Millwall 2 Aston Villa 1 - match report
Embarrassing Aston Villa suffered a second cup humiliation in the space of a week after Championship Millwall came from behind to knock them out of the FA Cup.
The claret and blues were eliminated from the Capital One Cup by League Two Bradford City during the week and Millwall repeated the trick to leave Villa fans with only a relegation battle to look forward to in the rest of the campaign.
Darren Bent opened the scoring for Villa in the 22nd minute of a scrappy fourth-round tie at The Den but Millwall levelled four minutes later when Danny Shittu headed home from a corner.
And John Marquis heaped more pressure on Paul Lambert when he headed home a minute from time as the home fans goaded the Villa boss with chants of "you're getting sacked in the morning".
Lambert made four changes from the side which were humiliated by Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final on Tuesday.
Belgium striker Christian Benteke was rested and left out of the squad completely while Barry Bannan, Stephen Ireland and Gabby Agbonlahor all dropped to the bench.
Ashley Westwood returned in midfield after he was cup-tied during the week and there were starting places for Eric Lichaj, Andreas Weimann and Bent.
Both sides struggled to find any early rhythm with chances at a premium until Bent showed his knack of being in the right place at the right time to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.
A powerful run from Weimann on the counter attack culminated in a low shot which was parried by David Forde and dropped for Bent who scuffed his shot which wrong-footed the Millwall keeper.
However, Villa's vulnerability from set-pieces was exposed again four minutes later when the hosts equalised from a corner.
James Henry delivered a high ball to the far post and Shittu took advantage of indecision in the Villa defence to climb above Lichaj and powerfully head past Shay Given.
The contest continued to lack moments of any real quality although Adam Smith saw Given save a sweetly-struck shot from distance in the 36th minute while Henry put a spectacular effort over the crossbar.
There was little improvement after half-time although the game was temporarily delayed after the Millwall fans threw bottles on the pitch.
Henry found himself in a shooting position in the 63rd minute but was unable to lift the ball over Given from just inside the area.
Villa finally carved out a chance after a long spell of possession when Bannan – who had replaced the injured Fabian Delph just before half-time – unleashed a fierce drive which was parried by Forde but neither Bent nor Weimann could get on the end of it.
However, there was a sting in the tail as Millwall booked their place in the fifth round when Marquis got on the end of Henry's cross to head against the crossbar, but the striker was alert enough to nod in the rebound.
By Timothy Abraham
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