It's agony for Bouma but Villa power on

Aston Villa 1 Odense 0 (3-2 on agg)

Aston Villa paid a heavy price for victory in their InterToto Cup second leg at Villa Park last night — a serious ankle injury to their influential defender Wilfred Bouma.

The 30-year-old Holland left-back suffered an horrific ‘Eduardo-like’ dislocation of
his right ankle following a challenge by Baye Djiby Fall after just 12 minutes.

His team-mates looked on in shock as he was carried off and taken to hospital. Villa manager Martin O’Neill had opted to start with his wantaway England midfielder Gareth Barry on the bench after he had been booed and jeered by the Villa fans in a midweek friendly against Walsall.

Wilfred Bouma

Distraught: Bouma is injured

But he took the field as Bouma’s replacement to chants of ‘There’s only one Gareth Barry’, providing yet another twist in the long-running saga on his stalled £18million move to Liverpool.

Ashley Young stamped Villa’s passport back into Europe for the first time in seven years with a brilliant second-half strike.

Villa’s record £9.5m signing was set free by captain for the day Nigel Reo-Coker to cut inside from the left and lash an unstoppable 51st-minute shot into the roof of the net. The draw for the next round is on Friday.

Villa confirmed before kick-off they had completed the £2.5m signing of Blackburn
goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

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