Expecting England vs Italy game in Euro 2012 to go to penalties, I made a comment via Twitter that it was a good job there were no Villa players in the England squad. Since David Platt buried his penalty in the shoot-out of the World Cup semi-final vs Germany in 1990 (what a game!), Villa players taking spot kicks in major international tournaments have been woeful with Garth Southgate, Darius Vassell, Olof Mellberg and Ron Vlaar all missing vital kicks (see below).
However when it comes to Villa taking on Italian teams at penalties kicks, it’s a whole other story. Villa have a 100% record that’s been fuelled by revenge.
Villa’s Italian Penalty Jobs
Aston Villa vs Inter Milan (1990 & 1994)
I’ll still never forget how Klinsmann and co turned around a 2-0 Inter Milan defeat at Villa Park in the UEFA Cup (Villa could have won my more) with a win 3-0 at the San Siro in 1990. However, four years later, fate transpired to draw Villa again with Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup. This time the the first game was in the San Siro with Dennis Berkamp leading the way for Inter as they won 1-0 in the first leg. The return leg saw Ray Houghton score to win it 1-0 (as he did for Ireland vs Italy), which took the game to penalties…step forward Phil King (see pic above).
Aston Villa vs Juventus (1983 & 2009)
Despite Villa being the defending Champions of Europe, facing an excellent Juventus team that had three of the best players in the world – Paolo Rossi (Italy), Zbigniew Boniek (Poland) and Michel Platini (France) – was always going to be a tough task for Villa. Losing the first game at Villa Park 2-1 , they were swept aside 3-1 back in Turin. These games were on my mind at least, when Villa happened to play Juventus in the Peace Cup final in 2009. Villa fielding a host of youngsters including Herd, Bannan, Weimann and Albrighton against the likes of Buffon, Trezeguet and Del Piero, held their own against the hot favourites at 0-0 after extra-time. The game went to penalties and the likes of Bannan and Herd stepped up to take on Buffon…
Guzan vs Del Piro (with rubbish commentary)
Villa’s Brad Guzan showed what Joe Hart should have done against Pirlo’s fancy pants penalty in Euro 2012.
Aston Villa International Penalty Misses
Gareth Southgate vs Germany 1996
Apparently Ashley Young and Ashley Cole are wanted for a new homage to the infamous Pizza Hut advert.
Darius Vassell vs Portugal in Euro 2004
Not as bad as Beckham’s sky-rocket penalty, but you just knew he was going to miss.
Olof Melberg vs Holland Euro 2004
The Villa curse struck a second time in Euro 2004, when Melberg missed his country’s vital spot-kick in the 5-4 penalty defeat by Holland.