Football

Bent sees Villa to victory

Bent sees Villa to victory (©PAphotos)
Bent sees Villa to victory (©PAphotos).

Darren Bent's goal just after half-time proved enough for Aston Villa to edge out Blackburn in a hard-fought encounter at Hong Kong Stadium and reach the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Bent struck after 48 minutes when the England striker expertly converted Barry Bannan's cross following good hold-up play from Emile Heskey in the box.

That proved the game's only goal as Blackburn struggled to fashion opportunities and, ultimately, drew a blank.

In an even first half, Blackburn were first to threaten after nine minutes when Mauro Formica's drive was parried firmly away by Villa's new signing Shay Given.

Nine minutes later, David Dunn linked up with the same player but his 25-yard drive was too high.

Bent then directed a header from Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross over the bar at the other end before Bannan's wicked inswinging cross from the right was eventually scrambled away by a panicked Rovers defence.

Stiliyan Petrov's neat touch saw the Bulgarian race clear in the 25th minute but he fired straight at Paul Robinson, the last good chance of the opening period as the sides went in level.

Villa then broke the deadlock three minutes after the break when Bent escaped the attentions of the Rovers defence and applied a deft touch to Bannan's cross that found the far corner past the diving Robinson.

Rovers came close to an equaliser shortly afterwards when Christopher Samba's storming run ended with a lay-off to Brett Emerton, but Given tipped the Australian's curling effort wide at full stretch.

Villa could have added a second with four minutes to go when Marc Albrighton pounced on a loose ball and drove towards goal but Robinson did brilliantly to turn his fierce effort around the near post.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Brett Emerton
Marc Albrighton
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Paul Robinson
Stiliyan Petrov
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Christopher Samba
Shay Given
David Dunn
Aston Villa
Darren Bent
Barry Bannan
Paul Robinson

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