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Rovers Bow Out Of Carling Cup

Guest Kamy100

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Guest Kamy100

Rovers Carling Cup run came to an end after a night of high drama at Villa Park last night.

Trailing 1-0 after the first leg, Rovers faced an uphill task against Villa. However 26 minutes into the game Rovers fans dared to dream as 2 goals from the impressive Kalanic put Rovers on course for an amazing victory. Villa looked nervous and ponderous, whilst Rovers were inspired.

The game changing moment arrived on 30 minutes, Ashley Young's speculative cross was heading towards Nelson, he was pushed from behind by Agbonlahor, inexplicably the referee allowed play to go on and former Rovers Stephen Warnock poked the ball home to draw Villa level on aggregate. Warnock's muted celebration was a credit to him. Things got worse for Rovers on 36 minutes when Samba's rash challenge resulted in him being sent off and Villa awarded a penalty, which was converted by Milner.

The second half began with Villa rampant, they were soon 5-2 as Rovers crumbled and it seemed that this would turn into a real rout. However, Rovers dug deep and goals from Olsson and Emerton made it 5-4 on the night and Villa nerves started to jangle again, alas though as Rovers pushed forward they were hit on the break and Ashley Young finished the tie as contest with a well taken goal.

So a night of high drama see Rovers bow out at the Semi-Final stage again, fans can be proud of the team last night and who knows what could have happened had decisions gone Rovers way in the first half. Congratulations to Villa on reaching the final, they just about deserved to win it over the two legs.


Sam Allardyce:

"It's a bit difficult to take, scoring four goals and not getting through to the final," reflected Allardyce.

"We were in complete control of the game, and if anybody was going to score again it was us.

"But then the referee allows a blatant foul on Ryan Nelsen to go unpunished, and at this level you have to make sure the referee gets those decisions right.

"We are out of a cup final because of that decision perhaps. It is a major decision that has stopped us having the chance to go to Wembley.

"Whatever anybody might say, we were put in a position we should not have been put in.

"It lifted the crowd, it lifted Villa because they were playing very poorly, and then they are on their game.

"You could look at the fourth goal and say Agbonlahor had two arms on it and deflected it into the net for 4-2.

"Everybody thinks it's over, we're down to 10 men anyway, but then we managed to get back to 5-4.

"But the major part of us not getting through to the final is the referee, no question about it.

"Unfortunately, we have to suffer that. There's nothing we can do about it and we can't go to where we want to go, which is Wembley, and he is the major factor."

"There are obviously some areas where we can shoulder the blame for giving the goals away," added Allardyce.

"We've conceded six goals, and some of those we could have stopped, but the critical stage of the game is there for everybody to see.

"The big problem is that if a big decision goes against you at a critical time in the game, it makes a massive difference."

"It was a gallant effort.

"They didn't feel sorry for themselves and kept going to the very end.

"I've nothing but praise for the way they've applied themselves in the end."

Martin O'Neill:

There were two games to play and I have to say, overall, I thought that we thoroughly deserved to go to Wembley," O'Neill told reporters.

"And I am genuinely delighted for the players. They showed tremendous character to come from two goals down.

"The team really grew up, because that was certainly not the way we planned things to happen," added O'Neill, whose side are now a match away from winning Villa's first major trophy since they last lifted the League Cup in 1996.

"Blackburn gave us a real jolt and we were very nervous and anxious. I don't think we were complacent at all."

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