Villa cruise into fourth round

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Goals from Nathan Delfouneso, Carlos Cuellar and John Carew earned Aston Villa a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup for only the third time in the past nine seasons after a 3-1 win over 10-man Blackburn.

Delfouneso struck his first goal of the campaign and Cuellar added a second before Rovers saw David Dunn's spot-kick saved by Brad Guzan and then had El Hadji Diouf sent off for a lunging challenge on Habib Beye.

But Sam Allardyce's side overcame their numerical disadvantage to reduce the arrears through Nikola Kalinic after a Guzan error before Carew settled the issue with a late penalty.

Ashley Young caused constant problems for the visitors and set up both of Villa's goals while youngster Fabian Delph impressed before having to be substituted at half-time through injury.

Villa dominated the early stages and forced two corners in quick succession - and, from the second of them, they created the first decent opportunity of the game. Ashley Young's inswinging centre was met by Delfouneso but he failed to obtain a clean contact on his close range header and Rovers keeper Jason Brown was able to collect.

It came as no surprise when Villa broke the deadlock after 12 minutes through Delfouneso's first goal of the campaign. Delph found Ashley Young on the left flank and he cut inside before sending over a teasing cross which Delfouneso was first to react to and he glanced his header past Brown from 10 yards out.

Blackburn had the opportunity to draw level after 31 minutes when Nigel Reo-Coker was adjudged to have brought down Steven Reid inside the Villa penalty area. But Guzan guessed correctly and saved the spot-kick from former Birmingham midfielder Dunn away to his left.

This was to prove a costly lapse for Rovers as after 37 minutes Cuellar doubled Villa's lead. Michel Salgado was yellow-carded for a challenge on Stephen Warnock and the resulting inswinging free-kick from Ashley Young was met by Cuellar who glanced his header past Brown into the corner of the net.

Blackburn's misery was compounded in the 42nd minute when Diouf was given a straight red card by referee Howard Webb for a lunging touch-line challenge on Beye.

In the 90th minute Gael Givet brought down Carew in the box and the Norwegian international sent Brown the wrong way from the spot.

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Brad Guzan
Michel Salgado
Nigel Reo-Coker
Habib Beye
Blackburn Rovers
John Carew
Premier League
Fabian Delph
Carlos Cuellar
Gael Givet
Ashley Young
Stephen Warnock
David Dunn
Nathan Delfouneso
Steven Reid
Jason Brown
Aston Villa
FA Cup

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