Aston Villa 3 Crystal Palace 1: It turned out a bit of a stroll, but we did it the hard way in the end

This was a game of two halves. Yes, every game has two halves but we looked a different team in the second one and it nearly cost us.

We were always going to win this match, but it nearly cost in so much that had John Carew not put away the penalty he won with nine minutes to go, we could have found ourselves playing an extra thirty minutes and that really was the last thing the manager would have wanted tonight.

In the first half the neutral could easily see which club played in the Premier League and which club played in the Championship - we controlled the game with a relentless attack and determination.

The second half was different. In fact, it was when Crystal Palace equalised that we sort of woke up but we are not going to be lucky enough to play a team from a lower league every week and we have to stop this sitting back.

But, we won and the scoreline is a fair one based on chances and shots on target and we are actually quite lucky that we will be playing a team from a lower league in the next round of the FA Cup but that match is still to be decided although as I write, Reading are 3-2 up in extra-time.

So, a fantastic result leading up to Sunday and one I am sure will give the lads all the confidence they need to leave London with silverware.

The Team

Little Brad, Luke Young, Ricardo Dunner, King Carlos, Stephen Warnock, Stewart Downing, Webcam, James Milner, Fabian Delph, (Sidwell 76), John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor.

My Man of the Match

Has to go to John Carew, but after the first half I was thinking Fabian Delph. The lad is young and his pass does lack a little conviction but he sees stuff that other players don´t and we haven´t seen that at Villa Park for a long time.

He will get better with time and I just hope we let him develop naturally and not try to stifle the talent. He really does have it.

But, please go vote for your man of the match to the right. I´m going to bed with a smile on my face.