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Wednesday Links: Aston Villa 1-0 Blackburn in Barclays Asia Trophy Match, N'Zogbia a Villan Soon

Yeah, Darren. If you could just go ahead and score in every game, that'd be <em>great</em>.
Yeah, Darren. If you could just go ahead and score in every game, that'd be great.

On the foot of Darren Bent, who nabbed his third goal in two preseason matches, Aston Villa beat perennial cup-rival Blackburn 1-0 today in Hong Kong. Some of the best coverage of the match that I have found can be read at Aston Villa Central. Here you will find Dan's live-blog (which started on his site, and continued on Cover It Live), and here is his recap. You can find the in-depth recap on the official site here.

Everything I've been reading about the match is encouraging. Initial reports on Twitter had the team lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, but that appears not to have been the case. Regardless, Barry Bannan got another chance to prove his mettle, this time as a starter. By all accounts, he performed quite well on the right side. And it should come as no surprise that Darren Bent did well. The more I think about it, the more excited having him around makes me. This is a team that will (hopefully) have a solid defense under Alex McLeish. Add in an absolute goal-scoring monster, and things look even better. I know we're all settled on a mid-table finish, but I don't think Europe is totally impossible. The real questions will come in the midfield.

Speaking of the midfield, it seems that Charles N'Zogbia will be in Birmingham tomorrow, and presumably a Villan shortly thereafter. The Wigan winger will be in town for a physical according to numerous sources. I can't imagine him coming if he didn't plan on signing, so I think we can all take this as a good sign that our left-side problems are not going to be as bad as was possible. This likely puts an end to Villa's transfer window, though a minor move or two wouldn't totally shock me. 

I apologize for this being a bit late. I was hoping to watch the match before I wrote about it, and FoxSoccer.TV promised me it would be available at 8 AM my time. It is 9:58 as I write this, and there is still no match. When it works, is great, but when it doesn't, there is no pile of dung that is larger in the universe. /Rant