Game #4822

Season | 2003-04 |

Matchday | #20 | 
Manager Game | #20 |

Wednesday, 17 December 2003
League Cup | 5th Round | Home | Chelsea | Villa Park | 30,414 | 

Game Summary

Manager | David O’Leary | 

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Neale Barry | 

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

FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | WWLWW | 

Scorers | Juan Pablo Ángel | 16’ | Gavin McCann | 78’ |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen | BOOKED | 90' |
RB Mark Delaney | BOOKED | 53' |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Ronny Johnsen |
FB Jlloyd Samuel |
M Gareth Barry |
M Lee Hendrie | 
SUB OFF | 69' |
M Gavin McCann | GOAL | 78' |
W Peter Whittingham |
F Darius Vassell | 
SUB OFF | 52' |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | GOAL | 16' | SUB OFF | 83' |

Substitutes |

F Stefan Moore for F Darius Vassell | 52’ | 
M Thomas Hitzlsperger for M Lee Hendrie | 69’ | 
CF Peter Crouch for CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 83’ |  

Unused Substitutes |

GK Stefan Postma 
CB Liam Ridgewell

Cards | 

 Yellow | Mark Delaney | 53’ |

 Yellow | Thomas Sörensen | 90’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.91 | 

Oldest Player | CB Ronny Johnsen | 34.54 |

Youngest Player | W Peter Whittingham | 19.28 |

Match report

The Guardian

Thursday, 18 December, 2003

Match report Jon Brodkin

Angel helps banish the Blues 

Claudio Ranieri will trust that the past five days have been an aberration. Having seen Chelsea beaten at home by Bolton, the Italian watched his team lose in this cup to another of the Premiership’s less fancied sides last night. No one should talk of a crisis but Ranieri will be under particular scrutiny going into Saturday’s derby away to Fulham. 

The instant reaction of one Chelsea fan was to suggest the dream has run out of steam. That is premature with the team well placed in the Premiership and Champions League but the response to a crushing week will say a lot about Ranieri and his players. Chelsea did not play well and it was hard to escape the feeling that Aston Villa had shown the greater determination. 

David O’Leary’s players never stopped knocking Chelsea out of their stride and Ranieri’s side rarely found much fluency or penetration. It needed a brilliant save from Thomas Sorensen to deny John Terry an equaliser in injury-time but they could have few complaints that Villa progressed to face Bolton in the semi-finals. 


Chelsea’s first-half performance, in particular, was poor and Ranieri’s selection and formation did not seem to help. The team improved when Frank Lampard came on at half-time and when Hernan Crespo was introduced to partner Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, a 3-4-2-1 system becoming a more traditional 4-4-2. 

The head coach did not hide his disappointment: “All teams have bad periods. For Chelsea it is now. It’s important to stay together, have a good reaction and work hard.” 

Villa offered more than hard work, which was epitomised by Lee Hendrie and the match winner Gavin McCann. They had the outstanding player in Juan Pablo Angel, who scored a spectacular opener and was a constant threat with his movement and touch. When Neil Sullivan failed to hold the Colombian’s shot, McCann followed up to slide in the decider. 

Finally Angel is regularly performing to his potential. He has moved next door to O’Leary, who tracked down the striker in South America after taking over at Villa to stress how much he wanted him. “He’s an excellent person to deal with,” O’Leary said. 
Plenty of Chelsea’s costly buys were below par. Geremi too often gave away possession, Damien Duff had a quiet night and Hasselbaink was peripheral. Using Duff and Joe Cole behind Hasselbaink did not work. 


Despite plenty of possession after Angel’s opener, Chelsea struggled to find a way through as Villa dropped back. They looked more threatening with Crespo but the Argentinian wasted two chances. 

At the back Chelsea were shakier than usual. Terry had a poor start and was among those at fault for Angel’s goal. Seizing a ball William Gallas had allowed to bounce over him, Angel side-stepped Terry and cut across Gallas before firing past Sullivan from outside the box. 

Chelsea came no closer before the interval than a Cole effort and might have conceded again to Angel before their equaliser as Villa attacked with menace. Once Cole bundled in Crespo’s cross extra-time seemed likely but Angel turned Celestine Babayaro too easily before hitting a shot which was parried for McCann to score. 

Villa’s victory will lift some of the despondency around the club. Chelsea, meanwhile, must find a quick response. 

*Aston Villa*(4-4-2): Sorensen; Delaney, Mellberg, Johnsen, Samuel; Hendrie (Hitzlsperger, 70), McCann, Whittingham, Barry; Vassell (S Moore, 52), Angel (Crouch, 83). 


*Unused substitutes* : Postma, Ridgewell. 

*Booked:* Delaney, Sorensen. 

*Chelsea*(3-4-2-1): Sullivan; Melchiot, Terry, Gallas; Johnson (Gronkjaer, 56), Makelele (Lampard, h-t), Geremi, Babayaro; Duff (Crespo, 56), Cole; Hasselbaink. 

*Unused substitutes:* Ambrosio, Desailly. 

*Booked:* Terry, Gallas. 

*Referee* : N Barry.