By Ollie Irish
Just what Big Sam’s dodgy ticker needed – a ten-goal nerve shredder.
Who saw this coming though? I thought it might be 0-0 or 1-0 to Villa, but it was one of those rare matches where the players become so engrossed in the match that they play without any inhibition. It’s great for the neutrals, not so much for partisan supporters.
Although Rovers should be commended for almost landing a fatal sucker punch in the first half, the fact is, Villa still won the tie by three clear goals, and deservedly so.
This is how it went down: Villa fell behind to a Nikola Kalinic double before Stephen Warnock levelled the aggregate score at 2-2. A James Milner penalty, a Steven Nzonzi own goal, a deflected touch off Gabriel Agbonlahor and a neat Emile Heskey finish then took the game out of Rovers’ reach. To their credit, Rovers hit back with goals by Martin Olsson – a brilliant overhead volley – and Brett Emerton, before Ashley Young scored the tenth and final goal of a memorable night. Phew.
So Villa are on their way to Wembley, where they will play either Man Utd or Man City. Should be a great final either way.
The best photos from Villa Park: