After a thrilling Manchester derby yesterday, which saw City beat United to claim a 2-1 first leg victory, tonight was the turn of Aston Villa and Blackburn in the other League Cup Semifinal. These two played their first leg six days ago when Villa took control and stole a 0-1 away win, gifting themselves a fantastic chance to wrap up this tie today with that aggregate lead at the safety of Villa Park.
Blackburn needed a quick goal to give themselves an edge in this tie and that’s exactly what they got on the ten minute mark. A corner came in from the right boot of Dunn and fell to Kalinic whose close range header bounced off the head of Warnock and found its way into the net – squaring up the aggregate score very early on and sweeping a tense air through Villa Park.
Blackburn continued to look impressive and on twenty-six minutes Kalinic took advantage of a parry from Guzan, knocking the ball into the empty net to put Blackburn up on aggregate and give them the away goal advantage.
The home side found themselves back in the game five minutes later though when Warnock took advantage of a cross from Ashley Young to smash the ball in against his old club. Blackburn still lead on the away goals rule but Villa looked to be getting more possession as they worked a way back into the game.
The excitement continued with thirty-eight minutes gone when Agbonlahor was put through on goal and was brought in the box down by Samba. The Blackburn defender was the last man and so he saw red for his foul whilst Milner went on to convert the penalty in fine style, making it 2-2 on the night and giving Villa a 3-2 aggregate lead.
Neutral fans all across the country were surely sighing when the referee blew half-time on this fantastic game. The ten men of Blackburn would have to work hard in the second half if they wanted to find themselves in front again.
Aston Villa came out firing in the second half and on fifty-two minutes they made it 3-2 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate. A scramble in the box followed a corner as Villa players tried to hack the ball in and Blackburn tried to usher it away, Blackburn man Nzonzi seemed to get the final touch as the ball dribbled over the line for a soul crushing own goal.
Villa added to Blackburn’s misery minutes later when a deflected shot from Milner found its way into the bottom corner for a score of 4-2 on the night, before Emile Heskey rounded the goalkeeper to tap into an empty net for 5-2 on sixty-two minutes. Blackburn came straight back though with Olsson scoring a fantastic overhead kick as this game became a goal bonanza.
The game continued to thrill with chances and goalmouth action and with six minutes left Emerton hooked a ball back into a busy penalty area, the weak shot was missed by a handful of Villa players and it bounced into the back of the net for the ninth goal of the night. The goals continued in stoppage time with a great solo effort from Ashley Young who finished with a sweet curling shot, to make it 6-4 to Villa on the night and 7-4 on aggregate.
This epic contest ended with those ten goals and Villa now makes their way to Wembley for the League Cup Final.