone a really good run for their money. I love the club. I've got nothing but praise for the football club,' he said.

'You like to think they [fans] appreciate what you have done and I appreciate the support they gave us.

'It is great club with great fans, but this is Chris' (Hughton) team now, he has done fantastically well with the position he has got them into and we will try and catch them.'

Villa's travelling support were in full voice on what was a bitterly cold night in East Anglia.

Just like that: Christian Benteke scored yet another goal

Just like that: Christian Benteke scored yet another goal

In it goes: Andreas Weimann scored twice for Aston Villa

In it goes: Andreas Weimann scored twice for Aston Villa

Lambert hopes to give them more to cheer about over the coming months as he aims to reconstruct the Midlands club.

'I have never been to Wembley, although I have been to watch a game,' he said.

'But it's not anything I have thought about – we have still got a couple of games to go.

'However, it gives the club something to look forward. The fans deserve a pick up as well.

'Whatever happens [for the semi-finals], Villa Park will be jam-packed.

'I will be more pleased with the pleasure the players get from it because I don't play the game any more.'

Lambert had handed Darren Bent a rare start, only for the England striker, who saw an early one-on-one saved, to limp off just after the hour with a hamstring problem.

Lambert said: 'I thought he looked pretty sharp. It was a blow for us, I don't know how serious it is.'

At home: Grant Holt (right) was unable to prevent his former manager getting a win at Carrow Road

At home: Grant Holt (right) was unable to prevent his former manager getting a win at Carrow Road

Norwich had been defending an unbeaten 10-game run heading into tonight's game, and certainly had their chances to put the tie beyond Villa at the start of the second half, when Morison missed twice in quick succession and Villa keeper Shay Given produced a brilliant reaction save to deny Grant Holt.

Canaries boss Hughton, who turned 54 today, said: 'We needed to make sure we held onto our 1-0 lead longer, and then at the start of the second half, we had a great chance and if that goes in then possibly it is a different story.

'Villa are a good footballing side and they were more clinical than us.

'It is really disappointing because we had been on a good run.

'We have to take it on the chin and now need to make sure we can get back on track for Saturday against Wigan.'

Norwich 1 Aston Villa 4: Match report

Norwich 1 Aston Villa 4: Semi-final relief for returning Lambert but Bent hobbles off in rare start

|

UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 11 December 2012

Darren Bent made a rare appearance for Aston Villa, but may wish he hadn't after limping off after 35 minutes as Paul Lambert made a winning return to Norwich with his side booking a place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

The Canaries took the lead through Steve Morison, but Brett Holman brought Villa back on terms after 21 minutes.

Bent was then taken off with what looked like a hamstring problem but Villa went on to book their place in the semis with two second-half strikes from Andreas Weimann and a goal from Christian Benteke.

Brace yourself: Weimann's double secured Villa's spot in the semi-finals

Brace yourself: Weimann's double secured Villa's spot in the semi-finals

Match facts

Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Tierney, Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington, Holt, Morison.

Subs not used : Rudd, Turner, Jackson, Fox, Elliott Bennett, Garrido, Francomb.

Scorer: Morison

Aston Villa: Given, Clark, Herd, Baker, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Holman, Lichaj, Benteke, Bent.

Subs not used: Guzan, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Bannan, Weimann, Williams.

Scorers: Holman 21; Weimann 79, 84; Benteke 90.

Attendance: 26,142

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Game over: Bent hobbled off after half an hour in a rare start for Villa

Game over: Bent hobbled off after half an hour in a rare start for Villa

Game over: Bent hobbled off after half an hour in a rare start for Villa

Harry Redknapp will try to keep Queens Park Rangers up

Redknapp: If I get QPR out of this mire it'll be the best achievement of my career

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 2 December 2012

Harry Redknapp says helping QPR stave off relegation would be the greatest achievement of his long career.

The 65-year-old was appointed at the Loftus Road helm a week-and-a-half ago with the remit of keeping the Hoops in the Premier League.

It is a big ask for Redknapp with the west Londoners languishing bottom of the table, while their winless start to the season extended to 15 matches with Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa.

Mire: Harry Redknapp took the job at rock bottom QPR

Mire: Harry Redknapp took the job at rock bottom QPR

Asked if keeping QPR up would be his biggest achievement, he said: 'Of course, absolutely from where we are. We will try. It is going to be hard.

'I've taken a big task on here. I know what I've taken on, I'm not a fool. It's going to be difficult but you can only give it your best.'

Redknapp is not new to such a situation and has masterminded several previous relegation escapes, although he failed to do so with Southampton seven years ago.

'It always creates anxiety when you're bottom of the league and can't get a win,' the QPR boss said.

'Football is like life – it is about confidence. When things are going well, you win games and you don't know how you won. You come off thinking “we were rubbish today but we won again”.

Nightmare start: Brett Holman put fellow strugglers Aston Villa a goal up at Loftus Road

Nightmare start: Brett Holman put fellow strugglers Aston Villa a goal up at Loftus Road

Hopeful: Redknapp says he and his players will try to beat the drop

Hopeful: Redknapp says he and his players will try to beat the drop

'Sometimes, like we are at the moment, you play well but you can't get the win and that's how it goes.

'They have shown a good attitude. They've trained hard, worked hard.

'They've all been good, they're good lads. We just need a win, don't we

'We could have got that win on Saturday with a bit of luck. Clint Hill's header I thought was dropping in and if that goes in it's a different game.

Bright spark: Shaun Wright-Phillips was in good form

Bright spark: Shaun Wright-Phillips was in good form

'We would be back in there, chasing the pack, but we couldn't quite get those three points.'

Shaun Wright-Phillips was recalled to the starting line-up against Villa and produced a far better display than many previously seen in a QPR shirt.

'I think confidence is the key for him,' Redknapp said. 'He has to play with confidence.

'He made some good runs and great ones in the first half, where he should have scored and then hit the post.

'But he bent his runs in off the line and looked lively. He has done well in training and I gave him a chance.'

Harry Redknapp calls on Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen for QPR: EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Old Rs Ferdinand and Allen called in to help Redknapp's rescue mission

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UPDATED:

01:40 GMT, 3 December 2012

Harry Redknapp is considering handing Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen places on his Queens Park Rangers backroom team.

The duo worked with the QPR manager at Tottenham and the 65-year-old boss is plotting a reunion at Loftus Road as he continues to put his stamp on the relegation-threatened club.

Redknapp has already added Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan to his staff, though their appointments will not be officially confirmed until Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki’s departures are approved.

Sign them up: Harry Redknapp is piecing together his backroom staff at QPR

Sign them up: Harry Redknapp is piecing together his backroom staff at QPR

Should Ferdinand and Allen join Redknapp, it would signal returns to the club for the two former favourites.

Ferdinand spent 12 years at Loftus Road, scoring 80 goals, while fellow striker Allen hit the net 40 times in 87 games for Rangers.

If Redknapp was under any illusion about the enormity of the task facing him in trying to keep QPR in the Premier League, a biblical message from Joe Royle quickly reminded him.

‘Joe Royle sent me a text saying keeping us up would be like turning water into wine or feeding the 5,000 or something,’ said Redknapp. ‘I have never read the Bible but he meant it would be a miracle. We will try but it is going to be hard.’

Royle was speaking from a position of experience, having fought top-flight relegation battles with Oldham in the early Nineties.

QPR are still waiting for their first win of the season after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, when Jamie Mackie cancelled out an early effort by Brett Holman.

Incoming: Les Ferdinand

Incoming: Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen have been approached by Redknapp

Incoming: Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen have been approached

Redknapp said: ‘Not winning causes anxiety, it always does when you are bottom of the league.

‘Football is like life — it is about confidence. When things are going well, you win games and you come off and think, “We were rubbish today but we won again”.

'Sometimes, like us at the moment, you play well and come off and can’t get a win.’

Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0: Match report

Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0: Fans turn on Wenger chanting 'you don't know what you're doing'

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UPDATED:

00:38 GMT, 25 November 2012

With a wild, haunted look in his eyes, Arsene Wenger refused point-blank to explain the 86th-minute substitution which caused Arsenal fans to round on him and sing: 'You don't know what you're doing.'

The result was still in the balance against struggling Villa when the Frenchman took off his only striker, Olivier Giroud, and replaced him with midfielder Francis Coquelin.

It caused outrage in one corner of the ground, where Wenger's judgment call was openly dismissed and even mocked for the first time by his normally faithful travelling fans.

Frustration: Olivier Giroud could not get on the scoresheet before he was substituted

Frustration: Olivier Giroud could not get on the scoresheet before he was substituted

MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Vlaar (Lichaj 51), Clark, Stevens, Lowton, El Ahmadi (Holman 63), Westwood, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann (Albrighton 90)

Subs not used: Given, Ireland, Delph, Bowery

Booked: El Ahmadi

Arsenal: Szczesny, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arshavin 77), Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski (Gervinho 69), Giroud (Coquelin 86)

Subs not used: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 34,607

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In one of the most bizarre press
conferences of his career, he scoffed at the idea that the club's
supporters deserved an explanation, insisted that he was still at the
height of his managerial powers, and claimed the assembled media were
suffering from Alzheimer's disease if they thought differently.

If a meltdown was possible in freezing Birmingham, this was it.

Toothless Arsenal managed just one accurate shot, but Wenger was in no mood to appease anyone.

'I won't explain my decision to make that substitution, I don't have to explain every decision and substitution I make.'

Asked if the taunts had hurt him, he
turned on his interrogator and said: 'No. I have managed for 30 years at
the top and if I have to convince you I can manage a team, it would be
an insult to you.

'How long have you managed for How
many games have you managed If I come to see one of your matches I
promise you I'll sit in the stand and say, “You do know what you're
doing”.'

Battle: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tries to wrestle the ball from Christian Benteke

Battle: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tries to wrestle the ball from Christian Benteke

Race on: Olivier Giroud (left) is pursued by Ron Vlaar

Race on: Olivier Giroud (left) is pursued by Ron Vlaar

He is clearly wounded by the attacks,
because he reminded his critics how they had laid into him last season,
only for his team to recover sufficiently to make the Champions League.

'You forget what you wrote last September, October, November. You have a little bit of Alzheimer's.'

Yesterday there was almost nothing to forget.

But Wojciech Szczesny did save the
Gunners from total humiliation when he tipped Villa substitute Brett
Holman's powerful shot on to the crossbar.

Penetration: Oxlade-Chamberlain could not create the killer chance for Arsenal

Penetration: Oxlade-Chamberlain could not create the killer chance for Arsenal

Unlucky: Aaron Ramsey tries a flick in front of goal

Unlucky: Aaron Ramsey tries a flick in front of goal

But even a point at Villa could not
paper over the cracks as the visiting supporters repeated the
now-familiar refrain: 'We want our Arsenal back.'

Such an inept display in the final
third could hardly be explained away by Wenger's assertion that his side
were jaded after their recent Champions League exploits.

This side simply are not hitting the heights required to qualify for a 14th consecutive Champions League campaign.

Doubtless the fans were also frustrated by Wenger's failure to inject some late quality in the form of Jack Wilshere.

The manager said he wanted to protect the England midfielder in such harsh weather.

Asked if he or Theo Walcott might
play at Everton on Wednesday, Wenger snapped almost childishly: 'I'll
decide and I will not explain to you why.'

Villa certainly would not have been
disappointed that Wilshere sat out this match, as they were able to
press and unsettle their guests at will.

Manager Paul Lambert was serving a
touchline ban and admitted that he found the experience 'not great, when
I got punished for contesting something and I was right.

Dejected: Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker clap the visiting fans

Dejected: Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker clap the visiting fans

'But I thought we played really well
and I think we might have nicked it. Our defence was really strong and
offensively we were well in the game, too. We're a young side and we're a
threat.'

Santi Cazorla did show a rare flash
of brilliance soon after the interval, when he swerved past a couple of
defenders and shot narrowly wide.

Aaron Ramsey looked as though he might score, and even forced Brad Guzan to save with his leg.

Otherwise the Villa keeper was
largely untroubled, though Laurent Koscielny really should have beaten
him from six yards in the first half.

Instead, the central defender ballooned his effort over the bar.

Villa striker Christian Benteke had a
couple of chances to score with his head against the club he once
supported, but squandered both.

Stalemate: Brad Guzan kept a clean sheet

Stalemate: Brad Guzan kept a clean sheet

Settle for one Arsene Wenger's team could not get the breakthrough

Settle for one Arsene Wenger's team could not get the breakthrough

Gabriel Agbonlahor unleashed a
powerful shot at the Arsenal goal after Holman had dithered, but
Arsenal's rearguard were equal to the challenge.

And that's about the best that can be said about Wenger's team – they stopped a struggling team from scoring.

A stubborn man at the best of times,
Wenger is clearly rattled by the fact that others don't have as high an
opinion of his recent managerial achievements as he does.

He may very well be right when he
suggests that he will one day be sorely missed, if Arsenal and the
Champions League eventually begin to lead separate lives.

The problem is that it could well
happen on his watch – next season – unless there is a dramatic
improvement before it is too late.

Just about: Gabriel Agbonlahor felt he deserved a penalty, but Per Mertesacker got a toe on the ball in the box

Just about: Gabriel Agbonlahor felt he deserved a penalty, but Per Mertesacker got a toe on the ball in the box

Just about: Gabriel Agbonlahor felt he deserved a penalty, but Per Mertesacker got a toe on the ball in the box

Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1: Match report

Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1: Super sub Bent cancels out Long's opener to earn point

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UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 30 September 2012

Record signing Darren Bent came off the substitutes' bench to rescue a point for Aston Villa in a pulsating Barclays Premier League derby with West Brom at Villa Park.

Bent was axed by Villa boss Paul Lambert with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke preferred upfront.

But he had only been on the pitch 11 minutes when he fired the equaliser in front of England head coach Roy Hodgson to cancel out Shane Long's opener.

That'll do it: Bent scores late on for Villa

That'll do it: Bent scores late on for Villa

Match facts:

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett, Albrighton (N'Zogbia 66min), Holman, El Ahmadi, Delph (Bannan 71min) Agbonlahor, Benteke (Bent 68min).

Subs not used: Given, Westwood, Weimann, Lichaj.

Goal: Bent 80

West Brom: Foster, Jones (Tamas 45+2min), McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Brunt (Dorrans 39min), Gera, Long (Lukaku 72min).

Goal: Long 51

Subs not used: Luke Daniels, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy, Fortune.

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All square: Aston Villa striker Darren Bent scores to make it 1-1

All square: Aston Villa striker Darren Bent scores to make it 1-1

Opening up: Shane Long puts the Baggies ahead

Opening up: Shane Long puts the Baggies ahead

Making no mistake: Shane Long scores for West Brom from close range

Making no mistake: Shane Long scores for West Brom from close range

Going close: Gabriel Agbonlahor has a shot for Villa

Going close: Gabriel Agbonlahor has a shot for Villa

High jump: Matthew Lowton competes for the ball with Chris Brunt

High jump: Matthew Lowton competes for the ball with Chris Brunt

Taking a tumble: Karim El Ahmadi tackles Yousuff Mulumbu

Taking a tumble: Karim El Ahmadi tackles Yousuff Mulumbu

Battle for the ball: Aston Villa's Brett Holman challenges Billy Jones

Battle for the ball: Aston Villa's Brett Holman challenges Billy Jones

Midfield battle: Chris Brunt tries to win the ball from Marc Albrighton

Midfield battle: Chris Brunt tries to win the ball from Marc Albrighton

Frustration: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert sees a chance go wide

Frustration: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert sees a chance go wide

Warm embrace: Paul Lambert and Steve Clarke shake hands before the game

Warm embrace: Paul Lambert and Steve Clarke shake hands before the game

Southampton 4 Aston Villa 1: Saints off the mark after Lambert brace

Southampton 4 Aston Villa 1: Saints off the mark after Lambert brace

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UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 22 September 2012

Rickie Lambert-inspired Southampton
produced a superb comeback to collect their first victory back in the
top flight against Aston Villa.

Saints came into the match rooted to
the bottom of the standings after four successive defeats but secured
three points on the south coast as their 30-year-old talisman netted
twice and set up another.

Hit man: Southampton's English striker Rickie Lambert equalises

Hit man: Southampton's English striker Rickie Lambert scres the equaliser

Match facts

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox (Richardson 46), Puncheon (Mayuka 74), Schneiderlin, Steven Davis (Ward-Prowse 79), Lallana, Lambert, Ramirez. Subs Not Used: Kelvin Davis, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Seaborne.

Booked: Clyne.

Goals: Lambert 58, Clyne 63, Clark 72 og, Lambert 90 pen.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Lichaj (Bennett 68), Holman, Ireland (Westwood 46), El Ahmadi, Bannan (Agbonlahor 68), Bent, Benteke.
Subs Not Used: Given,N'Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann.

Booked: Vlaar,Lichaj,Guzan.

Goals: Bent 36.

Att: 30,713

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

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Their miserable start to life back in the Premier League had looked set to continue after sloppy defending allowed Darren Bent to break the deadlock in the first half.

It was the 15th goal conceded by Nigel Adkins' side in just five top-flight matches but, for once, their inability to defend did not cost them.

Lambert drew the hosts level in the second half after firing home under pressure and the match turned on its head five minutes later.

Nathaniel Clyne slotted home from close range after latching on to a superb through-ball from new boy Gaston Ramirez, before Jason Puncheon saw a shot deflected in by Villa defender Ciaran Clark to make it 3-1. Lambert netted his second of the day from the spot in stoppage-time.

The big talk pre-match was about Nigel Adkins' gutsy decision to drop club captain Kelvin Davis in favour of Premier League debutant Paulo Gazzaniga.

The 20-year-old Argentinian goalkeeper joined the south coast club from Gillingham in the summer and was one of three changes made after the 6-1 hiding at Arsenal last weekend.

Hold on: Lambert celebrates

Hold on: Lambert celebrates

Recent acquisitions Maya Yoshida and
Ramirez were handed their first starts for the hosts, who were quickest
to settle at St Mary's.
Puncheon saw a neat one-two that was just too strong for Ramirez, who
then played through Lambert on the left flank only for the striker to
blaze over unbalanced.
For all of Southampton's early pressure they were being reduced to
long-range efforts, with former Villa midfielder Steven Davis and
Ramirez both screwing wide from distance.

Stunner: Jason Puncheon scores their third goal

Stunner: Jason Puncheon scores their third goal

Cool head: Nathaniel Clyne of Southampton scores despite the efforts of Ashley Westwood of Aston Villa

Cool head: Nathaniel Clyne of Southampton scores despite the efforts of Ashley Westwood of Aston Villa

Done it: Nathaniel Clyne celebrates his first goal for three years

Done it: Nathaniel Clyne celebrates his first goal for three years

The visitors had not created the same opportunities but were looking
dangerous whenever they attacked the hosts' new-look backline, with a
late lunging tackle by Jose Fonte preventing Bent.

Going forward Adam Lallana was proving Southampton's most dangerous
outlet and attempted an over-head kick during a penalty box melee on the
half-hour mark.

That was caught comfortably by Brad Guzan, and when Villa broke, Stephen Ireland's deep cross was volleyed wide by Barry Bannan.

It was a warning shot that Saints failed to heed as Bent handed Villa a 36th-minute lead.

Saints failed to clear their lines as Ireland's mis-hit shot fell to the
England international, who reacted quickly to ghost in between Yoshida
and Danny Fox to tap home.

It was just reward for Villa as their tactics of frustrating the hosts
and waiting for a mistake by their leaky defence paid dividends.

Ron Vlaar was booked as half-time approached for a trip before the break, where both sides made changes.

Ashley Westwood replaced Ireland for Villa, while Saints hauled off Fox and brought on right-back Frazer Richardson.

First up: Aston Villa's Darren Bent opens the scoring

First up: Aston Villa's Darren Bent opens the scoring

Darren Bent of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring

Darren Bent of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring

Clyne switched to the left as a result for Saints, who saw Puncheon test Guzan from an acute angle seconds after the restart.

Villa, though, were playing confidently with Bent forcing Gazzaniga into
action at his near post after latching on to a nice through ball by
Benteke.

The Belgium international was impressing on his first start and should
have extended Villa's advantage in the 50th minute, meeting a Bannan
corner with a powerful header that flew just over.

Eric Lichaj was booked for a late challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin as
Southampton pushed for an equaliser, with referee Jon Moss waving away
penalty appeals from Lambert at the resulting-free-kick, denying him a
chance at levelling from the spot.

However, the 30-year-old would not be stopped for long as he expertly
controlled a driven Lallana cross from the right and lashed home under
pressure from four Villa defenders.

The 58th-minute leveller seemed to lift a weight off the Southampton
players' shoulders as Lallana soon flashed a 25-yard effort just over,
before Clyne then snuck in to put Saints ahead.

Relief: Southampton manager Nigel Atkins

Relief: Southampton manager Nigel Atkins

Having started the move, the defender burst into the box and collected
an exquisite Ramirez ball to slot home from close range in the 63rd
minute.

Clyne was booked in the aftermath as Villa introduced Gabby Agbonlahor
and Joe Bennett in a bid to stem the flow, with the latter's first
action seeing Puncheon cut past him and curl just wide.

It was 3-1 in the 72nd minute when
Puncheon picked up the ball from Lambert and showed good control before
rifling home a shot from the edge of the six-yard box which was defended
in by Villa defender Ciaran Clark.

Puncheon received a standing ovation from the majority of the 30,713
inside St Mary's when he was substituted, with replacement Emmanuel
Mayuka curling inches wide in the 78th minute.

Mayuka saw a shot saved at the near post as the clock wound down before
he was brought down in the box by Guzan in stoppage time.

The American received a booking for the challenge and Lambert slotted
home the spot-kick to give Saints their first Premier League victory
since defeating Norwich 4-3 in April 2005.

Aston Villa 2 Swansea 0: Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke strike

Aston Villa 2 Swansea 0: Lowton and Benteke lift hosts to first win of the season

|

UPDATED:

16:47 GMT, 15 September 2012

Goals from newcomers Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke earned Aston Villa their first Barclays Premier League win under Paul Lambert – and ended Swansea's unbeaten start to the campaign.

Right-back Lowton broke the deadlock with a 20-yard first-half volley and substitute Benteke wrapped up the points with two minutes left.

It was another encouraging performance from a new-look Villa side being assembled by Lambert after their 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

Opening salvo: Matthew Lowton gave Villa an early lead

Opening salvo: Matthew Lowton gave Villa an early lead

MATCH FACTS

ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Vlaar, Lichaj, Holman (N'Zogbia 78), El Ahmadi, Ireland (Westwood 69), Bannan, Weimann (Benteke 70), Bent. Unused subs: Given, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Bennett.

Goals: Lowton 16

Booked: Lowton, Clark, Lichaj

SWANSEA: Vorm, Rangel, Tate, Williams, Davies, Britton (Shechter 78), De Guzman, Michu, Dyer, Routledge (Hernandez 56), Graham (Moore 70). Unused subs: Tremmel, Sung-Yeung, Agustein, Richards.

Booked: Michu

Referee: Lee Mason

Att: 34,005

Lambert had promised to entertain and
this Villa side look more likely to create opportunities than the dour
football served up under former manager Alex McLeish.

Another newcomer in winger Brett
Holman caused problems but of equal encouragement was the solid look
about the back four in which keeper Brad Guzan and centre-back Ciaran
Clark were outstanding.

After a promising start, the Swans
seldom looked like adding to the 10 goals netted in their opening three
games despite the promptings of Jonathan De Guzman in midfield.

Villa started on the offensive and a shot on the turn from Andreas Weimann was blocked by Alan Tate.

But Swansea were soon into their stride and Clark produced two fine tackles to halt runs from Danny Graham and Nathan Dyer.

Mobbed: Villa players congratulate Lowton after giving them an 16th-minute lead

Mobbed: Villa players congratulate Lowton after giving them an 16th-minute lead

It needed two superb reflex saves in
the space of 60 seconds from Guzan, again preferred to Shay Given, to
prevent Swansea from breaking the deadlock.

First the United States
international reacted quickly to turn over a powerful close-range header
by Ashley Williams from a De Guzman corner.

Then Guzan went full length to finger-tip a dipping 20-yard drive from Dyer over the bar.

Villa retaliated and a superb strike from Lowton put them in front after 16 minutes.

Ben Davies was forced to concede a
corner after a good move involving Holman, Stephen Ireland and Darren
Bent. Barry Bannan's resulting cross was headed out by Williams but
Lowton brought the ball under control and volleyed an unstoppable shot
past Michel Vorm from just inside the area.

Clark became the first player to be yellow-carded after lunging in at Swansea defender Angel Rangel.

Lowton and Miguel Michu were also
cautioned for fouls on Ben Davies and Eric Lichaj respectively. Vorm
reacted sharply to turn aside a first time attempt from Andreas Weimann
after being set up by Bent.

But on the stroke of half-time
Graham failed to make contact with a low cross from Dyer with the goal
at his mercy after a late run into the danger area.

Swansea were having problems coping
with set pieces and a Bannan corner at the start of the second period
found its way to Clark at the far post and his shot struck the legs of
Vorm.

Leon Britton then headed a Weimann shot on the turn off the line after the visitors failed to deal with another Bannan centre.

Lambert was increasingly animated on
the touch-line reminiscent of the manager he calls 'gaffer' in former
Villa boss Martin O'Neill. Villa's 7million transfer deadline day
signing,

Eyes on the prize: Villa's Karim El Ahmadi (left) and Swansea's Michu (right) battle for the ball

Eyes on the prize: Villa's Karim El Ahmadi (left) and Swansea's Michu (right) battle for the ball

Benteke, came on for Weimann and
instantly had a shot deflected wide. Bannan's corner again troubled the
Swans with Clark's header tipped over by Vorm.

Villa ended on top and Karim El Ahmadi was denied by Vorm before Benteke wrapped up the points.

On it's way: Lowton thumps home the first goal

On it's way: Lowton thumps home the first goal

Late show: Christian Benteke celebrates scoring his side's second goal two minutes from time

Late show: Christian Benteke celebrates scoring his side's second goal two minutes from time

Williams headed back pass fell short
of Vorm and Benteke nipped in to lob the ball over the keeper before
applying the finishing touch.

No way through: Lowton (right) tangles with Wayne Routledge

No way through: Lowton (right) tangles with Wayne Routledge

Swans dive: Ashley Westwood (right) ghosts past Swansea's Pablo (left)

Swans dive: Ashley Westwood (right) ghosts past Swansea's Pablo (left)