Aston Villa 1-3 Peterborough: Jack Marriott and Ryan Tafazolli earn FA Cup upset
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 06/01/18 6:26pm
Peterborough pulled off an FA Cup upset as three goals in the final 15 minutes earned them a 3-1 win against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Villa had looked set to cruise to victory when Keinan Davis gave then the lead after only eight minutes.
But League One Peterborough produced a storming fightback against the Championship side and leading scorer Jack Marriott drew them level in the 75th minute.
The towering Ryan Tafazolli then gave them the lead with a header seven minutes from time before Marriott struck for the 23rd time this season in stoppage time with his fifth FA Cup goal of the season.
Before their late heroics, Peterborough had been denied by a man-of-the-match display from goalkeeper Jed Steer.
Villa were unfortunate not to take the lead after only 19 seconds when Andre Green's curling right-footed shot was pushed to safety by goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
Peterborough then squandered an excellent chance to break the deadlock in the sixth minute when Danny Lloyd lifted the ball over the bar from six yards.
That proved a costly miss when Villa did make their early pressure pay off through Davis.
He latched onto a right-wing cross from Richie De Laet and beat Bond with a shot on the turn from six yards.
It would have been easy for Peterborough to wilt after that setback but they battled on and came close to drawing level after 13 minutes only for Steer to tip away a 20-yard drive from Marcus Maddison.
Villa were again indebted to Steer in the 25th minute when he denied Leonardo Da Silva Lopes following his shot from the edge of the area before Lloyd fizzed an effort across the face of the goal seconds later.
Maddison then split the Villa defence in the 37th minute and Marriott saw his fierce shot saved by the overworked Steer before he had another effort turned away on the stroke of half-time.
Marriott was frustrated again by Steer at the start of the second-half and then saw a shot fly inches too high before Lloyd was unable to turn the ball into an empty net after a cross from Maddison after 55 minutes.
Peterborough finally gained their reward when Lloyd whipped the ball back across goal and Marriott was on hand to beat Steer with a header from six yards.
In a pulsating finale, Villa were then denied by the woodwork when Birkir Bjarnason lashed a 78th minute volley off the bar.
But Peterborough were not to be denied and Tafazolli rose above the Villa defence to meet Maddison's cross.
With Villa chasing an equaliser, Peterborough then surged up field with Maddison's left-wing centre being converted by Marriott to confirm their passage to the fourth round.
Grant McCann (Peterborough): "We were disappointed to be 1-0 down at half-time, but the boys stuck to the game plan. We deserved to get back into the game and the boys grew in confidence after that. Sometimes when you do come to a Championship team and you go down you can crumble and end up getting beat four or five.But the boys kept doing what we worked on. We wanted to keep the ball and keep moving it quickly. I am very proud of the boys. They were outstanding. They played with no fear."
Steve Bruce (Aston Villa): "It is difficult to accept, but we have to accept it and live with the consequences. The best team won by a country mile. We got off to a good start but Peterborough had 20 efforts on our goal which is ridiculous. We haven't competed well enough and that is the disappointing thing for me."