Friday 19 January 2018

Collins swoops late for Villa

James Collins' header thundered into the bottom corner -- just a minute after DJ Campbell had nearly rescued a point for Blackpool -- and Gerard Houllier raised his arms in triumph.

It has taken six matches but goals from Stewart Downing, Nathan Delfouneso and Collins delivered the Frenchman his second Premier League win as Aston Villa manager.

The roar at the final whistle suggested the fans will take three points any way they can, but let's not get carried away.

Their players are dropping like flies, their defence is failing to click -- even Marlon Harewood, who found it nigh on impossible to find the net as a Villa player, managed to score -- and they were playing a glorified second team last night.

You had to wonder whether Ian Holloway was taking this seriously, considering he made 10 changes to his Blackpool side from the weekend.

As some will point out, deliberately not fielding a full strength side is in breach of the league's Rule E20, so there could be some repercussions. Wolves got a suspended fine of £25,000 for pulling this stunt against Manchester United last season.

It says something for Villa's troubles that Blackpool's second team pushed them so hard.

Irish Independent

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