Game #5029

Season | 2008-09 |

Matchday | #13 |
Manager Game | #96 |
Thursday, 2 October 2008
UEFA Cup | 1st Round 2nd Leg | Home | PFC Litex Lovech | Villa Park | 27,230 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 20.00 |
Referee | Tony Chapron | 

HT Score | 1-0 |
FT Score | 1-1 |
FT Result | Drew |

Aggregate Score | 4-2 | 

Aggregate Result | Won | 
Last 5 Games | WWLWD | 

Scorers | Marlon Harewood | 27’ |

Line Up |

GK Brad Friedel |
LB Nicky Shorey |
CB Zat Knight |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
RB Luke Young |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
W Ashley Young |
SUB OFF | 85' |
M Moustapha Salifou |
W Wayne Routledge |
W James Milner |
CF Marlon Harewood |
GOAL | 27' |

Substitutes |

M Isaiah Osbourne for W Ashley Young | 85’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Brad Guzan
CB Martin Laursen
M Craig Gardner
M Nigel Reo-Coker
F Gabby Agbonlahor
F Nathan Delfouneso

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.58 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 37.40 |

Youngest Player | W James Milner | 22.76 |

 On this day 2 October 2008 

Winger Wayne Routledge made his final appearance for Villa aged 23 before moving on to Queens Park Rangers for a fee of £603,000 in January 2009. Routledge had only joined Villa from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2008 for a fee of £1,530,000 making 8 appearances, 6 as substitute during his 12 months with Villa.

Match Report

BBC Sport

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Aston Villa booked their place in the Uefa Cup group stages after a draw against Litex Lovech.*

Marlon Harewood put the home side ahead on 27 minutes with a smart finish from 12 yards after a powerful run.

But Wilfried Niflore brought Lovech level when he converted a penalty on 52 minutes after Carlos Cuellar had been penalised for a foul on Wellington.

The equaliser had little effect as the Bulgarian visitors failed to trouble Villa’s obdurate defence.

With the cushion of a 3-1 advantage from the first leg, manager Martin O’Neill opted to rest six of his starting XI from the 2-1 win over Sunderland, with one eye on the Premier League match against leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Gareth Barry, Nigel Reo-Coker, Martin Laursen, John Carew and Curtis Davies were all rested, with record signing James Milner, Harewood, Zat Knight, Carlos Cuellar, Moustapha Salifou and Wayne Routledge earning starting places.

And it was the much-maligned Harewood who put Villa 1-0 up with a quality finish.

The striker received the ball 30 yards out from Ashley Young and took on the Bulgarian defenders before unleashing a powerful 12-yard strike past goalkeeper Todor Todorov.

Despite their three-goal aggregate deficit, Lovech continued to play neat, attractive football - but failed to create any significant goal-scoring chances.

Villa’s Bulgaria international Stiliyan Petrov - handed the captain’s armband in Laursen’s absence - headed just over the bar from 12 yards with the last chance of the first half.

But the visitors regained parity after referee Tony Chapron pointed to the penalty spot when Carlos Cuellar was adjudged to have brought down Wellington da Silva inside the box.

Frenchman Niflore stepped up and slotted the ball past Brad Friedel to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.

But despite their early second-half fillip, Lovech failed to conjure any further goal-scoring opportunities as Villa took control of the final half hour.

And Young, so impressive for Villa this season, had the final opportunity to give Villa victory, but the striker sent his 20-yard free-kick over the bar on 81 minutes.

*Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill:*

“I couldn’t be more delighted, especially for the supporters, who can look forward to European evenings at Villa Park.

“All the work we have put in since July has paid dividends. Playing European football has an edge, it’s a great thing for the young players.”

“Everybody seems to be OK (ahead of the Premier League game against Chelsea on Sunday), there are a couple of knocks and bruises but no-one is complaining.”

*Aston Villa:* Friedel, Young, Knight, Cuellar, Shorey, Routledge, Petrov, Salifou, Young (Osbourne 85), Harewood, Milner.
Subs not used: Guzan, Laursen, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Reo-Coker, Gardner.
*Goals:*Harewood 27.

*Litex Lovech:* Todorov, Manolev, Popov (Dos Santos 85), Zanev, Barthe, Berberovic, Nikolov, Wellington (Angelov 78), Dudu (Tsvetanov 46), Sandrinho, Niflore.Subs not used: Golubovic, Acedo, Bibishkov, Tsvetkov.
*Booked:* Popov, Zanev.
*Goals:* Niflore pen 53.

*Att:* 27,230
*Ref:* Tony Chapron.
*BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match:* Villa’s Ashley Young with 7.24 (on 90 minutes).