Wycombe Wanderers 3 Aston Villa 8

Wycombe crushed by Villa's eight-ball
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The Independent Football

Having had such a faltering start to their Premiership campaign, David O'Leary would have looked for a repeat of the five-goal gulf between these two teams in the same competition two years ago. That he got it was one thing; quite how he did would have given him plenty to worry about.

Outplayed for the first half and even looking uninterested having pulled it back to 3-2, the Premiership side finally found their range and scored seven goals in the second half.

Even if Wycombe were lulled into believing they could win this second round tie, their overall performance - before an own goal and a harsh penalty decision broke their resolve - showed John Gorman's side can look forward to their promotion campaign in League Two.

With six minutes gone, the first goal came when Danny Senda crossed from the right and Nathan Tyson split the central defenders to head past Thomas Sorensen from five yards.

That actually galvanised Villa, who fielded as full strength a side as possible. Villa equalised eight minutes after Tyson's goal when Milan Baros cruised down the right wing and found Stephen Davis, who sidefooted home from 12 yards.

Undeterred, Wycombe kept going forward and scored again when Stefan Oakes hit a corner to Roger Johnson and from 15 yards his header looped over Sorensen. A third arrived via the head of Tommy Mooney. Six minutes before the interval he stooped to convert Oakes' cross.

O'Leary, who professed ignorance of the Russian interest, admitted he had issued a few reminders to his players at half-time and they responded when Milan Baros scored after 48 minutes. In what was swiftly becoming a riposte to those who feel football is dying in a glut of dour games, Villa had the equaliser they craved after 64 minutes when James Milner played a quick exchange with Davis and his shot beat Frank Talia at his near post.

A ghastly stroke of bad luck then intervened five minutes later when Patrik Berger passed into the penalty box and with no one around him Clint Easton diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Four quickly became five when the referee awarded a harsh penalty for a foul by Senda that Gareth Barry dispatched after 73 minutes. Five minutes later Baros found Barry score Villa's sixth.

With three minutes remaining, Milner, from Lee Hendrie's cross, also grabbed his second and Davis completed the rout in stoppage time.

Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Talia; Senda, Williamson, Johnson, Easton; Bloomfield, Burnell (Anya, 84), Oakes, Dixon; Mooney, Tyson (Torres, 54). Substitutes not used: Williams (gk), Stonebridge, Martin, .

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Sorensen; Hughes (De la Cruz, 83) Cahill, Ridgewell, Samuel; Milner, Davis, Berger (Hendrie, 79), Barry; Angel (Moore, 68), Baros. Substitutes not used: Taylor (gk), Mellberg.

Referee: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).