Game #4855

Season | 2004-05 |

Matchday | #8 |
League Game | #7 |
Premier League Match-week | #7 |  
Manager Game | #53 |
Saturday, 25 September 2004
Premier League | Home | Crystal Palace | Villa Park | 34,843 |  

Game Summary

Manager | David O’Leary | 

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Mark Clattenburg | 
HT Score | 1-1 |
FT Score | 1-1 |
FT Result | Drew |
Last 5 Games | WDDWD | 

Scorers | Lee Hendrie | 36’ | 
Assists | Juan Pablo Ángel | 36 |

League Position | 9th | -2 |

Line Up |

GK Thomas Sörensen |
RB Mark Delaney | 
BOOKED | 88' |
RB Ulises de la Cruz |
FB Jlloyd Samuel |
CB Olof Mellberg |
M Gareth Barry |
 SUB OFF | 81' |
M Lee Hendrie | BOOKED | 37' | GOAL | 36' | SUB OFF | 55' |
M Gavin McCann |
W Nolberto Solano |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 
ASSIST | 36' | 
F Darius Vassell | SUB OFF | 61' |

Substitutes |

M Thomas Hitzlsperger for M Lee Hendrie | 55’ | 
CF Carlton Cole for F Darius Vassell | 61’ | 
W Peter Whittingham for M Gareth Barry | 81’ |  

Unused Substitutes |

GK Stefan Postma 
M Mathieu Berson

Cards | 

 Yellow | Lee Hendrie | 37’ |

 Yellow | Mark Delaney | 88’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.10 | 

Oldest Player | RB Ulises de la Cruz | 30.15 |

Youngest Player | FB Jlloyd Samuel | 23.51 |

Match Report

The Guardian

Monday, 27 September, 2004

Match report by Stuart James


Dowie commits to pursuit of Palace’s future perfect

Much has been made of Iain Dowie’s holistic beliefs, but this battling performance only confirmed that Crystal Palace’s Premiership survival rests largely on the shoulders of one man. Andy Johnson, employed as a lone striker, tormented Villa’s defence throughout, his impressive display capped by a first-half strike which helped to end a run of five successive league defeats. 

Palace received another fillip with the announcement yesterday that Dowie has signed a new four-year contract. This is expected to prompt Johnson to sign a five-year deal making him the club’s highest-paid player. On Saturday he justified the reward. 

Last season Johnson’s goals propelled Palace to the play-offs; this year his task is to keep the club afloat. “If the wee man can get us 15, 16, 17 goals we have got a chance. He’s a big part of what we do,” said Palace’s midfielder Michael Hughes. 

The plaudits were not confined to the visitors’ dressing room. “He’s a tough, game little guy and he did excellent for them,” said Aston Villa’s manager David O’Leary. “I think [Olof] Mellberg is a really good player and he gave him a really hard time today.” 

That much was evident from the sixth minute when Johnson outpaced the Sweden international before drilling a left-foot shot across Thomas Sorensen. It was his fourth Premiership goal of the season - double the number his team-mates have contributed. “We need some goals from midfield,” admitted Dowie. 

Palace left the field to a standing ovation from their supporters, though their joy at holding a lacklustre Villa side will be tempered by the realisation that this could have been a first Premiership win. Palace had Villa on the back foot from the third minute. Wayne Routledge scampered forward before prodding the ball past Sorensen, only for Mellberg to clear from the goal-line. 

Three minutes later Johnson, who received the customary welcome granted former Birmingham City players in these parts, fired Palace in front. His over-zealous celebration brought a verbal warning from Mark Clattenburg, which made the referee’s decision to book Lee Hendrie for a similar offence all the more difficult to understand. 

Hendrie has endured a difficult week, with reports about the break-up of his marriage, but he produced a goal of sublime quality. A clever nutmeg on Ben Watson was followed by a 25-yard curling shot into the top right-hand corner. 

However, it was the visitors who looked more likely to score again. Swift counter-attacks presented chances to Hughes and Watson, both denied by Sorensen. 

Nevertheless a point at Villa was an excellent riposte to the critics who have ridiculed Palace’s Premiership status. “If that was Alex Ferguson or Arsène Wenger you would take a note of it,” said Dowie.