Zayatte blunder rescues Villa’s top-four ambitions

Going into 2009 in the top four of the Premier League is one thing for Aston Villa but they are going to have to offer more invention than they Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shop Online showed last night if they are to stay there. A much changed Hull City went back to basics and for 88 minutes their pressing, disciplined and cautious performance stifled the creat-ivity out of Martin O’Neill’s tired-looking side. Not the patience however.

With two minutes remaining, Ashley Young’s driven cross was turned past his own goalkeeper by the City centre-half Kamil Zayatte to hand the visitors a victory they hardly deserved.

Even then they needed a second dollop of good fortune. Deep into injury-time the referee, Steve Bennett, awarded Hull a penalty when he judged Ashley Young to have handled the ball on the line, only to change his mind on the advice of his -assistant Andy Halliday. That he was correct to do so did not change the fact it was at the frantic urging of the Villa players Are Prada Mens Shoes Good that the consultation took place, though Brown’s anger afterwards was probably Agata Ruiz De La Prada Shop On Line as much down to disappointment at being denied the reward his players had worked so hard to achieve as at a decision O’Neill described as “exceptionally courageous”.

Villa came into this match undefeated in seven games, a run which meant their chances of breaking up the usual Big Four were being taken increasingly seriously. While O’Neill named an unchanged team, you would have got very long odds on Brown doing the same.

Conceding nine goals in their past Authentic Prada Handbags Online two games suggested that City, having won only once in 10 matches, might be in accelerating decline. Brown, who maintained beforehand it was more a case of players abandoning the principles that Authentic Prada Clutch had created their success, identified the culprits by dropping George Boateng, Dean Marney, Authentic Prada Handbags Wholesale Geovanni, Marlon King and Dean Windass. Coming on the back of the public wigging he gave his players at the City of Manchester Stadium, such wholesale changes cannot have done much for the atmosphere in the dressing room but it did no harm to the atmosphere in the stadium.

The ground was a cacophony, which increased after four minutes when Nick Barmby, having challenged Brad Friedel for a hopeful punt into the box, bundled the ball home with the Villa goalkeeper on the floor. Friedel got the decision but the contact was hardly heavy.

That incident aside replica prada long wallets, the most remarkable aspect of the opening stages was the contrast in styles it offered. With five men across midfield, Hull were Baby Prada Shoes Uk reducing the threat Authentic Prada Handbags Canada offered by James Milner and Ashley Young down the flanks but the system left Daniel Cousin isolated up front. Bernard Black Leather Prada Milano Purse Mendy was the man deputed by Brown to break in occasional support of Cousin, and the Frenchman’s pace almost bore fruit when Peter Halmosi nearly got on the end of his low cross.

Villa, handed the lion’s share of possession, probed for the breakthrough without Amazon Uk Prada Shoes obvious urgency. It was indicative of the caution being shown by both sides that the nearest the first half came to yielding a goal was when Curtis Davies, running back towards his own goal, headed Ian Ashbee’s chipped through-ball a foot or so wide of Friedel’s right-hand post.

Villa’s lack of penetration must have meant Brown was the happier of the managers at half-time and he must have been equally reassured when the second period began the same way. Hull’s pressing looked the more likely to create an opportunity and nearly did so on the hour when only a fine late tackle from Luke Young prevented Halmosi getting in a close-range shot. Hull’s pressure grew. Barmby, unmarked, should have done better than head Mendy’s hanging cross straight at Davies, and Zayatte’s late, inadvertent intervention was cruel, though Ashley Young’s energy to make the run and fire in the cross was admirable. There was more late drama to come and, if City’s form has returned, their luck has yet to follow.