After the two respective boards had a bit of a row this week, it was finally time for Aston Villa and Peterborough United to meet on the pitch at Villa Park.
Steve Bruce’s side definitely did not back up the trash talk that came from Keith Wyness – when the final whistle blew, the scoreboard at Villa Park read: Peterborough United 3 – Aston Villa 1.
For about the first thirty minutes of the match, it looked as if the claret and blue might comfortably win.
Keinan Davis scored the opener - and what would turn out to be Villa’s only goal - in the eighth minute. After that, the likes of Andre Green, Conor Hourihane and Callum O’Hare produced chances as Aston Villa had the run of the possession.
However, as the match approached half time, the play began to even out as Posh went on the front foot and got a few quality chances through Jack Marriott.
The second half was pretty much all Peterborough. Villa did have a few half-chances here and there. The only opportunity that truly should have produced a second goal came via Birkir Bjarnason in the 78th minute.
He had a golden chance to put the claret and blue up 2-1 with a header that hit the bar. Yes, by that time Posh had evened the match through Jack Marriott’s point blank header in the 75th minute.
At half time, Steve Bruce’s men had controlled 65% of the possession. By the end of the match, it was nearly even. That stat just about epitomized the run of play after Villa started brightly.
Peterborough ultimately went ahead after Ryan Tafazolli headed home Marcus Maddison’s corner in the 83rd minute. With Posh having 21 total shots in the match, the lead was not completely underserved.
Ten minutes later – the last minute of stoppage – a Peterborough counterattack ended with Jack Marriott finding the bottom left corner to make it 3-1. That goal really put an exclamation point on a big win for the League One side.
When it comes to the centre-forward rumoured to be on Villa’s radar, his performance today at Villa Park supported this declaration:
That was Marriott’s sixth shot in the match. In the words of Dire Straits: “Yeah, the boy can play.”— 7500 To Holte (@7500toHolte) January 6, 2018
His two goals brought his clip to 23 in 36 appearances and allowed Peterborough United to move into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Obviously a 3-1 loss to Peterborough is not a desirable result, but Aston Villa have the proverbial “…bigger fish to fry.”
The claret and blue’s lackluster exit means that they only have one competition to focus on – the Championship.
Aston Villa can now solely target promotion.