Game #4844

Season | 2003-04 |

Matchday | #42 |
League Game | #35 |
Premier League Match-week | #33 |  
Manager Game | #42 |
Saturday, 24 April 2004
Premier League | Away | Middlesbrough | Riverside Stadium | 31,322 | 

Game Summary

Manager | David O’Leary | 

KO | 20.00 |
Referee | Graham Barber | 
HT Score | 1-1 |

FT Score | 2-1 |
FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | DDWDW | 

Scorers | Gareth Barry | 45’ | Peter Crouch | 89’ |
Assists | Thomas Hitzlsperger | 45’ |

League Position | 6th | - |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen |
RB Ulises de la Cruz |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Ronny Johnsen |
FB Jlloyd Samuel |
M Gareth Barry |
BOOKED | 13' | GOAL | 45' | SUB OFF | 53' |
M Gavin McCann |
M Thomas Hitzlsperger | 
ASSIST | 45' |
W Nolberto Solano | SENT OFF | 57' |
F Darius Vassell | SUB OFF | 58' |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | SUB OFF | 74' |

Substitutes |

W Peter Whittingham for M Gareth Barry | 53’ | 
RB Mark Delaney  for F Darius Vassell | 58’ | 

CF Peter Crouch GOAL | 89' | for CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 74’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

GK Stefan Postma 
CB Liam Ridgewell

Cards | 

 Yellow | Gareth Barry | 13’ |
 Red | Nolberto Solano | 57’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.87 | 

Oldest Player | CB Ronny Johnsen | 34.90 |

Youngest Player | M Thomas Hitzlsperger | 22.07 |

Match Report 

BBC Sport

Saturday, 24 April, 2004

Aston Villa maintained their push for a Champions League spot with a last-minute goal from Peter Crouch.

The substitute slotted from close range to give Villa’s 10-men a shock win following Nolberto Solano’s second-half sending off for violent conduct. 

Boro opened the scoring when Gaizka Mendieta played in Joseph-Desire Job who fired in a fierce shot. 

But Gareth Barry levelled with a header from a Thomas Hitzelsperger free-kick before Crouch’s injury time winner. 


The visitors had made most of the early running in the first half, a stark contrast to the backs-to-the-wall way in which they played the majority of the second. 

Darius Vassell outpaced former Villain Ugo Ehiogu only to be denied by Mark Schwarzer and Hitzelsperger shot into the side netting from 15 yards. 

But having played a supporting role for the first 25 minutes, Middlesbrough suddenly took centre stage, with Mendieta in the spotlight. The Spaniard played in both Massimo Macarone and Job in quick succession only to see their efforts stopped by the alert Scandinavian pair of Thomas Sorensen and Olof Mellberg. 

Minutes later it was third time lucky for the influential Mendieta when he threaded a ball through to Job in the box and the Cameroonian striker left Sorensen with no chance. 

But the Boro fans had barely stopped celebrating before Villa were level in first-half stoppage time, Hitzelsperger’s inswinging free-kick from the right, following a Franck Queudrue foul on Solano, being glanced in by Barry. 

But after the break Boro began to dominate proceedings and their hopes of a fifth successive home win were helped by Solano’s second-half sending off. 

The Peruvian tangled with George Boateng, and when the former Villa player went down, referee Barber had no option but to wield the red card. 

Vassell made way for Mark Delaney and Villa focused on shutting up shop and returning to the Midlands with a point. 

But just when it seemed as if their stubborn defence would steal the plaudits for stopping all that Boro could create, Crouch crept in and stole all three points. Schwarzer could only parry Ulises De La Cruz’s late shot and the striker was on hand to score. 

Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren enjoyed the build up to the match with a training break in Malaga and can rest easy for the rest of the season with a return ticket to Europe assured courtesy of the club’s Carling Cup win. 

David O’Leary, who has never failed to qualify for Europe in his short managerial career, could be joining him with Villa occupying a Uefa Cup spot. 

But if his side can enjoy more luck along these lines late in the season, fourth place and a Champions League berth will be firmly in their sights. 

*Middlesbrough:*Schwarzer, Mills (Nemeth 83), Ehiogu, Riggott, Queudrue (Downing 87), Mendieta, Boateng, Zenden, Juninho Paulista, Maccarone, Job.

Subs Not Used: Greening, Cooper, Jones.


*Aston Villa:*Sorensen, De la Cruz, Mellberg, Johnsen, Samuel, Solano, Hitzlsperger, McCann, Barry (Whittingham 53), Vassell (Delaney 58), Angel (Crouch 74).

Subs Not Used: Ridgewell, Postma.

*Sent Off:*Solano (57).


*Attendance:* 31,322. 

*Referee:* G Barber (Hertfordshire).