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Second goal key - Harry

Posted on 26 December 2010  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp believed we were capable of scoring a second goal with 10 men at Villa - and felt that was the key moment on the way to an excellent Boxing Day win at Villa Park.

Second goal key - Harry

Harry Redknapp believed we were capable of scoring a second goal with 10 men at Villa - and felt that was the key moment on the way to an excellent Boxing Day win at Villa Park.

Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring in the 23rd minute but the game changed five minutes later when Jermain Defoe was dismissed following an aerial challenge with James Collins.

The 10 men looked comfortable for the rest of the first half and into the second half and that second goal arrived in the 67th minute.

It was a classic counter-attack goal, inspired by a San Siro-style burst from Gareth Bale.

He picked the ball up from van der Vaart deep in our half and raced all the way down to Villa's penalty box. He then squared to Aaron Lennon, who rolled back for van der Vaart to finish with precision into the bottom corner.

Villa continued to ply the pressure and replied with eight minutes remaining when Marc Albrighton's cross just evaded Collins but skidded into the far corner.

But apart from one final chance for Eric Lichaj in added time, serious scares were few and far between as we made it nine matches unbeaten in all competitions.

"It was an excellent performance," said Harry.

"It's a tough place to go but we started brightly and went 1-0 up. We looked dangerous and Rafa looked like he might link up well with Defoe.

"We then lost Jermain and that made it difficult, but we kept the ball well in the first half and at half-time I said to the lads that I felt there was another goal in us.

"We have pace with Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale and I felt we would get opportunities to catch them on the break.

"It was a fantastic second goal, the movement, the run from Gareth to Aaron and the finish from Rafa. It was a top-class goal.

"It was tougher in the second half to keep the ball, they pressed us, brought on Petrov and made it more difficult for us.

"We defended for our lives when we had to, Crouchy came on and headed a number of balls away and overall, it was a great performance."