Villa stroll past Royals
Two from Carew seal win for confident Villa
By Laura Slatcher. Last Updated: 12/01/08 5:31pm
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.
|Aston Villa||Team Statistics||Reading|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||23||36|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||23||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||23||19|