Game #4954

Season | 2006-07 |

Matchday | #21 |
League Game | #18 |
Premier League Match-week | #18 |  
Manager Game | #21 | 
Saturday, 16 December 2006
Premier League | Home | Bolton Wanderers | Villa Park | 27,450 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 17.15 |
Referee | Mark Clattenburg | 
HT Score | 0-0 |

FT Score | 0-1 |
FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | DLDDL | 

League Position | 9th | -1 |

Line Up |

GK Gabor Kiraly | DEBUT |
CB Liam Ridgewell |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Gary Cahill |
M Steven Davis |
M Gavin McCann |
SUB OFF | 46' | 
M Gareth Barry |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
F Milan Baroš |
SUB OFF | 71' |
CF Chris Sutton |

Substitutes |

M Craig Gardner for M Gavin McCann | 46’ | 
CF Juan Pablo Ángel for F Milan Baroš | 71’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

RB Wilfred Bouma
GK Bobby Olejnik
LB Aaron Hughes

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.07 | 

Oldest Player | CF Chris Sutton | 33.79 |

Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 20.19 |

 On this day 16 December 2006 
Goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly made his debut for Villa aged 30 after joining on a short term loan from Crystal Palace.

Match Report

The Guardian

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Match report by Stuart James

Speed conducts robbery at Villa 


Aston Villa have been awarded more penalties than any other Premiership club this season, several of them dubious, but theirs was the injustice here. A match that Villa had dominated and should have been comfortably leading culminated in a third League defeat of the season after Stilian Petrov tangled with Nicolas Anelka late on. Referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot and Gary Speed did the rest, hammering his penalty past Gabor Kiraly to lift Bolton to fifth place in the table.

Rarely can Martin O’Neill have looked so frustrated. The Villa manager had seen his side outplay their guests for long periods but the combination of poor finishing and Jussi Jaaskelainen’s goalkeeping kept Bolton’s hopes alive. Twice Jaaskelainen’s fingertips rescued his team-mates, the Finn’s heroics providing the platform for Speed, who last week made his 500th Premiership appearance, to snatch only Bolton’s second win at Villa Park in more than 50 years.

Bolton’s dreadful record here appeared to play on the minds of Sam Allardyce’s side in the opening 45 minutes. Rarely did the visitors enter the Villa half, with Kiraly, making his debut in goal after arriving on loan from Crystal Palace, not having cause to muddy the grey jogging bottoms he wears with such distinction. Bolton were nothing like as clean, their over-zealous tackling clearly angered O’Neill but his side were not overwhelmed by the visitors’ physical approach. Villa attacked with purpose early on, liberating the impressive Gabriel Agbonlahor on the right flank at every opportunity. The England under-21 international’s pace exposed Henrik Pedersen’s defensive shortcomings on several occasions in the first half, with Speed’s admirable awareness coming to the full-back’s rescue in the 11th minute.

Gareth Barry hurtled past Nicky Hunt before spearing a deep cross behind the Bolton defence. Agbonlahor sped towards the back post but Speed, aware of the danger, stuck out a leg to turn the ball behind. Pedersen failed to heed the warning and moments later Agbonlahor outpaced his marker before firing a low cross into the six-yard box. His delivery eluded both Milan Baros and Chris Sutton, presenting an opening for Stilian Petrov that the Bulgaria midfielder struck against Abdoulaye Faye.

Then Agbonlahor, revelling in his freedom, escaped on the right only to shoot wildly wide, his wayward drive going out for a throw on the far side. Belatedly Bolton mustered a response, Ivan Campo’s free-kick inviting Speed and Faye to head goalbound only for both players to fail to make any contact.

The home onslaught continued after the interval, Craig Gardner squandering Villa’s best chance. Agbonlahor astutely nodded down Barry’s floated cross at the far post, imploring the Villa substitute to score his first senior goal but Jaaskelainen produced a superb instinctive save to turn the his shot behind.


It was a feat Jaaskelainen repeated midway through the second-half, stretching to fingertip Gary Cahill’s 35-yard piledriver over the crossbar. Villa’s anxiety was growing and their worst fears were realised in the 75th minute when Petrov tripped Anelka, leaving Speed to step forward and emphatically convert.