Game #5073 

Season | 2009-10 |

Matchday | #2 |
Manager Game | #140 |
Thursday, 20 August 2009
UEFA Europa League | Qualifying Play Off 1st Leg | Away | SK Rapid Wien | Gerhard Hanappi Stadion, Vienna | 17,800 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 18.15 |
Referee | Alexandru Dan Tudor | 

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

FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | LDWLL | 

Line Up |

GK Brad Guzan |
RB Habib Beye |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
CB Curtis Davies |
SUB OFF | 80' |
LB Nicky Shorey |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
M Craig Gardner |
SUB OFF | 55' | 
M Steve Sidwell | BOOKED | 41' |
W James Milner |
W Ashley Young |
CF Emile Heskey |

Substitutes |

F Gabby Agbonlahor for M Craig Gardner | 55’ | 
D Shane Lowry
DEBUT | for CB Curtis Davies | 80’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Brad Friedel
M Fabian Delph
M Stiliyan Petrov
W Marc Albrighton
F Nathan Delfouneso

Cards |

 Yellow | Steve Sidwell | 41’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.61 | 

Oldest Player | RB Habib Beye | 32.61 |

Youngest Player | M Craig Gardner | 22.75 |

On this day 20 August 2009

Defender Shane Lowry made his Villa debut aged 20 after joining from ECU Joondalup in Australia in February 2005 at the age of 15.

Match Report

The Daily Telegraph

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Aston Villa gauged their success last season in large part by qualification to the Europa League, but the chances of their making it even as far as the group stages this time around was thrown into doubt on Thursday night after they lost their first leg of the final stages of qualifying against Rapid Vienna.

It leaves them nought for two this season, and with what Martin O’Neill understatedly described as “a big game” to look forward to at Villa Park in six days time.

The Villa manager had promised changes from the side that started and played so poorly against Wigan at the weekend, and he made four in total, exchanging his captain Stiliyan Petrov with Nigel Reo-Coker being the most significant. He tinkered with the formation too, Villa playing five across the midfield for the first time since February. Ultimately, they were changes that backfired.

This was not a night to be a Villa supporter, crowbared into the corner of a packed-out Gerhard Hanappi stadium. Armed with loudhailers, microphones and never-ending enthusiasm, bare-chested supporters who had taken it upon themselves to MC for the night whipped their fellow fans into a ferment. The travelling supporters - less than 300 of them - didn’t stand a chance.

In fact, they spent most of the opening 15 minutes with their hands held in front of their eyes, ostensibly shading themselves from the sun which was sinking behind the stadium, although it could just as easily have been because they didn’t want to see what was happening before them.

They wouldn’t have believed their eyes anyway, not when Rapid scored in under a minute. Christopher Drazan crossed from the left, Curtis Davies slipped - so cruel - and Nikica Jelavic was left in the middle of the penalty area with a free header to guide past a gawping Brad Guzan. Villa hadn’t touched the ball. Only 16 seconds had elapsed. They don’t call them Rapid for nothing.

O’Neill had accused his side of lacking fight at the weekend, and so this was the perfect opportunity to show their manager that they are not lacking in desire, for Reo-Coker to play the captaincy card and get his team-mates going. With their game-plan in tatters, off they tore in lung-bursting runs, bursting to eradicate the embarrassment. Ashley Young gave James Milner a tongue-lashing for not being quicker, more aggressive. “We gave a really good response when we went behind,” O’Neill said.

The only problem was that it had little effect. The passing in midfield was often poor, while defensively Habib Beye was done over by Drazan too often to credit, and even though the former Newcastle right-back received some words of wisdom from Guzan as they walked off the pitch at the break, he went missing again with a little over 20 minutes to go, and Guzan did well to save a low effort from the excellent Drazan.

The target had always been to score an away goal. Emile Heskey had a successful pre-season, turning into something of a goal machine out in Spain, but his new-found talent was not on show last night. It wasn’t until the 63rd minute that those unhappy Villa supporters saw their first moment of inspiration, as Young swivelled, and sent a left-footed cross fizzing into the area, but Davies’ header went over.

Time slipped by without any more chances, then the notorious Rapidviertelstunde began, the home fans marking the final 15 minutes of the match with resounding, rhythmic clapping that shook the stadium as it has done for near on 90 years. Villa, like their supporters, were drowned out. Even so, they are not yet down and out.

*Match details*

*Rapid Vienna*(4-4-2): Payer; Dober, Jovanovic, Patocka, Katzer; Hofmann, Pehlivan, Heikkinen, Drazan (Boskovic, 82); Konrad (Trimmel, 62), Jelavic.

*Subs:* Hedl, Thonhofer, Kulovits, Eder, Soma.

*Aston Villa*(4-5-1): Guzan; Beye, Cuellar, Davies (Lowry, 81), Shorey; Milner, Gardner (Agbonlahor, 55), Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Young; Heskey.*


Subs:* Friedel, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph, Petrov.


*Referee:*A Tudor (Romania).