April 19, 2015 17:18:37 UK
Aston Villa are through to their first FA Cup final since the year 2000 after beating Liverpool at Wembley.
The Midlands side, revitalised in the league since Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert as manager, took their recent good form into the FA Cup, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 and book a second Wembley date next month, against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
To walk out as captain will be the highlight of my career.
It was Liverpool who took the lead after half an hour, Philippe Coutinho, who scored as Liverpool beat Blackburn in the quarter-finals, was on the mark again, picking up the ball in the penalty area and evading challenges to slot the ball past Shay Given in the Villa goal.
However, it was a short-lived lead, as six minutes later Villa were level, Christian Benteke, on form since Tim Sherwood’s arrival, firing past Simon Mignolet after good work from England midfielder Fabian Delph.
That was the score at the break but Villa took the lead on 54 minutes and this time Benteke was the provider and Delph the finisher, making space in the area to slot the ball past the Liverpool keeper.
Liverpool had chances to level and take the match into extra-time but Villa held on for the win and a first FA Cup final in 15 years.
Having played a part in both Villa goals Delph, the Villa captain was delighted to be on the winning side.
He said: “To walk out as captain will be the highlight of my career. We were confident going into the game and we are so happy to go away with the win. Final here we come.
“The gaffer is brilliant. He is so positive with everyone and doesn’t panic. We had a game plan and stuck to it. We have got a lot of young lads. Jack Grealish came in and he was fantastic.”
Villa, still not safe in the Premier League, are next in action next Saturday when they travel to Manchester City. They are 12.00 to win, City are 1.22 and the draw is 6.00.
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