The game was only 32 second old when Josh McEachran thumped the ball into the roof of the net from two yards out. Shay Given stretched out a desperate arm, but wasn’t able to prevent Chelsea taking the lead inside the first minute. Not the ideal start to the Asia Cup final on a pitch that would provide almost as big a challenge as the oppressive heat.
The move had started in simple fashion; Jose Bosingwa sent a perfectly weighted long
It’s the final of the Asia Trophy and we’re taking on Chelsea for a chance to grab some pre-season silverware in Hong Kong. Like all pre-season games, it would be a mistake to read to much into performances, and the result doesn’t really matter, but doing well in this one wouldn’t hurt confidence.
Team news and full commentary coming up in the live blog below (hopefully it will go a little smoother than the last one!):
Aston Villa vs Chelsea – Asia
Yes, it’s just pre-season. Yes, it’s still early days, there’s much to be done. Nevertheless, the positive signs continue. The green shoots of recovery are quite possibly poking their heads through the soil.
Darren Bent (who else?) got the only goal of the game in typically oppressive conditions in Hong Kong, but there were encouraging performances all around the pitch. Most impressive, perhaps, was the obvious communication between the players who were well organised and clearly playing for each other.
It’s not just the team who can test things during pre-season, it’s also a good opportunity to try a few new tricks here on the blog. Today’s live blog is just that; a test. The live blogs I’ve done in the past were hosted by an external company – the same one the official site uses – but I wanted to bring it in-house as it were.
I’m not sure of how many readers will visit, or the load it will
Aston Villa are taking 24 players to Hong Kong to compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy and the travelling party are en route right now. As the strength and depth of the squad is a hot topic at the moment, I thought it might be interesting to compare this pre-season tournament squad with the squads from the last couple of seasons.
Asia Trophy 2011
Shay Given, Brad Guzan, Andy Marshall.
Luke Young, Habib Beye, Eric Lichaj, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Ciaran Clark, Stephen
The somewhat light pre-season fixture list gets underway for us tomorrow with a familiar trip to the Bescot. It’s a game that Shay Given expects to play in and should provide the first clues about Alex McLeish’s thinking in terms of tactics and style of play.
It’s highly unlikely that we’ll have recruited a new left winger by then, so perhaps we’ll see how innovative McLeish is too. Will he ask someone like Gabby or Bannan to fill in on the
It looks like plenty of air miles will be racked up by Aston Villa players and staff next year as it’s just been confirmed that we’ll be competing in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong around the end of July 2011, presumably on top of some of the youngsters taking part in the Hong Kong Sevens during mid-May as usual.
The mini-tournament takes place every two years and is the only “official” Premier League summer tournament and clearly an opportunity