Game #5090

Season | 2009-10 |

Matchday | #19 |
Manager Game | #157 |
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
League Cup | 5th Round | Away | Portsmouth | Fratton Park | 17,034 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Lee Mason | 

HT Score | 2-1 |
FT Score | 4-2 |

FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | LWDDW | 

Scorers | Emile Heskey | 12’ | James Milner | 27’ | Stewart Downing | 74’ | Ashley Young | 89’ |

Line Up |

GK Brad Guzan |
LB Stephen Warnock |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
CB Richard Dunne |
RB Luke Young |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
W Ashley Young |
GOAL | 89' |
W James Milner | GOAL | 27' | BOOKED | 59' |
W Stewart Downing | GOAL | 74' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor | BOOKED | 87' |
CF Emile Heskey | GOAL | 12' | SUB OFF | 90' |

Substitutes |

F Nathan Delfouneso for CF Emile Heskey | 90’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Brad Friedel
RB Habib Beye
M Fabian Delph
CB Ciaran Clark
M Nigel Reo-Coker
M Craig Gardner

Cards |

 Yellow | James Milner | 59’ |

 Yellow | Gabby Agbonlahor | 87’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.39 | 

Oldest Player | CF Emile Heskey | 31.91 |

Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 23.15 |

Unavailable |

Injury |

CB Curtis Davies | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 50
Possession A | 50
Shots F | 11
Shots A | 5
Shots on Target F | 6
Shots on Target A | 3
Corners F | 2
Corners A | 6
Fouls F | 13
Fouls A | 11

Match Report

BBC Sport

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

*Stewart Downing scored on his first start for Aston Villa as they secured a deserved victory over Portsmouth in the Carling Cup quarter-final.*

Stiliyan Petrov sliced a corner into his own net to give Pompey the lead but a minute later Emile Heskey ran through on goal to chip Villa level.

James Milner’s drive put the visitors ahead and Downing’s second-half header seemed to have settled the tie.

A Kanu strike gave Portsmouth hope but Ashley Young’s goal extinguished it.

Pompey boss Avram Grant’s last game as a manager in this competition was a defeat to Tottenham in the 2008 final during his time at Chelsea.

However, in stark contrast to his time at Stamford Bridge, Grant is now tasked with steering a struggling side away from the Premier League relegation zone.

To this end, Grant rested his first-choice strikers Frederic Piquionne and Aruna Dindane with Danny Webber and John Utaka coming in.

The decision initially appeared to be a good one as Webber played a part in the home side taking the lead.

The striker swung over a corner and Petrov, as the first man, attempted to clear but instead miscued the ball off his shin past the helpless Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

However, having selected a side more akin to their first-choice 11, Villa exposed the fallibility inherent in Portsmouth only a minute after the south coast club’s opening goal.

Milner’s pass found Heskey through clear on goal and the England man made no mistake with a subtle finish from inside the box.
The equaliser served as notice of the hold Villa would subsequently take on the game.


Having seen a good opportunity to score again wasted when Luke Young blazed a left-foot shot high and wide, Villa deservedly and spectacularly took the lead.

From a Young short throw-in Milner was given space to turn before unleashing a superb 18-yard drive that beat Asmir Begovic for pace and found the bottom far corner.

Grant’s words at half-time had a visible effect on the home side as, they were far more competitive in the second half as a result of an increased tempo to their play.

Rarely were they able to translate promising situations into goalscoring opportunities and the sense that Villa need only up their game to end the tie was realised with 15 minutes remaining.

Petrov found Young in space on the Villa right and his cross beat the gathered players in the six yard box before being met by Downing, whose header crept in despite the efforts of Pompey keeper Begovic.

It was a fitting reward for a player who has endured a frustrating four months as a Villa player since his summer move from Middlesbrough because of a broken foot.

Grant immediately introduced Piquionne in an attempt to get back into the game and he almost did so with his first touch but Guzan saved well from the Frenchman’s header.

Minutes later, another Portsmouth substitute Kanu gave the home side hope of a late comeback.

Younes Kaboul sent a long ball forward which was chested down by Hermann Hreidarsson for the Nigerian striker to slot in past Guzan.

However, Villa were not to be denied what would be deserved victory and within two minutes their two goal cushion was restored and their semi-final place booked.

Gabriel Agbonlahor beat Kaboul on the right and provided a cross that beat Hreidarsson and found Young who was able to control and finish into the roof of the net.

*Portsmouth manager Avram Grant:*

“I don’t like to lose, even a friendly game, but the most important thing for us is the league.

“We played with players who didn’t play in the last game. That’s good for them because we will need to use them later in the season.

“A few of them did well. Some of the others will have to wait for the next game.”

*Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill:*

“I was really pleased with him (Downing). What pleased me most was his ability on the ball.

“He can manoeuvre it, he can play and he’s got a turn of pace when he’s fully wound up.

“Properly fit, he’ll be a proper player for us.”