Walker tackles angry fan but can't stop Villa

Leicester City 0 Aston Villa 5
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The Independent Football

Aston Villa do not make a habit of winning away from home. This was only their second success outside Villa Park in this season's Premiership and their first in a top-flight game at Leicester since 1981 but it could hardly have been more emphatic - or more grimly portentous for Leicester's hopes of avoiding relegation.

Leicester, beaten 4-0 at home by Chelsea three weeks ago, this time conceded five to their Midlands rivals, all of them scored within the space of 18 minutes as Villa ran amok in the second half, in spite of the absence of their top scorer, Juan Pablo Angel. Darius Vassell and Peter Crouch each scored twice and, to make matters worse for the home side, they will be asked to explain to the FA how a spectator managed to evade security and confront the Leicester goalkeeper, Ian Walker, after Villa's third goal.

The intruder - wearing a replica Leicester shirt - was forcibly pushed away several times by Walker before stewards arrived to drag him off. But the Leicester manager, Micky Adams, would not criticise his player for responding aggressively, even though he had to be restrained by the referee, Jeff Winter.

"The fellow could have been carrying a weapon and there was not a steward in sight so I cannot criticise Ian for what he did," Adams said. "I was worried for his safety and if there is any enquiry into what happened I will back him to the hilt."

Walker was unrepentant. "The fan came up to me and was abusive," he said. "I tried to push him away and restrain him. Our supporters have every right to make their feelings known and I can understand their frustration but I don't think acting in this way is going to help the team."

Leicester will conduct their own enquiry into the incident irrespective of any action the FA decide to take. Understandably, Adams is more interested in staging an enquiry into Leicester's defending after Villa humiliated his side.

With Nolberto Solano, their £1.5m capture from Newcastle, making an encouraging debut, Villa's momentum built steadily through the first half before Vassell put them in front five minutes into the second. Thomas Hitzlsperger made the goal possible with a fine pass and while Adams might complain over the gap that appeared in Leicester's defence it still needed Vassell to apply a skilful finish, his curled right-foot shot finding the smallest of gaps between Walker and his left-hand post.

Crouch stooped to head home the second, Hitzlsperger's viciously in-swinging corner setting up his first Premiership goal in almost two years, before Vassell drilled home the sweetest of half-volleys - with his left foot, this time - from the edge of the box.

Dion Dublin made it four as Walker could only bundle his far-post stab over the line and Crouch, having recovered from a boot in the head he took scoring his first, added his second with a right-foot shot after Mark Delaney picked him out in the box and the defence again went awol.

Leicester City 0 Aston Villa 5
Vassell 50, 60, Crouch 57, 68, Dublin 64

Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 31,056

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