Game #4688

Season | 2000-01 |

Matchday | #28 |
Manager Game | #138 |

Wednesday, 17 January 2001

FA Cup | 3rd Round Replay | Home | Newcastle United | Villa Park | 25,387 | 

Game Summary

Manager | John Gregory | 

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Paul Durkin | 
HT Score | 0-0 |

FT Score | 1-0 |
FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | LLDLW | 

Scorers | Darius Vassell | 50’ |

Line Up |

GK David James | 
LB Steve Staunton | 
LB Alan Wright | 
CB Gareth Southgate |
SUB OFF | 45' |
CB Alpay Özalan | 
M George Boateng | 
M Lee Hendrie | 
M Paul Merson | 
M Steve Stone | 
CF Dion Dublin | 
F Darius Vassell | 
GOAL | 50' | SUB OFF | 78' |

Substitutes |

M Gareth Barry for CB Gareth Southgate | 45’ | 

F Richard Walker FINAL | for F Darius Vassell | 78’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

FB Jlloyd Samuel |
GK Peter Enckelman
W David Ginola | 

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 28.51 | 

Oldest Player | M Paul Merson | 32.85 |

Youngest Player | F Darius Vassell | 20.61 |

 On this day 17 January 2001 

Forward Richard Walker made his final appearance for Villa aged 23 before moving on to Blackpool for a fee of £68,000. Walker had played for Villa between 1997-98 and 2000-01 making 10 appearances, 6 as a substitute, and scoring twice.

Match Report

The Guardian

Thursday, 18 January, 2001

Match Report from David Lacey

Vassell’s volley gives Villa a leg up

While Aston Villa await their Angel they might as well shine up a halo or two. Last night John Gregory’s team earned themselves an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Leicester City with a fluent display of passing against a Newcastle side weakened by injuries and suspensions.

The winning goal came early in the second half when Darius Vassell, Villa’s most impressive forward on the night, met a centre from Paul Merson to loop a shot beyond the reach of Steve Harper. 

It was hard to judge how much the FA Cup meant to either side compared with what they might still hope to achieve in the Premiership. And after all, Villa and Newcastle had between them played patsies to the winners in the previous three finals. 

Certainly on a bitter west midlands evening, and with Villa Park not two-thirds full, the thought of Cardiff in the spring seemed an even longer way off than Wembley in May. Newcastle, moreover, were without two of their brighter sparking plugs in Kieron Dyer and Nolberto Solano, both of whom were suspended. 

The occasion, then, was hardly conducive to inspired football, and as both sides appeared intent on thumping the ball forward long and high the spectacle did not immediately capture the imagination. Yet with Vassell looking sharp up front and worrying Newcastle’s defenders with his pace, Villa might well have taken an early lead. 

In fact the striker had two chances inside nine minutes. Lee Hendrie’s free-kick found him in space and in range but Vassell’s first shot hit the near post and his second was headed off the line by Aaron Hughes. 

Undaunted, the lively Vassell showed good control and vision in setting up opportunities for Dion Dublin and Hendrie, neither of whom could produce a shot to disturb Harper. Even so Villa, now getting the ball down and exposing Newcastle with adroit passing allied to astute movement, were starting to dictate the pattern and tempo of the match. 

Without Dyer and Solano Newcastle could not help but look limited. The attacking combination of Shola Amoebi and Kevin Gallacher was not short of scoring potential but Bobby Robson’s midfield was being forced too deep to give the pair meaningful support. 

On the half-hour a neat first-time movement caught Newcastle bare on the left but when the ball was laid back to Merson he could only get a toe-end to it. From Villa’s point of view the evening was acquiring a disturbingly familar look, with superior football let down by a chronic inability to score. 

The loss of Gareth Southgate following a collision with Amoebi - the Villa captain was replaced in defence by Gareth Barry right on half-time - made little difference to the shape of the play. Villa continued to enjoy the bulk of the possession while Newcastle largely hung around hoping to catch them on the break. 

Villa finally broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half when Barry swept the ball out to Merson on the right. His long centre brushed the head of the last Newcastle defender, Warren Barton, who had come on for Gary Speed, and Vassell, running in from the left, beat Harper with a looping shot off his thigh. 

As he had not scored for 27 months, Vassell was presumably not overmuch concerned about which part of his anatomy was responsible. Nor were his team. 

Newcastle now had to move forward in greater numbers which meant more space in their half for Villa to exploit. On the hour Hendrie and George Boateng did so to good effect, surging through with a double exchange of passes only for Hendrie to drag his shot wide. Almost at once, though, James had to dive at the feet of Gallacher near the edge of Villa’s penalty area.