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[Archived] Rovers 2 - 0 Villa

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Blackburn Rovers Vs Aston Villa Saturday 11th March 2006 KO 5:15

After the disappointing defeat at the Lane, I think it’s fair to say Rovers showed they are more than capable of pushing all the way in the race for Europe this season, and this weekend gives us a perfect opportunity get right back in the race for the Champions League.

Firstly the positives. Rovers could afford to drop points at the lane, as our run in is favourable. The performance was as good as I have seen Rovers this season, and I think, like the Newcastle home defeat in September, it may just have instilled a real belief that we can go on and achieve something really spectacular this season. I also feel, in the Premier League, you are always inclined to lose a game every so often in between good runs. With yesterdays defeat, we now have a run of games which we need to and should pick up maximum points from. ‘Blessing In Disguise?’ For some reason I think it might just be.

So, this weekend we kick off at the most obscure, annoying and inconvenient time of 5:15. Why? No idea. Perhaps Sky love the horrible cold of Blackburn after 4pm. Maybe they enjoy emptying our domestic stadiums and draining atmosphere. Either way, our visitors shall be the lesser evil of our second city, Aston Villa, who currently sit in the lower regions of mid table obscurity. However, they have a decent away record, so the result might not be as straightforward as we would like it to be.

Over the past ten years their have been several meeting with the Villa that stand out in my head, and here they are….

9/9/95 Rovers-1 Villa-1 : I remember this game well, as it was a sunny day in early September, and as me and my dad ventured to the Blackburn End McDonalds, there was a real feeling around the ground that today was the day that our title defence would really start after the recent derby defeats to Man Utd and Bolton.

The game started well enough, with Rovers dominating until the 33rd minute, against the run of play, Savo Milosevic hit an absolute screamer in front of the Blackburn End. There was a real sinking feeling as this happened, and I remember a few ‘’here we go again’s’’ being muttered.

However, unsurprisingly, Super Al banged Rovers back on terms in the 52nd minute, and then Rovers pitched up their tents and camped in the final third of Villa’s half for the remainder of the game.

There was though no winner, and no title charge, and to be honest no real sustained feel of optimism throughout the rest of the season, and for some reason, I always remember this game as being the real failure that cost us that season. Had we have got the three points, the collective optimism I felt before the game may have carried on. It didn’t, and Rovers went on to finish 7th. Some title defence eh.

13/8/97 Villa-0 Rovers-4 : This game sticks out in my memory for reasons totally different than you would expect. I never actually saw it!! Being on my holidays in America, there was a day’s delay before we would get the papers, and for 36 frantic hours I was trying to find out the score, but with no success I had to wait until two days after the game to read we had won 4-0, with a Sutton hat-trick and a rare Ripley goal doing the damage. To this day I have never seen the goals, but it set us off on a run which saw our last realistic title charge, under the stewardship of Woy Hodgeson. Of course it all ended in tears, as we never recovered our blistering form under Woy after the game with Villa later that season….

17/1/98 Rovers-5 Villa-0 : The last great performance before we left the Premiership in my eyes. This was Woys’ team at its’ absolute peak. Ripley and Wilcox down the wings, with a young Damien Duff in reserve, I remember this game for not only the reasons already mentioned, but for a man of the match performance from a man not even on the scoresheet; Chris Sutton. Sutton laid on at least 3 of the goals that day, the same number Kevin Gallacher scored. Sherwood and Ripley (Scoring against the same team twice in one season!!) compounded Villas’ misery, but one thing that stands out from that game was the sight of Mr. Milosevic spitting at his own fans, only to be confronted by Colin Hendry, and then substituted by whoever the Villa boss was at the time. Great times, great memories, but it all turned sour after this, with Rovers title charge petering out with no winds from our next four games, form we would carry on pretty much for the next two years. However, Villa were generous to us during this spell, as season 98/99 will show…..

26/12/98 Rovers-2 Villa-1 : Four games into Brian the Brain Kidds decorated spell with Rovers saw the visit of second place Villa, who needed just a point to end Boxing Day back on top of the pile. A thoroughly sh*te first half was ended well by a scrappy Kevin Gallacher goal, but it wasn’t until early in the second half when Michael Oakes was sent off for handling the ball inside his area things really started to get interesting. Post match this saw John Gregory whinge for months that video evidence should be introduced into football, but on the pitch it saw Rovers play characteristically shaky until the 81st minute, when Riccardo Scimeca equalised with a rasping shot at the Darwen End which had the Villa fans chanting ‘’We are top of the league.’’ What they didn’t count on though was long ball Rovers punting the ball towards Kevin ‘Fatboy’ Davies who belly bounced the ball on to Tim ‘I’m Staying’ Sherwood who gave Rovers a last minute winner. I remember when he celebrated he ran, and ran, and ran. He was next seen in North London, donning the all white shirt of Spurs. This in my opinion was Kidds’ worst piece of business, as Sherwoods’ hole was never plugged, just dug, by the likes of Carsley and McAteer, who both arrived for more than the £3m Rovers received for our Championship winning captain.

6/2/99 Villa-1 Rovers-3 : Our last win as a Premiership side before relegation came at Villa Park, in a game where Brian Kidds’ Rovers peaked before going on a 4 game losing run which helped us towards our eventual relegation. Quite an impressive feat, considering that after this game, our 5th unbeaten, we were 5 points clear of the drop zone. It was however a day for Rovers firsts. Our first (and last) away win of the season saw Ashley Wards’ first (and probably last for all I care) Rovers goal, as well as David Dunns’ maiden goal, which was an impressive back post volley to give us a three goal lead. A Southgate oggy got the other one (The first one infact, perhaps his first Rovers goal too?), and Rovers were safe we all thought!! However, Kiddo forgot to pump up his rubber dinghy men for the rest of the season, and the rest, as they say, is history.

20/12/03 Rovers-0 Villa-2 : Villa seem to always bring down the curtains on Rovers eras, and this game, in my mind, was no different. The first disgraceful performance of the Souness era wasn’t the last, but the post match interview will always stick in my memory. Greame said ‘We have never played that badly in my time here, and we never will again.’ If only Souey. I have nothing else to say about the game. Stephan Moore and Juan Pablo Angel scored for Villa, Rovers didn’t have a shot, and a relegation battle ensued from this point on. We survived, Souey left, and all our games with Villa since have been insignificant and dull.

This weekend though certainly brings a turn in that trend. We simply must win. Chelsea host Spurs and Arsenal play Liverpool. A win could cancel out yesterdays’ bad fortune, and give us a real chance of Europe yet again. Villa travel to Ewood on the back of a 1-0 win against the mighty Portsmouth, so confidence should be high. They are however, turd. We should win.

My prediction? It’ll be bloody freezing, and no one will turn up.

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That was good! I enjoyed that. Well Done Shillito.

Remember the 4-0 at Villa, I really thought that Woy was God that night. I actually said to my mate-"He's a better manager than Kenny"

I see Woy was selling fake Cartiers at the Lane yesterday too!

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Providing Chelski beat Spuds and Liverpool beat the ARSEnal, and we do the business over the other big club from the midlands, we are still in the hunt for a Champions League place. But then again anyone from 11th upwards e.g newcastle to spuds can get that. There is something like 4 points seperating us from the barcodes.

Villa can be an ok side on there day and Phillips/Moore/Angel seem to have an habit fo scoring against us.

I predict

Rovers 1

Villa 0

Bellamy 89th minute after a tense but crap match.

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Banana skin written all over it. Hope Im wrong...


Yep. I always have a horrible feeling when we play Villa. We need to be careful but the points are there for the taking unsure.gif

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Personally, having just arived back from the sun in Lanzarote (granted a wee bit of wind as well!), I feel Rovers will be so angry about how they lost the game at Spurs on Sunday that they will put it right before half time in this game.

Rovers have gone through the last 2 years being portrayed as thugs, violent players and everything else apart from being footballers. On Sunday Rovers showed the whole watching world that the football they can play is as entertaining as any other footballing team.

To hear Andy Gray bemoaning Rovers luck whilst at the same time telling the watching public just how good a team we are took the pain out of the defeat, yes on Sunday I was down and angry, but being in Cactus Jacks, in Costa teguise with a mob of "Landaners", they were left in no doubt just who the better equipped team was. My Blue and White shirt was worn with true pride.

Onto Saturday, Rovers to carry out a lethal execution of their duties to the footballing public.

Mssrs Pongolle and Bellamy are on fire, Reid is stoking the engine whilst savage is doing the mopping up. Nelsen and Todd will not be fazed by phillips and angel, whilst Brad should have a relatively quiet game.

A point to note, and please this is not a reflection on any personal view, didnt anyone else notice just how good Rovers played the ball around the middle of the park without TUGAY ? No sloppy passes, no giving the ball away and no stupid tackles or rash challenges. Just an observation through my Carling laced sunglasses biggrin.gif

3-0 Rovers

Bellamy, Pongolle and Emerton wink.gif

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If Gamst'n isn't fit, I hope Peter gets a start with Bentley on the right or central and Emerton on the bench.

We can win this but Villa are capable of putting in excellent performances out of the blue. They gave Chelsea a real game but are more than capable of being pathetic as well.

Rovers 1 Villa 0

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