Game | #3361 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #37 |

Manager Game | #37 |

Saturday, 25 January 1975

FA Cup | 4th Round | Home | Sheffield United | Villa Park | 35,881 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 4-1 |

Last 5 Games | WDWWW |

Scorers | Keith Leonard | 2 | Ray Graydon | 1 | Chris Nicholl | 1 |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

D Chris Nicholl | GOAL |

LB Charlie Aitken |

LB Bobby McDonald |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Brian Little |

F Keith Leonard | GOAL | GOAL |

Unused Substitute |

M Leighton Phillips |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.09 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.76 |

Youngest Player | LB Bobby McDonald | 19.80 |

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 27 January 1975*

Top-form Villa crown eight days' success


Aston Villa 4, Sheffield United 1

Fourth in the Second Division; the League Cup final: the fifth round of the FA Cup—three victories in eight days produced this happy situation for Aston Villa.. By any standards Ron Saunders has had a successful start as their manager. His main aim is still promotion but memories are of the FA Cup and this victory was all the more commendable because It came only three days after the tiring League Cup semi-final victory over Chester. Sheffield seemed to believe that Villa would be easy to knock out because of the effects of that game clearly they were ill-advlsd,


Not only did Villa look more skilful, more aggressive and better prepared, they looked fitter. I have reported football in Birmingham for close on six years and I have never seen Villa play as well. There were some who suggested that the gulf between the teams existed because United played badly. They did, but only because Villa never allowed them to play well. The pressure was intense from the beginning. Even when Tony Field scored United's goal it was a deflection. There is an old saying that "Cup ties are for players." United's players had only the FA Cup at which to tilt this season - they would have tried if they had been allowed to.


Their manager Ken Furphy asked afterwards why e• substituted Micky Speight for Len Badger a forward for a right back said: "I could have taken off any one of nine, we were outplayed."


He also suggested that while Villa's style was particularly suited to Cup ties it was not particularly attractive to watch. Nonsense. Villa humiliated a team well placed in the First Division and played entertainingly at the same time. They may not always do so but they did on Saturday.


Saunders said: We outplayed them physically, tactically and skilfully - There's not much left after that. Part of Villa's reason for not getting promotion when they reached the League Cup Final in 1971 was that their form slipped in the weeks between the semi-final and Wembley. It will need a good performance at Notts County next Saturday to make sure. but Villa's players showed on Saturday that they are able to concentrate on the task in hand.




The goals were shared between Keith Leonard with two, making it four in the last two games, Chris Nicholl and Ray Graydon with one each. But the striker who did not score was probably Villa's best. player. The past criticisms of Brian Little have been about his work rate. On Saturday he must have made about 20 runs into space as well as carrying the ball and tackling back. lie was kicked up in the air more than once but kept twisting and turning at United's defence. If there was a flatness about the celebrations It was explained by the draw for the fifth round. Ipswich at Portman Road is no reward for such an enthralling performance. But there was Oxford's victory against Norwich in the League which put Villa still a point behind their League Cup Final opponents but now with a game in hand.


Which should be consolation.