(CNN) -- Aston Villa will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of their English League Cup semifinal clash with Blackburn after a narrow win at Ewood Park.
Midfielder James Milner helped Villa take a step towards Wembley when he scored the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill had demonstrated his attacking intent by naming an attacking line-up which included Emile Heskey, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Milner.
And the positive approach saw Villa take the lead in the 23rd minute when Milner finished off a sweeping Villa move that caught Blackburn on the break, turning Downing's cross beyond the reach of Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Blackburn improved after the half-time break and were unlucky not to equalize as striker Nikola Kalinic twice struck the woodwork, firstly with a close-range header, then with a shot from 12 yards.
In the Coppa Italia Fiorentina claimed a 3-2 win over Chievo while Udinese defeated Lumezzane 2-0 and Lazio won by the same scoreline at home to Palermo.
In Spain's Copa Del Rey Mallorca beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1 while Atletico Madrid thumped Recreativo de Huelva 5-1.