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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Friedel's red card overturned

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel has had the red card he received in Sunday's defeat at Liverpool rescinded by the Football Association on Tuesday.

The American was sent off after 63 minutes of the 5-0 drubbing at Anfield after he was adjudged have brought down Fernando Torres after the striker burst through on goal.

Villa's appeal was upheld today, meaning Friedel will be available for their next Premier League game at Manchester United on April 5.

The news is a boost for Martin O'Neill's men, whose bid to finish in a Champions League place has faltered in recent weeks.

They are currently fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

The FA's decision means Friedel can look forward to adding to his record of consecutive Premier League appearances.

Friedel had surpassed David James' record of 166 top flight appearances in succession when he appeared for Villa in the goalless draw at home to Fulham in late November.

The 37-year-old had taken the tally to 182 games in a row by appearing against the Reds - his former club - at the weekend.

Winning the appeal also means fellow American Brad Guzan will almost certainly have to continue to wait to make his first league start for Villa.

His only appearances since joining Villa last summer have been in the Carling Cup and UEFA Cup but he insists he is reaping the benefits of working as Friedel's number two.

He said: ''I look at what Brad has done, I see the time he has put in - and it shows it's worth all the effort.

''I work with Brad and the other keepers and I'm getting an understanding of what this league is all about and what it takes to be successful. I think it is all going to be worthwhile.''

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