Game #4975

Season | 2006-07 |

Matchday | #42 |
League Game | #38 |
Premier League Match-week | #38 |  
Manager Game | #42 |
Sunday, 13 May 2007
Premier League | Away | Bolton Wanderers | Reebok Stadium | 26,255 |  

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Mark Clattenburg | 
HT Score | 1-1 |
FT Score | 2-2 |
FT Result | Drew |
Last 5 Games | WDWWD | 

Scorers | Craig Gardner | 37’ | Luke Moore | 81’ | 

Assists | John Carew | 37’ | 

League Position | 11th | - |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen | SUB OFF | 46' | FINAL |
LB Aaron Hughes | FINAL |
RB Wilfred Bouma | SUB OFF | 77' |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
M Gareth Barry |
M Craig Gardner |
BOOKED | 31' | GOAL | 37' |
W Ashley Young | 
W Patrik Berger |
SUB OFF | 74' | 
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
CF John Carew |
ASSIST | 37' | 

Substitutes |

GK Stuart Taylor for GK Thomas Sörensen | 46’ | 

F Luke Moore GOAL | 81' | for W Patrik Berger | 74’ | 
M Steven Davis
FINAL | for RB Wilfred Bouma | 77’ |

Unused Substitutes |

M Gavin McCann
CB Gary Cahill

Cards | 

 Yellow | Craig Gardner | 31’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.06 | 

Oldest Player | W Patrik Berger | 33.53 |

Youngest Player | M Craig Gardner | 20.48 |

 On this day 13 May 2007 

Villa ended their first season under Martin O’Neill on a high - unbeaten in 9 games, winning 4. The number of draws however (17) and a mid season slump in form (no win in 12 and 7 losses) meant Villa could finish no higher than 11th. Even so that was a significant improvement on recent seasons and a rejuvenated squad looked ready to move further up the table in 2007-08.​

Goalkeeper Thomas Sörensen made his final appearance for Villa aged 30 before moving on to Stoke City on a free transfer in July 2008. Thomas would spend the entire 2007-08 season on the bench or out of the squad. Thomas had made 158 appearances for Villa between 2003-04 and 2006-07 conceding 189 goals at a rate of 1.20 goals per game. Those figures placed Sörensen 9th of the 34 ‘keepers who had kept goal for Villa on 25 or more occasions since 1879.​

Left back Aaron Hughes made his final appearance for Villa aged 27 before moving on to Fulham for a fee of £1,350,000 in 1 July 2007. Villa had paid the same amount to Newcastle United to bring Hughes to the club and between 2005-06 and 2006-07 he made 64 appearances.​

Midfielder Steven Davis made his final appearance for Villa  aged just 22 before moving on to Fulham for a fee of £5,310,000 in July 2007. Like Peter Crouch before him, Davis could and should have been given more time to develop at Villa having made his debut aged 19, making 102 appearances, scoring 9 goals and creating more. Although the fee was high it is still difficult to understand why Villa let one of their genuinely talented and successful youth products to leave so early in their career.

Match Report

The Guardian 

Monday 14 May 2007

Match report by Ross Heppenstall

Bolton return to Europe as Allardyce says farewell

It is a measure of the impact Sam Allardyce has had at this club that the arrival of European football is greeted with celebration but not a hint of surprise. Allardyce took his seat in the directors’ box for the final time yesterday, accepting a special invitation to run an eye over the empire he has created during eight years at the Reebok. Unsurprisingly he left with the broadest of smiles.
 

Any Newcastle United supporters unsure whether Allardyce possesses the credentials to succeed at St James’ should rest assured.

The 52-year-old has transformed Bolton from a side struggling in the nether regions of the second tier in 1999 to one that has now gained three top-eight Premiership finishes in as many years and qualified for the Uefa Cup for the second time in three seasons. Allardyce departs for Tyneside a hero.

 

Sammy Lee, his former understudy and Bolton’s new manager, will be grateful for what has been left behind - Allardyce had a 21-strong backroom team and there are also the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Nolan and El Hadji Diouf - but is aware of the potential implications should his predecessor become Newcastle manager.
 

“You would think Sam would [come back for players and staff] because it’s vindication of the good people we’ve got working at this football club. Whether they will be allowed to go there is a matter for other people to decide,” Lee said.
 

Allardyce would most probably have still been Bolton’s manager next season had, as appeared likely for long periods of the season, they qualified for the Champions League - “There was a little period just after Christmas when you thought, ‘Wait a minute, if Arsenal or Liverpool drop a few more points they might make it’,” said the Villa manager Martin O’Neill - and Lee will be concerned at the way the season has tailed off.
 

Bolton ended up winning only two league matches in 2007 and, had Reading won at Blackburn yesterday, they would have missed out on Europe altogether. Lee will almost certainly use the summer to shore up a defence that leaked 12 goals in its last five games and which was, at times, carved apart by Aston Villa.

 

Despite falling behind twice here the visitors always looked capable of extending their unbeaten sequence to nine games. O’Neill’s men have hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks and, with the manager to be handed significant transfer funds this summer, to a man they played as if desperate to be part of his future plans. “We would like to add to the squad if we can but the players who came in around January I’ve been really pleased with,” said O’Neill.
 

Their response to Bolton’s opener, Gary Speed collecting Anelka’s knockdown to slot home, was most impressive. When Thomas Sorensen launched a goal-kick downfield there appeared little danger but John Carew flicked astutely on for Craig Gardner, Villa’s 20-year-old right-back, who spectacularly volleyed past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 25 yards.
 

News of Reading’s fightback against Blackburn will have filtered through to the Bolton players at the interval and their early second-half pressure soon told. Feeding off Martin Laursen’s inability to clear an Iván Campo free-kick after 57 minutes, Kevin Davies finished calmly. Villa’s refusal to accept defeat saw Carew come close to equalising before, with 10 minutes remaining, the substitute Luke Moore acrobatically guided Young’s cross into the net.
 

*Man of the match* Gareth Barry (Aston Villa)