Season | 2009-10 |
Matchday | #49 |
League Game | #35 |
Premier League Match-week | #35 |
Manager Game | #187 |
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Premier League | Away | Hull City | KC Stadium | 23,842 |
Manager | Martin O’Neill
KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Mike Dean |
HT Score | 1-0 |
FT Score | 2-0 |
FT Result | Won |
Last 5 Games | WLDWW |
Scorers | Gabby Agbonlahor | 13’ | James Milner | 76’ pen |
Assists | John Carew | 13’ |
League Position | 6th | - |
Line Up |
GK Brad Friedel |
LB Stephen Warnock |
CB James Collins |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
CB Richard Dunne |
M Stiliyan Petrov | BOOKED | 83' | SUB OFF | 84' |
W Ashley Young |
W Stewart Downing |
W James Milner | GOAL | 76' | BOOKED | 89' |
CF John Carew | ASSIST | 13' | SUB OFF | 90' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor | GOAL | 13' |
M Steve Sidwell for M Stiliyan Petrov | 84’ |
CF Emile Heskey for CF John Carew | 90’ |
Unused Substitutes |
RB Habib Beye
F Nathan Delfouneso
GK Brad Guzan
M Nigel Reo-Coker
RB Luke Young
Yellow | Stiliyan Petrov | 83’ |
Yellow | James Milner | 89’ |
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 28.47 |
Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 38.95 |
Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 23.54 |
CB Curtis Davies |
M Fabian Delph |
Match Stats |
Possession F | 52
Possession A | 48
Shots F | 11
Shots A | 14
Shots on Target F | 5
Shots on Target A | 10
Corners F | 9
Corners A | 11
Fouls F | 7
Fouls A | 8
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
*Aston Villa produced an accomplished display to keep alive their hopes of finishing fourth and severely dent Hull’s bid to avoid relegation.*
Gabriel Agbonlahor fired Villa into a deserved lead with a fine finish after some woeful defending from the hosts.
A Kevin Kilbane shot was cleared off the line and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink suffered a serious-looking head injury.
The hosts’ misery was compounded when James Milner scored from the spot after being tripped by George Boateng.
Hesselink’s injury meant 10 minutes of added time were played at the end, but Hull bore a look of total dejection and showed
minimal desire to launch a late comeback.
They sit three points adrift of safety with three games remaining, but their goal difference is significantly inferior to that of West Ham in 17th and a return to the Championship after two seasons in the Premier League looks increasingly likely.
The Tigers seemed to show a remarkable lack of fight in the closing stages and that was magnified by a hungry and energetic performance from their opponents.
Villa are back to within three points of fourth-placed Tottenham in the race for the final Champions League spot, and on this evidence there is every chance of them winning their final three games to remain in contention.
They have now won each of their last seven league and cup matches against Hull without conceding a goal and their latest victory was richly deserved.
Eyebrows were raised when Hull boss Iain Dowie opted to stick with the 4-5-1 formation deployed in Saturday’s goalless draw at Birmingham.
Dowie argued there was no point playing two men up front when his strikers had scored only nine goals between them all season.
But that view looked questionable as Villa dominated possession early on, flooding forward safe in the knowledge that lone-striker Hesselink was the only Hull player in an advanced position.
Stiliyan Petrov, Milner and Ashley Young were all roaming around the midfield with time and space, working the ball to Agbonlahor and John Carew at every opportunity.
It came as no surprise that Villa opened the scoring and the calamitous nature of the goal went some way to explaining why Hull are entrenched in a relegation dogfight for the second successive season.
Petrov clipped a hopeful pass upfield that the hosts had three chances to clear, but Ibrahima Sonko, Steven Mouyokolo and Paul McShane all failed.
The ball ricocheted to Agbonlahor, who McShane had left unattended, and the 23-year-old rifled an unstoppable high finish past Matt Duke.
Dowie’s men eventually settled into a tidy rhythm and no sooner had they started to assert themselves on the match, then they should have equalised.
Brad Friedel made a fine double-save to deny Hesselink and Kilbane, who got to the rebound but his poorly-directed shot was deflected over by James Collins with the goal gaping.
It was a chance that Hull could not afford to squander and their evening went from bad to worse after the break when Hesselink was knocked unconscious by a clash of heads with Richard Dunne.
Fortunately, the Dutchman later regained consciousness but with his withdrawal went Hull’s threat.
Villa went in search of a second goal and it duly arrived after Carew raced half the length of the pitch before offloading to Milner inside the penalty area.
The England midfielder looked to cut inside but was felled by Boateng’s clumsy challenge and picked himself up to send Duke the wrong way from the spot.
Hull must now beat Sunderland at the KC Stadium on Saturday to realistically stand any hope of surviving the drop, while Villa can retain aspirations of top-four finish with victory over local rivals Birmingham at Villa Park on Sunday.
*Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill:*
“We’re in the mix. We’re going for everything and guaranteed nothing. We’re not even guaranteed to finish eighth in the league at this minute.
“We’ve gone above Liverpool with three games to go and that’s pretty exceptional. But where I’ve been pleased with the team is they’ve responded fantastically to the defeat at Stamford Bridge.
“We’ve come back and taken 10 out of the last 12 points. I think the team has shown a great deal of character all season and I think that was epitomised tonight.
“It was a very professional performance, and I thought we played very well, but at 1-0 the game’s still in the balance and it was good to get the second goal, and we saw it through reasonably comfortably.”
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Aston Villa still dreaming of Europe as Hull sink deeper into the mire
Iain Dowie frequently urges his players to read self-improvement books – Chicken Soup for the Soul remains a favourite – but very soon the only manual Hull’s squad may require is a guide to Championship grounds.
On a night when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was carried from the pitch unconscious, Dowie’s team saw their grip on the Premier League loosened by opponents eyeing European horizons.
Depending on West Ham’s result at home to Wigan, it is now conceivable that, should they fail to beat Sunderland here on Saturday, Hull could be effectively relegated this weekend.
“We’ve outplayed Villa everywhere except where it matters and we’ve conceded two joke goals,” said Dowie, whose side began poorly but, despite some kamikaze defending, improved after he revamped his formation. “Sunderland is a must-win game now.”
A fine goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor followed by a James Milner penalty proved sufficient to keep Aston Villa’s faint hopes of Champions League qualification alive in a game where Martin O’Neill’s almost certainly Europa League bound side were rarely fully stretched – or at their best. Villa moved above Liverpool into sixth place but their manager did not seem overly optimistic about finishing the campaign in fourth position.
“We’re in the mix but we’re not guaranteed anything,” said O’Neill, who appears in a strange mood at present. “We might not even finish eighth.”
Adam Pearson, the Hull chairman, believes his predecessor, Paul Duffen, is partly responsible for the club’s position. “In my personal opinion the decisions made by Mr Duffen in the summer of 2008 and, even more so, in 2009 were extremely short-sighted and lacking in business sense and specific football knowledge,” wrote Pearson in the programme. “He seems to have had no understanding of the industry, Hull City AFC or the city of Hull itself.”
So far so damning but the criticism became even more coruscating: “Grounding core beliefs were lost,” added Pearson. “The safety valve of pragmatic realism was cut off and the club under Mr Duffen spent money it didn’t have … in my personal view it is poor business sense and a lack of moral responsibility. Just under £6m spent on agent fees in two years is morally abhorrent. A wage bill of just under £40m when the club turnover is £50m in the Premier League. The maths don’t add up.”
Hull were soon in deficit on the pitch. A trio of hapless attempted clearances by Dowie’s players, the last from Paul McShane, sent the ball ricocheting, bagatelle style, around the box. Finally, having cannoned off John Carew, it fell to Agbonlahor wide on the left and, from a tight angle, he expertly directed a right-foot shot over Matt Duke and into the top corner. “A fantastic finish,” said O’Neill.
Agbonlahor’s 16th goal of the season prompted some concerted rejigging on Dowie’s part, Hull’s manager switching his formation from an originally cagey 4-3-2-1 to a less risk-averse 4-1-3-2 which had the added benefit of allowing a now deeper-lying Jimmy Bullard to use his passing ability to better effect.
As the tension rose, home tempers frayed and Stephen Warnock accused Craig Fagan of elbowing him as they challenged for a high ball. Incandescent, Ashley Young steamed towards Fagan before McShane, comically, intervened.
When the dust finally settled, Hull looked re-invigorated and after George Boateng, by now the midfield anchor, won possession impressively, Brad Friedel was required to save well with his legs from Vennegoor of Hesselink. The rebound fell to Kevin Kilbane but, much to his chagrin, the Irishman then saw two strikes thwarted by first Friedel and then James Collins.
Shortly before Vennegoor of Hesselink’s injury Hull forced a series of throws and corners. Once play resumed though Villa remembered they craved European vistas and threatened to score a second when McShane’s shocking back-pass sent Carew racing clear on goal only to be denied by Duke. Hull’s keeper then did superbly to tip an Agbonlahor shot over the bar.
Sensing the Championship beckoning, Bullard tried, desperately, to drive his team-mates forward but too often found himself second-guessed by James Milner and Stilian Petrov.
Too many home players were losing their heads – Fagan was booked for brutally bodychecking Young – and Villa won a penalty when Boateng tripped Milner and the midfielder himself stepped forward to convert it in style.
“We were reasonably comfortable,” said O’Neill. “It was an important win.” For Hull City it was a potentially disastrous defeat.