Villa may have drawn today and Wycombe Wanderers may have earned said draw, but both teams will find disappointment in today's match. Wycombe could and likely should have won and Villa certainly should have performed a lot better. That's the bottom line.
People will talk about the magic of the FA Cup, but there's not a huge gap separating Aston Villa and Wycombe right now. Aston Villa are the worst team in the entire Football League. Think about that. Wycombe are playing well at the top of League 2 and Aston Villa are without a win since The Walking Dead came back for its sixth season.
The biggest decision of the match was to award a penalty to Wycombe for a challenge by Ashley Westwood on the edge of the box. For me, it's not a penalty. A penalty should be awarded for a dubious, dangerous challenge in the box that obstructs a goalscoring opportunity. Ashley Westwood's challenge was a flailing arm on the edge of the box, not an obstruction of a chance at goal.
We can then find another weird decision in referee Mike Oliver's refusal to award Aston Villa penalty when Micah Richards was hauled down in the face of the goal. I don't ask for refs to make the right decision all the time, but to set a consistent bar. If Richards can get pulled down by the scruff of his neck in the goalmouth and a penalty not given, how can a penalty possibly be given for Westwood's challenge on the edge of the box?
Players to be upset at
- Rudy Gestede
- Scott Sinclair
- 2nd Half version of Micah Richards
All the players listed above chucked this match down the drain. Aston Villa's Top ScorerTM pretty much provides nothing of footballing relevance to this team. Rudy Gestede was completely anonymous the entire match and Micah Richards allowed the hostile home crowd to affect his performance multiple times during the match. Villa as a team didn't perform horribly, but they were drastically let down by catastrophic performances from the above players which brought us to the scoreline of 1-1.
Highlights for Villa fans will be the first half performance of Micah Richards, who played well at RB, as well as the debut of the impressive Jordan Lyden, who seemed to offer so much more than both Gana and Westwood in midfield. I find it hard to blame Remi Garde for Villa's performance, as for the 20th time since Villa's win at Bournemout, key players did not turn up to the match. There's no shame in the result, as Liverpool endured the same only yesterday, but Villa can certainly be unhappy with their performance.
So what may be a disappointing day for Villa fans is still crowned by a victory for Football as a sport. Fan-owned Wycombe are set for a massive FA Cup replay match at Villa Park and have certainly deserved the windfall that will come with that.