MacDonald's youth brigade soak up Rapid's response

Rapid Vienna 1 Aston Villa 1

Aston Villa caretaker-manager Kevin MacDonald staked another claim to the job on a permanent basis as his young side soaked up the pressure to earn a creditable draw last night in an intimidating environment.

A year ago predecessor Martin O'Neill's side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Rapid Vienna in the first leg of their Europa League play-off, ultimately heading out on the away-goals rule. But Villa now have a firm chance to avenge that exit, with 20-year-old Barry Bannan scoring the precious away goal.

Although Rapid managed to grab an equaliser and dominated for most of the game, the result was very encouraging for MacDonald, who spoke highly of his young side. "I'm very proud indeed," he said. "It was an education for the boys, who played in patches, but I was pleased with all of them because it's not an easy place to come. There's a very strong camaraderie amongst that group of players."

Villa's goalkeeper Brad Guzan was targeted with what he described as "a few lighters, some coins, and some beverages" thrown by home supporters but was not hit. "The referee got involved and it was up to him to get that sorted," said MacDonald. "When you come to these places, I'm not saying you expect objects to be thrown, but you do expect the crowd to be very vociferous in support of their home team, and very anti the opposition. That's something these players will have to learn to deal with if they want to go to the very top."

MacDonald rested Ashley Young and captain Stiliyan Petrov and was also without the suspended Richard Dunne, along with the injured John Carew, Carlos Cuellar and Gabriel Agbonlahor. Marc Albrighton, 20, found himself in good company with the likes of Bannan, Eric Lichaj and Jonathan Hogg, the latter duo on debut.

Albrighton was the instigator of the goal, superbly turning inside left-back Markus Katzer and leaving him on the seat of his shorts before delivering a low cross into the six-yard box. Bannan, who had already gone close with a left-foot shot, was left with an open goal and tapped home from four yards for his first goal for the club.

Villa looked comfortable but under the leadership of Nigel Reo-Coker, making his first start since 2 January, they started to retreat. It allowed Rapid, reeling from the decision of star striker Nikica Jelavic to pull out of this game hours ahead of kick-off as a move to Rangers appears close, to grow in confidence. After Steffen Hofmann and Atdhe Nuhiu had both gone close just after the 20-minute mark, it was those two players who combined for Rapid's equaliser in the 32nd minute.

From the right wing Hofmann's piercing delivery appeared to go straight in, bouncing beyond the despairing dive of Guzan and inside his right-hand post. However, Nuhiu was credited with the goal, the Austrian getting the faintest of touches off the top of his head.

After Guzan then superbly hauled down a 20-yard Hofmann free-kick, the break that soon followed came as a welcome breather to a Villa side who were starting to wilt. It gave MacDonald time to regroup, and for the opening 15 minutes of the second half Villa shaved the play without testing Raimund Hedl.

In fairness to Villa, despite Rapid owning possession, Guzan found himself truly tested only once more, that just after the hour when he was at full stretch to push wide a Veli Kavlak drive.

Emile Heskey dragged one effort wide late on and Reo-Coker fired into the side-netting prior to Kavlak heading a Hofmann free-kick narrowly beyond the post. In the end it was a brave draw for Villa ahead of next Thursday's return, and a night Bannan will not forget in a hurry.

Rapid Vienna (4-4-2): Hedl; Sonnleitner, Heikkinen, Katzer, Soma; Kayhan, Hoffmann, Kavlak, Hinum (Drazan, 85); Salihi (Gartler, 72), Nuhiu. Substitutes not used Payer (gk), Patocka, Saurer, Dober, Pehlivan.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Guzan; Warnock, Lichaj, Davies, Beye; Reo-Coker, Albrighton (Weimann, 79; Osbourne, 86), Bannan (Delfouneso, 74), Hogg; Downing, Heskey. Substitutes not used Friedel (gk), Clark, Lowry, Baker.

Referee A Hamer (Luxembourg).

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments