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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 23:05 GMT
Dublin sees off Rovers
Villa striker Dion Dublin grabbed two goals
Dublin grabbed his 13th and 14th of the season
Aston Villa 3-0 Blackburn

Two goals from Dion Dublin helped Aston Villa stroll to an easy win over a lacklustre Blackburn side at Villa Park.

Dublin took his tally to 14 for the season and a late goal from Gareth Barry completed the win that extends Rovers' winless run away from home.

They have failed to win a Premiership game on their travels since 26 October and rarely looked like ending that streak after falling behind 63 seconds into the game.

I'm extremely angry. We're better than that and we have got to keep believing. We gifted them a goal within two minutes

Graeme Souness

Joey Gudjonsson sent in a dangerous free-kick and Dublin got up above the Rovers defence to head home.

Villa could actually have been behind after 20 seconds when Dwight Yorke had closed down a clearance from Peter Enckelman and almost deflected the ball into the empty net.

The former Villa striker ran down the ball and crossed, but when it came out to Tugay his shot was well over the bar.

Key moments
2 mins: Dion Dublin heads home from a free-kick
40 mins: Dublin gets his second goal of the game
81 mins: Gareth Barry makes it 3-0 to Villa

Despite the game getting off to a flying start, the standard of football was not sustained with the slippery conditions not helping matters.

Vratislav Gresko, who was making his Blackburn debut, fired in a shot from long distance but he was off target.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was at the game and he will have been impressed by a mazy run from striker Darius Vassell before he was eventually crowded out.

The game came to life seven minutes before half-time.

First Villa defender Ronny Johnsen got on the end of another Gudjonsson free-kick, but his acrobatic volley was straight at Brad Friedel.

It's been a great week. One of our problems is we've not been able to get successive wins

Graham Taylor

Stefan Moore then went close for Villa but his left-foot shot could not find a way past Friedel.

But moments later they doubled their lead.

Some good build up on the left ended with Gareth Barry toe-poking the ball through to Dublin and he had time and space to turn and pick his spot past Friedel.

Moore should have put Villa further in front within three minutes of the second period.

Tugay (left) avoids the challenge of Gareth Barry
Tugay evades a challenge from Barry

The youngster's pace took him into the box and after beating one defender he fired a left-foot shot that flashed past the left-hand post.

Villa continued to look the more likely of adding to the scoreline and Thomas Hitzlsperger came close with a curling effort.

Blackburn continued to look strangely out of sorts going forward and shaky at the back, and Johnsen should have scored his first goal for the club when he fired over unmarked from a corner.

Dublin could have completed the hat-trick after Friedel could only parry another Hitzlsperger shot, but the keeper grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

Enckelman ensured a clean sheet for the hosts when he made a fine save from a Garry Flitcroft strike before Barry made it 3-0 when he cut inside and slotted home with his right foot.


Aston Villa: Enckelman, Delaney, Mellberg, Johnsen, Samuel, Hitzlsperger, Gudjonsson, Barry, Moore, Dublin, Vassell. Subs: Staunton, Postma, De la Cruz, Crouch, Hendrie.

Blackburn: Friedel, Taylor, Johansson, Gresko, Curtis, Thompson, Tugay, Flitcroft, McEveley, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Jansen, Kelly, Gillespie, Ostenstad, Douglas.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"Rovers were really poor"
Villa manager Graham Taylor
"Dublin's attitude has been first class"
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"I've got players who weren't at the races"
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