Belfast Telegraph

Cool Carew at the double for Villa as Palace pay the penalty

Aston Villa 3 Crystal Palace 1

John Carew won and converted two late penalties to keep Aston Villa on course for a second Wembley final as they disposed of Crystal Palace in an FA Cup fifth round replay at Villa Park.

Villa had been stunned when Darren Ambrose's spot-kick cancelled out Gabriel Agbonlahor's 14th goal of the campaign.

But Carew had the final say for the Carling Cup finalists, with his double blast after both penalties were conceded by Matthew Lawrence.

It put Villa through to their first FA Cup quarter-final in 10 years, their first last-eight appearance since they reached the 2000 final. It was the perfect tonic for Martin O'Neill's side before their Carling Cup final meeting with Manchester United on Sunday.

Villa were on top from the start and their pressure paid off when Agbonlahor broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time.

There was again controversy with the ball appearing to go out of play off Milner but referee Martin Atkinson decided it had struck Palace’s Nick Carle.

Agbonlahor was first to react to Ashley Young's centre and beat Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni with a back header into the corner of the net. The decision may provoke Neil Warnock's ire after Palace were denied victory in the first game when Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov scored a late equaliser from a corner which should not have been awarded.

Palace got back on level terms after 72 minutes when Stephen Warnock brought down Alan Lee in the penalty area and Ambrose converted the penalty.

But Villa retaliated and Carew earned — and converted — two more penalties to send Villa through to the last eight.

The Norway international was brought down by Lawrence after 79 minutes and made no mistake himself from 12 yards.

Then, with two minutes remaining, Lawrence was again found guilty of fouling Carew inside the box — and the striker again tucked away the penalty.

Belfast Telegraph


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