The $100 million match


Yesterday, I previewed the most valuable match in world football, the relegation six-pointer between Aston Villa and QPR.

With investment that has gone well beyond seven figures and now stretches in nine figures, this match was about more than 22 players, two managers and thousands of supporters, it was about the stomach of the two owners, Aston Villa’s, American owner, Randy Lerner and the Malaysian, Tony Fernandez.

The cliché that jumped to my mind was ‘throwing good money after bad’ as both men have gambled on staying in the most exclusive and richest league in the Universe.

On this day at a raucous Villa Park, the American hit the point while Fernandez busted out.

The form book had suggested QPR would come away with something especially as Harry Redknapp has shown that when lady luck shines, it usually glows on him but Villa came from behind for the second week running and now move six points clear of the relegation zone.

Once again it was Christian Benteke who came to the rescue and if he is not the buy and bargain of the season all rolled into one, I’m not sure who is. His 17 goals have been immense this campaign and Paul Lambert looks like a genius for signing him.

This win surely now gives Villa the momentum and confidence to stay up but on the other hand for QPR, you can’t afford to lose to your relegation rivals. They are now seven points from safety and time is running out.