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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 32,288) 12th January 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: Uriah Rennie

A Villa Aston Villa vs Reading Reading


Villa stroll past Royals

Two from Carew seal win for confident Villa

By Laura Slatcher.   Last Updated: 12/01/08 5:31pm

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Carew: Netted two

Carew: Netted two

Aston Villa produced a confident display putting three goals past Reading at Villa Park on Saturday.

Both sides started brightly but it was the home side that took the lead after 23 minutes when Ashley Young's free kick found John Carew who headed the ball into the net.

It was another set-piece that led to Villa's second goal 10 minutes into the second half. Young played in an inswinging corner that found Martin Laursen who rose above Ivar Ingimarsson to double their lead.

Carew added his second of the game on 88 minutes neatly finding the back of the net from Gabriel Agbonlahor cross.

The Royals added a consolation goal late into injury time when Shane Long's pass found James Harper who slotted it past Scott Carson.


Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was called into action for the first time after 12 minutes to turn aside a powerful drive from a narrow angle by Stiliyan Petrov.

Villa keeper Carson looked relieved to cling onto a free-kick driven straight at him by Nicky Shorey at the second attempt.

O'Neill was animated on more than one occasion towards referee Uriah Rennie who seemed reluctant to play the advantage rule.

Kevin Doyle had a chance to put Reading ahead after flicking the ball past Curtis Davies but clipped his shot over the bar with only Carson to beat.

But Villa were beginning to take control and after 23 minutes their constant threat from set pieces resulted in Carew putting them ahead with his fifth goal of the campaign.

Young's inswinging free-kick was perfectly weighted and Carew needed only a touch to deflect the ball past Hahnemann from close range.

Ulises De la Cruz became the first player to be yellow-carded for holding back Agbonlahor in full flight.


Petrov was only just too high with a fierce 20-yard drive although replays suggested his effort had deflected off De la Cruz and should have resulted in a corner.

Dave Kitson needed lengthy treatment after landing awkwardly on his right knee following an aerial challenge with Davies but was eventually able to continue.

The Reading striker should have done better four minutes before half-time when he dragged his shot across the face of goal after being found in space by Shorey.

Villa made a positive start to the second period and Hahnemann became the second Reading player to be booked after charging out of his area and bringing down Agbonlahor.

It came as no surprise when yet another set-piece led to Laursen doubling Villa's lead.


Young won a corner and his centre was met firmly by Laursen who headed past Hahnemann into the corner of the net.

Villa were now in complete control and Laursen climbed above the Royals defence to force a save out of Hahnemann from another Young corner.

Reading suddenly came to life and Doyle had a shot deflected just wide and then Carson produced a fine reflex save to keep out Brynjar Gunnarsson's near-post header from a Harper corner.

But Carew struck for the second time in the 89th minute when he turned home a low cross from Agbonlahor before Harper snatched an injury-time consolation for Reading.width="100%">

Aston VillaTeam StatisticsReading
11st Half Goals0
8Shots on Target3
7Shots off Target3
0Blocked Shots2
0Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
70.1Passing Success71.2
89.5Tackles Success88.9
44.4Territorial Advantage55.6

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 23 53
2 Manchester City 23 48
3 Manchester United 23 43
4 Southampton 22 42
5 Tottenham Hotspur 23 40
6 Arsenal 22 39
7 Liverpool 23 38
8 West Ham United 23 36
9 Stoke City 23 32
10 Swansea City 22 30
11 Newcastle United 23 30
12 Everton 23 26
13 Crystal Palace 23 23
14 Sunderland 23 23
15 West Bromwich Albion 23 22
16 Aston Villa 22 22
17 Burnley 23 20
18 Hull City 23 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 23 19
20 Leicester City 23 17