Villa 3-0 Rotherham report: Lambert's Lions roar to victory
Villa took a trip down Memory Lane - and strolled leisurely into the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Fifty-two years after beating Rotherham United in the inaugural League Cup final, the class of 2013 repeated the 3-0 Villa Park scoreline to secure a third round home tie against Tottenham Hotspur.
Andi Weimann opened the scoring in the 19th minute before Christian Benteke headed his fourth goal of the season five minutes before the interval.
And Fabian Delph, whose previous goal was exactly a year ago against Tranmere in the same competition, completed the scoring in the 53rd minute.
Four members of the triumphant 1961 team - scorers Alan O'Neil, Harry Burrows and Peter McParland, plus Bobby Thomson - watched this game from the stand as guests of the Villa Former Players Association.
And the quartet were surely impressed by the clinical finishing displayed by Weimann and Benteke as Villa effectively secured their passage to the third round by half-time.
Such was the home side's superiority that debut keeper Jed Steer was barely troubled.
Although Villa started brightly, with Joe Bennett sending an eighth-minute free-kick crashing into the visitors' defensive wall, Rotherham also displayed plenty of early enterprise and there was a real scare for Paul Lambert's men in the 13th minute.
Lee Frecklington's low cross from the left was screaming out to be converted and Villa were more than relieved when striker Alex Revell was unable to make contact.
But after Kieran Agard's cross from the other flank had also gone to waste, Villa went ahead with a superb goal on the counter attack.
Breaking down the right, Weimann attempted a cross which was blocked outside the penalty area by Kari Arnason.
If the Yorkshire outfit felt the danger had passed, however, they couldn't have been more wrong.
Even as Rotherham defenders were still back-pedalling, the Austrian marksman moved on to the loose ball and sent a stunning angled shot from just outside penalty area into the far corner.
That was the fillip Villa needed, and they proceeded to produce some slick, inventive football which put their opponents firmly on the back foot.
Five minutes before the interval, the lead was doubled with another well-taken goal.
Gabby Agbonlahor sprinted down the right and delivered a deep cross which Benteke converted with a firm header at the far post.
Agbonlahor almost added another when his 20-yard right-foot shot flashed narrowly wide, although Ben Pringle was just as close from similar distance at the other end.
Eight minutes after the break it was 3-0 when a scintillating five-man move ended with Benteke cleverly lifting the ball over a couple of defenders to pick out Delph's run into the area.
The midfielder controlled with his left foot before drilling right-footed past keeper Scott Shearer.
With Villa now in full flow, Agbonlahor left Robert Milsom on his backside with a surging run down the left before setting up Ashley Westwood for a shot which was blocked.
Then Westwood had a far post header parried by Shearer following a Leandro Bacuna cross from the right.
Despite fighting a lost cause, Rotherham kept plugging away in the hope of providing a consolation for their travelling band of 3,500.
Michael O'Connor just cleared the bar with a 25-yard free-kick, while Frecklington forced Steer into his first serious save with a skidding low drive from similar distance.
Villa: Steer; Bacuna, Okore, Vlaar, Bennett; El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph (Sylla 60); Weimann, Benteke (Helenius 67), Agbonlahor (Tonev 67). Unused subs: Guzan, Clark, Herd, Lowton.
Rotherham: Shearer; Bradley, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz; Agard (Tubbs 84), O'Connor, Fracklington, Milsom (Tidser 58), Pringle (Brindley 84); Revell. Unused subs: Collin, Hylton, Rowe.
Adobe Flash Plug-in Needed
This website requires a Adobe Flash plug-in. Please download the latest version of the Flash plug-in by clicking here