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Debutant Downing stars as quartet give Capello a nudge

<strong>PORTSMOUTH (2) vs ASTON VILLA (4)</strong><br /><br />ENGLAND hopeful Stewart Downing scored on his full debut to help Aston Villa cruise into the last four of the Carling Cup at the expense of struggling Portsmouth.<br /><br />Summer signing Downing was making his first start for Martin O&rsquo;Neill&rsquo;s men after breaking his foot playing for Middlesbrough in May.<br /><br />He was one of four Villa hopefuls for England&rsquo;s World Cup squad to score &ndash; giving Fabio Capello plenty to ponder.<br /><br />Downing wasted no time in making his mark by netting Villa&rsquo;s third goal as Martin O&rsquo;Neill&rsquo;s side came from behind to put paid to the Premier League&rsquo;s bottom club.<br /><br />Avram Grant, presiding over his first cup match in charge at Fratton Park, saw his side get off to the best possible start when Stiliyan Petrov sliced Danny Webber&rsquo;s corner into his own net with just ten minutes gone.<br /><br />But Villa were back level within two minutes when Emile Heskey ran through to chip the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic.<br /><br />James Milner then gave the visitors the lead when turning Michael Brown and unleashing a fine strike into the corner of the net.<br /><br />Downing capped an impressive return with a third but Kanu stole a lifeline for the hosts when shooting low past Villa keeper Brad Guzan.<br /><br />But Villa weren&rsquo;t to be denied and winger Ashley Young&rsquo;s close range effort soon wrapped things up.