Game #4966

Season | 2006-07 |

Matchday | #33 |
League Game | #29 |
Premier League Match-week | #29 |  
Manager Game | #33 |
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Premier League | Home | Arsenal | Villa Park | 39,968 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Martin Atkinson | 

HT Score | 0-1 |
FT Score | 0-1 |

FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | LWLDL | 

League Position | 13th | - |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen |
RB Phil Bardsley |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Gary Cahill |
BOOKED | 83' |
CB Olof Mellberg |
M Gavin McCann |
SUB OFF | 74' |
M Gareth Barry |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
W Ashley Young |
CF John Carew |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |

Substitutes |

W Patrik Berger for Gavin McCann | 74’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

CB Liam Ridgewell
M Steven Davis
F Luke Moore
GK Stuart Taylor

Cards | 

 Yellow | Gary Cahill | 83’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.87 | 

Oldest Player | GK Thomas Sörensen | 30.69 |

Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 20.43 |

Match Report

BBC Sport

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

*Arsenal overtook Liverpool and moved up into third place in the Premiership after edging a win at Aston Villa.*

The visitors went ahead through Abou Diaby but he knew little about diverting home Julio Baptista’s shot. 

Jeremie Aliadiere missed several Arsenal openings while Villa’s Ashley Young sidefooted straight at keeper Jens Lehmann in his side’s best chance. 

Freddie Ljungberg hacked the ball off the goal-line as Diaby almost scored an own goal as the visitors clung on. 

Arsenal went into the game with little to smile about after losing the Carling Cup final and exiting the FA Cup and Champions League on their way to another trophy-less season. 

But fortune smiled on them at Villa Park after 10 minutes when a Baptista shot going comfortably wide was diverted in by Diaby. 

Aliadiere has struggled to earn a regular first-team place for the Gunners and showed why as he wasted two promising chances in quick succession. 

He was played through on goal by Freddie Ljungberg but the finish did not match the pass as his effort was blocked by keeper Thomas Sorensen. 

The striker was found with another pass as he made a diagonal run on goal only to delay his shot and be dispossessed. 

Villa striker John Carew could have made Arsenal pay as he looked set for a clear strike on goal but was cynically brought down by Johan Djourou just outside the area. 

The home side started to pile on the pressure and should have been level when a Wilfred Bouma pass scythed through the Arsenal defence and found Gareth Barry. 

He pulled the ball back for Ashley Young and his effort was saved by Lehmann before Gabriel Agbonlahor’s follow-up strike was blocked in a frantic goalmouth. 

An unmarked Aliadiere wasted another chance as he sent a six-yard header into ground and over minutes ahead of the interval. 

Villa were dominant after the break and the crowd raised the noise level as they backed the effort of their players. 

The combination nearly paid off when Diaby almost put a Villa corner into his own net only for Ljungberg to clear off the line. 

Villa threw all they had at Arsenal but the visitors dug deep to hold on and continually repel their hosts through a mixture of determined and desperate defending. 

*Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill:*

“I thought we put an awful lot into the game. In the second half we were excellent.

“Overall, I’m pleased with how we performed but we did not have an ounce of luck. 

“It could have been a sending off when Johan Djourou fouled John Carew. Beside the fact there was a bit of cover it looked like John was about to shoot.” 

*Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:*

“We were very disappointed after our Champions League exit.

“But we showed a great response with many players not available. It was a great resilient performance. 

“In the first half it was a good football game. In the second half it was a battle and we stood up and showed a great mental response.” 

*Aston Villa:* Sorensen, Bardsley, Mellberg, Cahill, Bouma, Petrov, McCann (Berger 74), Barry, Agbonlahor, Carew, Young.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Davis, Ridgewell, Moore. 

*Booked:* Cahill. 

*Arsenal:* Lehmann, Hoyte, Silva, Djourou, Gallas, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Denilson, Diaby (Rosicky 63), Julio Baptista (Flamini 65), Aliadiere (Senderos 90).

Subs Not Used: Poom, Walcott. 

*Booked:* Djourou. 

*Goals:* Diaby 10. 

*Att:* 39,968 

*Ref:* M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).