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Key win

Posted on 5 October 2010  - 12:00

Luka Modric and Peter Crouch both stressed the importance of the win against Villa to show the squad is capable of big performances after Champions League matches.

Key win

Luka Modric and Peter Crouch both stressed the importance of the win against Villa to show the squad is capable of big performances after Champions League matches.

Four days after a thrilling 4-1 win against FC Twente - playing with 10 men for half-hour - we faced the prospect of in-form Villa going a goal up after just 12 minutes of Saturday's Premier League encounter at the Lane.

We crucially hit back in first half injury time and had the better of the second half, eventually securing a deserved 2-1 victory when 'Crouchy' and Rafael van der Vaart combined again for the winner.

Our statistics actually make good reading after Champions League matches - three wins out of four - but the fact that the home defeat against Wigan followed our play-off second leg against Young Boys seems to have stuck in people's minds.

"It was important because a lot of people say playing in the Champions League means we can't win in the Premier League," said Luka.

"But we showed against good opponents that we can do that and can follow up big matches in the Champions League in the week with good performances on the Saturday."

Crouchy added: "We wanted to address that situation, having won in the Champions League on Wednesday you can often suffer at the weekend.

"The manager warned us about that before the game and we were all determined to make sure people weren't saying that about us after the game."

Luka started his third game in a week following a leg injury and was delighted with the win.

"It was a hard game and Villa played very well, especially in the first half," he said.

"They pressed us all over the pitch and it was hard for us to find space but at the end of the half we scored to make it 1-1 and it was a big lift for us.

"We played much better in the second half and showed big character to win. It was a very important win for us."