December 11, 2012 by Made In Brum
Who would have thought that the ‘luck of the draw’ would throw together these two teams? After beating Brentford on penalties (by virtue Kevin Phillips’ 94th minute equaliser) Blues were drawn out against Aston Villa in the quarter finals. Oh what a night…Just over two years ago. I remember it well. All the build up in the media was done, all the pints had been drunk, it was now down to 90 minutes of action.
Blues 2-1 Aston Villa
Carling Cup Quarter Final
Wed 1 Dec 2010
Referee- Chris Foy
As the song goes ‘you’ve never won f*ck all’. Well, being a Bluenose that was true. That is what made this game even bigger. The prospect of beating the Village People on our way to lifting a major trophy was tantalising.
The pre-match talk was all about Gabby Agbonlahor. He had missed the previous game against Arsenal and was a doubt for this one. However, as he loves playing against Blues, he was declared fit. Oh how I hate that ugly b*stard.
The atmosphere was tense, the Village People screeching their usual high-pitch ‘Veela, Veela’. The Blues faithful belting out ‘Keep Right On’. The hairs on the neck stood up.
The game didn’t disappoint either. Blues-Villa derbies have usually had little interest to the neutral, normally, boring games with the odd goal securing it. Not this one. I’ll be the first to admit, they were probably the better side for large parts. But all the match reports claiming “Villa dominated” (the BBC report made it sound as if Blues didn’t have a kick) were bull sh*t. Stats show that Blues had 52% of the possession. Can you dominate a game with less of the ball? No.
In the early exchanges, Blues struggled to get going until Lee Bowyer was fouled in the box by Richard Dunne. PENALTY! Up stepped Seb Larsson. Bang. 1-0 to Blues. Relief? Jubilation? Not quite, the game was only 12 minutes old.
Nikola Zigic thought he had doubled Blues’ advantage, but as Brad Friedel scrambled the ball into his grasp, the linesman had flagged Liam Ridgewell offside.
Any feelings of aggravation were doubled when Agbonlahor levelled. He shot on the turn after picked up Jonathan Hogg’s pass. It is a horrible sight seeing the Vile fans celebrate. Horrible.
In the second half Blues began to tire. Craig Gardner was introduced into the fray and added some zip. His long range effort flew narrowly wide. Zigic who had been a spectator for large parts was getting himself in a muddle, much to the frustrations of the St. Andrews faithful.
Chances were now at a premium as the game turned into a midfield battle. Barry Ferguson and Gardner were coming out of the jewels unscathed. The atmosphere had piped down by this point, both sets of fans now realising the game was on a knife-edge, and praying for a goal to avoid extra time.
The clock was ticking down and neither side had the advantage. That was until Cameron Jerome poked a cross toward Zigic. The giant, who was subject of much ridicule from Vile fans, shoved two fingers up to them in the best way possible. He bundled the ball in the net past Friedel. The noise was deafening. St. Andrews was in raptures, absolute bedlam. “Oh Nikola Zigic”. “Sh*t on the Villa”. “Keep Right On”. What a racket.
The final whistle blew, a pitch invasion unfolded. Unfortunately, the Blues players didn’t get chance to come and celebrate their victory in front of the supporters for safety reasons. The fans on the pitch. Had taken aim to the Villa fans to celebrate and taunt. The flares being thrown was a bit over the top and un-called for, but nothing could take away this moment. Blues had beaten Villa and qualified for the semi-final where they would meet West Ham over two legs.
Going to work the next day was an absolute pleasure. I took great satisfaction out of rubbing salt into the wounds of my colleagues who had been given no chance from birth and forced into supporting Vile. But as they so gladly pointed out, this is only a mickey mouse cup, they have bigger fish to fry…. No-one bothered giving an example of what.
Just one year previous, they lost in the final, then it was the biggest thing since sliced bread. The next person (another Vile fan) arrogantly informed me- “you won’t win it”….
Blues team- Foster. Carr. Johnson. Dann. Ridgewell. Larsson. Bowyer. Ferguson. Fahey. Jerome. Zigic. SUBS USED- Gardner. Murphy. Derbyshire. UNUSED- Taylor. Jiranek. Michel. Beausejour.