Friday 24 November 2017

Grandin denies 10-man Villa


Blackpool ended a run of five straight defeats with a stirring display after going a goal down after 10 minutes.

Darren Bent released Gabriel Agbonlahor on the left and he raced away before rounding Richard Kingson and firing a shot into the corner to give Villa the lead.

Blackpool regrouped and equalised through Elliot Grandin four minutes later.

Villa were then reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when Jean Makoun was given a straight red card after a challenge on DJ Campbell.

Blackpool could not make their advantage pay but Ian Holloway was grateful that the run of defeats was over.

"The first 15 minutes was probably the worst since I have been here. They scored a brilliant goal on the break and that should have rocked us," he said. "But instead it stabilised us and my lads got back believing in themselves a little bit. We got an equaliser and I felt we would go on and win it.

"When Villa went down to 10 men it probably ruined it and I started panicking about their pace on the break. Some of it looked as though it was on fast-forward."

Villa will now have to do without defender Carlos Cuellar for three weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury.

Gerard Houllier was pleased with the way his team responded at being a man down. "You have to show different qualities. We were resilient and disciplined. I am very proud of my players," he said. "It is not easy when you are away at Blackpool and down to 10 men. It was a hard-fought point. We came here to win the game and could have won it after 25 minutes but I have to credit my players."

Houllier explained he had replaced England striker Bent with Emile Heskey in the second half simply because he was tired, adding: "He had a full game for the national team. What with the travelling he wasn't as lively as usual."

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