Game #4888 

Season | 2004-05 |

Matchday | #41 |
League Game | #38 |
Premier League Match-week | #39 |  
Manager Game | #86 |
Sunday, 15 May 2005
Premier League | Away | Liverpool | Anfield | 43,406 | 

Game Summary

Manager | David O’Leary | 

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Barry Knight | 

HT Score | 0-2 |
FT Score | 1-2 |

FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | DDLLL | 

Scorers | Gareth Barry | 67’ |
Assists | Nolberto Solano | 67’ |

League Position | 10th | - |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen |
RB Ulises de la Cruz |
RB Mark Delaney |
CB Martin Laursen |
M Gareth Barry |
GOAL | 67' |
M Steven Davis |
M Eric Djemba-Djemba |
M Lee Hendrie | 
SUB OFF | 48' |
W Nolberto Solano | ASSIST | 67' |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | SUB OFF | 64' |
F Darius Vassell | SUB OFF | 46' | 

Substitutes |

F Luke Moore for F Darius Vassell | 46’ | 
FB Jlloyd Samuel for M Lee Hendrie | 48’ | 

CF Carlton Cole FINAL | for CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 64’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

M Gavin McCann
GK Wayne Henderson 

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.14 | 

Oldest Player | RB Ulises de la Cruz | 30.79 |

Youngest Player | M Steven Davis | 20.38 |

 On this day 15 May 2005 

Villa had been poor for much of the season and any bright optimism from 2003-04 was quickly dispelled. Indeed but for the form of (the admittedly excellent David O'Leary signing of) Nobby Solano and the continued class shown by Juan Pablo Ángel, Villa's tumble down the table could have been much more severe. What was abundantly clear was that under David O'Leary all was not harmonious. Coupled with poor form and a tendency to discard genuine prospects with alacrity, prospects for the future were not encouraging. Admittedly key players like Martin Laursen and Olof Mellberg were often injured, as were influential and stabilising figures like Gavin McCann however equally it seemed that a haphazard and oft changing selection policy was also a destabilising factor in the failure of the team to find any consistent runs of form through the season. The obvious conclusion was that things needed to change ahead of the 2005-06 season if there was going to be material improvement under an unpopular manager and Chairman. At a minimum new additions to the squad were required as was a clear vision for the both the team and club.​

Centre forward Carlton Cole made the final appearance of his loan spell from Chelsea aged 21. Cole had made 30 appearances, 10 as a substitute and scored 3 goals and numerous assists during his season with Villa.  

Forward Darius Vassell played his final game for Villa aged 24 before moving on to Manchester City for a fee of £3,240,000 in July 2005. Vassell played for Villa between 1997-98 and 2004-05 making 201 appearances in total with 77 as a substitute. In total Vassell scored 43 goals for Villa over his 8 seasons with the club.

Match Report

BBC Sport

Sunday, 15 May, 2005

Striker Djibril Cisse gave manager Rafael Benitez a timely reminder of his prowess 10 days ahead of the Champions League final against AC Milan.

Starting his first full game since October, Cisse won and scored a penalty and clipped home a low shot to convert Josemi’s cross in the first half. 

Gareth Barry scored Villa’s goal, powering in a shot past Scott Carson. 

Both sides hit the bar in the second-half, John Arne Riise for Liverpool and Luke Moore for Villa. 

Cisse’s goals must have made uncomfortable viewing for MIlan Baros - the Czech Republic striker’s last goal in the Premiership came back in the beginning of February. 

On the hour Baros came off the bench to replace Harry Kewell, though the two Liverpool strikers had few chances to link up. 

Before Cisse’s devastating two-goal burst, Villa had looked the more likely to score, Carson pawing away Lee Hendrie’s curling shot. 

A superb run and shot from Jamie Carragher that hit the side netting had the effect of shaking Liverpool out of their lethargy. 

Liverpool’s other central defender - the much maligned Mauricio Pellegrino - also went close in the opening half with a backheel,

Thomas Sorensen doing well to save from close range. 

In between those two chances Cisse grabbed his brace, his first goal the result of his willingness to chase a lost cause as much as Mark Delaney’s reckless tackle. 

When Sorensen pushed away Kewell’s shot there looked little danger as Delaney and Cisse chased the ball. 

But the Villa defender was surprised by the Frenchman’s pace and as the Liverpool striker reached the ball first he was felled by Delaney. 

Cisse stroked the penalty to the right of Sorensen giving the Villa keeper no chance. 

Seven minutes later Cisse proved equally deadly when he rattled the ball into the same corner of the net after good work by Antonio Nunez and Josemi down the Liverpool right. 

Villa’s goal had much to with Steven Davis’ wonderful pass with the outside of his boot to Nolberto Solano on the edge of the box. 
The Peruvian headed across goal and Barry powered a shot past Carson. 


Barry’s goal allied to some erratic defending from Pellegrino and Josemi gave Liverpool some nervy moments. 

Their shaking defending allied to Moore’s enthusiasm saw the Villa striker hit the bar with a header, while the Villa striker also went close with a couple of shots. 

Not that Liverpool were solely content to defend their lead, with Riise’s venomous shot striking the bar. 

*Liverpool:* Carson, Josemi, Pellegrino, Carragher, Warnock, Nunez (Finnan 79), Alonso, Biscan (Hamann 70), Riise, Cisse, Kewell (Baros 60). Subs Not Used: Dudek, Hyypia. 

*Goals:* Cisse 20 pen, 27. 

*Aston Villa:* Sorensen, De la Cruz, Delaney, Laursen, Barry, Djemba-Djemba, Solano, Davis, Hendrie (Samuel 48), Vassell (Moore 45), Angel (Cole 64). Subs Not Used: McCann, Henderson. 

*Goals:* Barry 67. 

*Att:* 43,406 

*Ref:* B Knight (Kent).