| 12.4°C Dublin

Villa have edge

Kyle Walker enjoyed the perfect start to his Villa career to help ease the pressure on manager Gerard Houllier.

The 20-year-old defender, signed on loan from Tottenham, could hardly have written the script better himself as he scored a brilliant goal nine minutes into his debut against Sheffield United, the club he supported as a boy and where he began his career.

Marc Albrighton made it 2-0 before the break and Villa were able to withstand a second-half fightback by the Blades, for whom Jamie Ward scored from the spot, before Stiliyan Petrov -- after Ashley Young's dismissal -- edged them into the fourth round.

Walker strode through to give the visitors the lead in the ninth minute, and the tie seemed as good as over when Albrighton volleyed home for Villa in the 33rd minute. However, in the 48th minute Lee Williamson enticed Carlos Cuellar to trip him inside the box and Ward smashed home the penalty.

Young was given his second booking after a foul on Kyle Bartley, but in injury-time Petrov fired home to send Villa through.

Sunday Indo Sport