Game #4682

Season | 2000-01 |

Matchday | #22 |
League Game | #17 |
Premier League Match-week | #17 |
Manager Game | #132 |

Saturday, 16 December 2000
Premier League | Home | Manchester City | Villa Park | 29,281 |

Game Summary

Manager | John Gregory | 

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Andy D’ Urso | 
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Score | 2-2 |
FT Result | Drew |
Last 5 Games | LDDDD | 

Scorers | Dion Dublin | 71’ | David Ginola | 86’ |
Assists | David Ginola | 71’ |

League Position | 9th | -1 |

Line Up |

GK David James | 
LB Alan Wright | 
CB Alpay Özalan | 
CB Gareth Southgate | 
M Gareth Barry | 
SUB OFF | 62' |
M Paul Merson | 
M George Boateng | 
M Lee Hendrie | 
SENT OFF | 77' |
M Steve Stone | BOOKED | 88' |
W David Ginola | GOAL | 86' | BOOKED | 86' |
CF Dion Dublin | GOAL | 71' |

Substitutes |

FB Mark Delaney for M Gareth Barry | 62’ |

Unused Substitutes |

FB Jlloyd Samuel
GK Peter Enckelman
F Gilles De Bilde
LB Steve Staunton 

Cards | 

 Yellow | David Ginola | 86’ |

 Yellow | Steve Stone | 88’ |

 Red | Lee Hendrie | 77’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 28.54 | 

Oldest Player | W David Ginola | 33.92 |

Youngest Player | M Gareth Barry | 19.82 |

Match Report

The Guardian

Sunday, 17 December, 2000

Match Report from Adrian Milledge

Ginola salvages Doug’s day 

To have one international in Gareth Southgate asking for a transfer might be considered unfortunate - that his England team-mate David James has followed suit does not suggest so much as carelessness on Aston Villa’s part but a minor crisis. 

Not even a mesmeric second-half performance by David Ginola which earned Villa an unlikely point after Lee Hendrie had been sent off is likely to encourage their disquieted supporters. 

Two League Cup victories are all Villa have to show for 18 years of Ellis rule - the natives are extremely restless. On Friday a Birmingham city-centre billboard was hijacked by dissidents and adorned with the words ‘spend or go Doug’. Suitably warned, Ellis banned banners from Villa Park yesterday. Inevitably, though, some slipped through.’You are without doubt the weakest link Ellis, goodbye!’ proclaimed one. 

Freedom of speech, however proved difficult to inhibit. And with City’s fluorescent lime-green socks the only articles to shine in a largely torpid first half, there were plenty of opportunities for the Villa malcontent to voice their feelings. 

With just 10 seconds gone the Villa faithful almost had something to get really agitated about on the pitch. Shaun Wright-Phillips broke through and took James and the Villa defence by surprise with a snapshot that was just wide of the goalkeeper’s right hand


It didn’t help the home side that Paul Merson was mishitting passes and looking as though he was tired of always being the recipient of Man of the Match awards. 

But when the former Arsenal fielder suddenly burst into life in the 20th minute Villa came within inches of going in front. Collecting the ball on halfway, Merson drifted past one visiting midfielder before, spotting Nicky Weaver off his line, he delivered a deft chip that bounced to safety off the City goalkeeper’s right-hand post. 

Villa showed some long overdue urgency after the break with David Ginola at the heart of the revival. Accused by manager John Gregory of carrying a spare tyre, perhaps due to putting the Michelin Guide to too much good use, the French winger set up three moments of menace within 10 minutes of the restart. 

One telling cross was intercepted by Weaver, another headed over the bar by Dion Dublin before Lee Hendrie volleyed a third wide. With Ginola in match-winning mood Gregory switched his formation to 4-4-2 with the Frenchman operating as a conventional winger. 

But within four minutes of the switch Villa’s new-look rearguard was unhinged when Paulo Wanchope set up Haaland to put City in front. Inevitably it was Ginola who played a major part in bringing Villa level when, in the 70th minute, he delivered the cross for Dublin to head home. 

Parity lasted just three minutes until City substitute Mark Kennedy’s left-wing cross-shot was fumbled by James and Wanchope tapped home the loose ball. 

Villa’s hopes of quietening their increasingly disgruntled supporters looked dashed when Hendrie was sent off for the second time this season following an exchange of words with referee Andy D’Urso. But Ginola was not finished, volleying home a half-clearance two minutes from time to have his name on the Villa supporters’ lips rather than that of their beleaguered chairman. 

The Guardian

Monday, 18 December, 2000

Match Report from Russell Thomas

Pantomime villain misses Ginola’s coup de theatre

This was pantomime with a rare sub-plot. “Deadly” Doug Ellis was cast as the classic villain with loud hisses from an enthusiastic audience. But Lo, much to Deadly’s delight, the man in black steadily usurped the role and, thanks to some improvisation from “Monsieur Blobby”, it all ended happily - not ever after but at least for now. 

Ellis, 77, has been round the block a few times and he knows a get-out-of-jail card when he sees one. It was just a pity that, having punched the air in delight at Villa’s first equaliser against Manchester City, he was not around to see David Ginola’s match saver. By the 86th minute Villa’s overlord had left the theatre. Perhaps that is because he also knows a protest when he sees one.

The chairman did not have to look behind him, because he could see - and hear - many enemies roughly in front of him. Sitting in what detractors call “Deadly’s folly” - his stadium’s refurbished, grander edifice due to open on Boxing Day - he could look to his right and at the main “Ellis-Out” brigade and the banners high up in the Holte End. There was even a half-hearted chant carrying the same message from the stand opposite, the Doug Ellis Stand. 

Is there no respect for old people these days? The younger John Gregory can be cuttingly disrespectful but he was in wise-cracking mood when told the chairman had not witnessed the wonderful flourish provided by Ginola in the dramatic final minutes. “I hope he [Ellis] has popped off to South America. With a bit of luck he’s signed someone for me.” 

Amid the oceans of words whipped up around Villa Park, in a turbulent week that saw the goalkeeper David James become the latest player to request a transfer, the sanest came from Gregory. “We are not a Manchester United. But we have to make a decision on just how big we want to be,” he said. 

It is a decision that Manchester City, conditioned by a near-catastrophic past but now confronting the new realities, could no doubt help him with. Maine Road, after all, knows all about kicking out an ageing, long-serving chairman and installing the “People’s Choice”. 

Fittingly, given the current chairman David Bernstein’s financial acumen, City were the more prudent team on Saturday. Alf Inge Haaland finished off a sudden, rippling move to put them ahead before Paulo Wanchope restored the lead. In between Dion Dublin headed in Ginola’s cross and Lee Hendrie was sent off for foul and abusive language, his second dismissal in two months. 

Cue the Frenchman, determined to show he is worth his weight in gold, especially as Gregory had accused him of being overweight. Ginola unleashed a 20-yard volley past Nicky Weaver and stripped off his shirt in celebration to show off a magnificent torso. 

It was wonderful theatre but the man in black, Andy D’Urso, played it by the book, issuing the mandatory yellow card. “Utterly pathetic,” blasted Gregory before adding that he was “very upset” by James’s transfer request: “It is only 18 months since we rescued him from the Pontins League . . . it feels like a kick in the teeth.” But he will still recommend to Ellis and the club directors not to sell.