Aston Villa 2-0 Wycombe: Hosts avoid FA Cup upset with second-half goals
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 20/01/16 8:32am
Late goals from Ciaran Clark and Idrissa Gana gave Aston Villa a 2-0 win over League Two Wycombe in their FA Cup third round replay.
Irish defender Clark fiercely headed home unmarked from six yards with 15 minutes remaining to save Villa's blushes after Wycombe came close to taking the lead on several occasions in either half.
Substitute Gana's injury-time finish from 15 yards after Rudy Gestede's lay-off then doubled the hosts' lead, as manager Remi Garde earned only his second win as Villa boss.
Villa, who are bottom of the Premier League and have not won the competition since 1957, will now host 2011 winners Manchester City in the fourth round.
Villa came into the game buoyed by taking four points from the two Premier League games since the original tie at Adams Park.
Garde wanted to maintain that modicum of momentum, acknowledging in the build up to the match that last season's run to the final went hand in hand with Premier League survival - although any such repeat this time round would be nothing short of a miracle.
There were early chances as Gestede headed wide and Jordan Ayew jinked past his man down the right-hand side of the penalty area before sending a rising right-foot shot into the side netting, but that was all Villa could muster and the best chances of the first half were created by the underdogs.
Brad Guzan got down to his left to push away Sam Wood's first-time strike before a huge let-off for Villa just before half-time as Guzan failed to collect Joe Jacobson's left-wing cross and Garry Thompson sent his header over the crossbar.
Villa fashioned another half-chance at the start of the second half as Gana, on as a half-time sub for Carlos Sanchez, set Ayew on a marauding run down the right and he flashed a low shot across goal and past the far post.
Wycombe once again created a better opportunity, and when the unmarked Thompson headed Wood's cross wide in the 61st minute, it was followed by a chorus of boos from some disgruntled home supporters.
Villa improved afterwards with Scott Sinclair twice going close - his second effort, after a mazy run into the penalty area, was brilliantly diverted over the crossbar by Aaron Pierre's last-ditch sliding challenge.
Gestede then scuffed a shot into Matt Ingram's arms before Villa made the breakthrough with Clark heading Westwood's cross home from six yards.
Garde's team were finally on top and Gana got his first goal for the club in the 90th minute to seal Villa's passage through and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games by steering a low shot into the bottom corner of the net from inside the penalty area.