Game #4740

Season | 2001-02 |

Matchday | #34 |

League Game | #23 |
Premier League Match-week | #22 |  

Manager Game | #190 |

Monday, 21 January 2002

Premier League | Away | Charlton Athletic | The Valley | 25,681 | 

Game Summary

Manager | John Gregory | 

KO | 20.00 |
Referee | Rob Styles | 

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

FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | DDLWW | 

Scorers | Darius Vassell | 8’ | Juan Pablo Ángel | 42’ |
Assists | Jlloyd Samuel | 8’ | George Boateng | 42’ |

League Position | 7th | - |

Line Up |

GK Peter Schmeichel | 
FB Mark Delaney | 
FB Jlloyd Samuel | 
ASSIST | 8' |
LB Steve Staunton | 
CB Olof Mellberg | 
M Mustapha Hadji | 
M George Boateng | 
ASSIST | 42' |
M Paul Merson | 
M Lee Hendrie | 
SUB OFF | 88' |
F Darius Vassell | GOAL | 8' |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | GOAL | 42' | BOOKED | 87' |

Substitutes |

M Gareth Barry for M Lee Hendrie | 88’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Peter Enckelman
M Steve Stone
W David Ginola
F Boško Balaban

Cards | 

 Yellow | Juan Pablo Ángel | 87’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.75 | 

Oldest Player | GK Peter Schmeichel | 38.20 |

Youngest Player | FB Jlloyd Samuel | 20.83 |

 On this day 22 January, 2002 

John Gregory’s final game in charge of Villa came with this win away at the Valley. 

Gregory had taken Villa on a number of occasions to the top of the Premier League and always wanted that extra player to drive Villa on to the title - something that was never forthcoming from the Chairman. Indeed Gregory’s early record as Villa boss saw him eclipse all his predecessors but a raft of dressing room fall outs, odd over priced signings and an apparently toxic relationship with the Chairman took the shine off Gregory’s reign and stymied his potential. ​

Still however Gregory is looked on with great affection and his era can be reasonably viewed as the cross-over from club to player power and his reaction to the at times mutinous attitude of these well paid sports people wasn’t a recipe for dressing room harmony.​

The likes of Yorke, Southgate, Ehiogu and James are just a few of the names whose careers were created and or rescued by Villa only for them to bite the hands that fed them. Unsurprisingly the combustible Gregory gave such attitudes and players short shrift. Overall Gregory won 43% of his games in charge, losing 29% of his 190 eventful games as Villa boss and in a different era may have achieved significantly more.

Match Report

The Guardian

Tuesday, 22 January, 2002

Match report by Martin Thorpe

Angel helps take the heat off Gregory

John Gregory’s face rarely loses its look of seriousness but Aston Villa’s manager could allow himself a small smile last night as his side moved back into contention for a European place. 

Villa’s second successive Premiership win will act as a timely valve to release some of the growing pressure that Gregory has been under since his team slipped off the top of the Premiership in October. They then embarked on a run of only two victories in 14 games before their recent improvement. 

Much of the supporters’ anger at the situation has been directed at the perceived parsimony of the chairman Doug Ellis but the manager knows that, if he does not deliver European qualification at the very least this season, it will be his job on the line. 

With Villa out of both cups, the league offers the only hope. Otherwise it is the dreaded InterToto again. 

Gregory is confident it will not come to that. “We’ve seen a couple of sides in the top five slip up, so nothing’s beyond us,” he said. “There’s been a lot of doom and gloom surrounding our club but after going out of the FA Cup we sat down and looked at the situation and said there are 17 games left and we are looking for 10 wins. We’ve got two in two now, so things are looking pretty healthy.” 

Villa’s movement and pace last night were too much for Charlton who, after going in two goals down by half-time, got their act together only towards the end of the game. 

Although Villa deserved their victory they did benefit from a couple of strokes of luck. Their first goal came via a fluky deflection and another referee might have sent off their defender J Lloyd Samuel for a two-footed tackle that forced Luke Young to hobble off. 

But Alan Curbishley was not looking for excuses. “We were second best all over the park in the first half,” he said. “We were outfought.” 

Villa took the lead on eight minutes. Charlton’s Mark Fish mishit a pass to the overlapping left-back Samuel, who quickly found Darius Vassell. His shot deflected off the Charlton defender Jorge Costa and looped over the stranded Dean Kiely. 

Sven-Goran Eriksson had presented the Charlton keeper with a silver salver before kick-off to mark 500 senior appearances. The goal removed some of the shine. 

The England coach was here to check on the progress of the Charlton left-back Chris Powell and the Villa youngsters Vassell and Lee Hendrie. Certainly the first half flowed in the right direction to test the strengths of all three. 

Charlton were regularly under the cosh and it was easy to see how they managed to lose 4-1 at Blackburn in their last outing. Before that they had lost only once in eight league games. 

Vassell twice went close before Villa extended their lead when Juan Pablo Angel, released down the right by George Boateng, cut into the area and fired a precise low shot past Kiely. It was his 14th goal of the season. 

Charlton’s only real chance of the first half fell to Graham Stuart but he sliced wide. Curbishley’s half-time blast woke up his side. But, though John Robinson and Jason Euell went close, Villa continued to threaten on the break. But Charlton made the running towards the end. Stuart went close and the substitute Kevin Lisbie hit the side-netting before finally winning a penalty on 88 minutes when he was brought down by a typical forward’s challenge by Angel. 

Stuart needed two attempts to score but the goal came too late for Charlton. For Villa, there was also the bonus of notching their first win in London in 10 visits.