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Aston Villa vs Blackburn Rovers: Tense, Nervous but Successful.

Blackburn made Villa work for it as the playoff push continues on.

Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The international break is over and Villa got back to action today with a potential trap match against Blackburn who began the day in 16th spot in the table. Villa came in with four wins in a row in the league but the week off could have broken the momentum.

Right from the start it was all Aston Villa. Within the first 90 seconds of the match Villa had a pair of opportunities to open the scoring that came from strong passes. The hosts clearly wanted to keep the ball and keep it moving — which is what lead to the first goal on ten minutes into the game. Andre Green started the attack by running in from the right and making the defense react. McGinn had the key pass to open up the defense when he played it up and over to El Ghazi on the left. The winger put it into the box and Tammy Abraham had a tap in for his 22nd goal of the campaign.

Aston Villa continued to pile on the pressure — but Blackburn grew into the game. The visitors had a pair of chances off set pieces but Steer — and the woodwork — was enough to keep the clean sheet in tact. I would offer more thoughts on the chances — but I didn’t actually see any of them because AVTV was a huge struggle.

At the end of the half Villa very nearly doubled their account. A Neil Taylor shot looked to the slowly rolling into the net when El Ghazi made sure it crossed.... but the winger was flagged offside. Thus negating the goal. In fairness — the keeper may have gotten to the slowly rolling ball before it cross if El Ghazi hadn’t hit it into the net.

The second half started well for Blackburn but Mings helped keep the clean shit with a timely block on a shot from outside the box. The man continues to be a solid anchor at the back who even had the chance to show off some fancy footwork.

The confidence is sky high for the lad.

And it only got higher.

Jack earned a free kick down Villa’s left. The first cross off the free kick was cleared. But it lead to a second cross. Which was cleared. But the third header! That one was not!! It was from McGinn and the Mings with a wonderful finished that bounced into the far corner.

After the second goal Adomah came on for Andre Green. The young winger had an up and down performance but he is getting better and more comfortable in the role — and I love Albert going against tired legs — so I think Dean Smith has the rotation correct.

With about 15 minutes left McGinn made his first mistake of the match. He gives away a free kick in an excellent area for Blackburn — 25 yards off and right in the middle. The shot seemed to wrong foot Steer — who weakly palmed the shot away — but right to Bell — who made no mistake. And it was game on at Villa Park.

As the nerves began to settle in Villa tried to keep attacking through Tammy Abraham and El Ghazi — but Blackburn were boosted from the goal and put Villa under plenty of pressure.

At the 89th minute Tammy Abraham could and should have put the game away. Houriahne (who entered the match for Grealish) played Tammy through into the box. But somehow the goal scorer put it over the net. The Blackburn keeper put him under some pressure but he should have finished it.

It was all Blackburn in the five added minutes but Aston Villa managed to hold on — earning three points and the fifth win in a row.