Season | 2005-06 |
Matchday | #16 |
League Game | #14 |
Premier League Match-week | #14 |
Manager Game | #102 |
Saturday, 26 November 2005
Premier League | Home | Charlton Athletic | Villa Park | 30,023 |
Manager | David O’Leary |
KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Mark Clattenburg |
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Score | 1-0 |
FT Result | Won |
Last 5 Games | LWLWW |
Scorers | Steven Davis | 69’ |
League Position | 15th | - |
Line Up |
GK Thomas Sörensen |
LB Aaron Hughes |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Liam Ridgewell |
M Gareth Barry |
M Steven Davis | GOAL | 69' |
M Gavin McCann |
W James Milner | BOOKED | 90' |
F Kevin Phillips |
F Milan Baroš | BOOKED | 75' | SUB OFF | 90' |
F Luke Moore for F Milan Baroš | 90’ |
Unused Substitutes |
FB Jlloyd Samuel
GK Stuart Taylor
M Lee Hendrie
M Eirik Bakke
Yellow | Milan Baroš | 75’ |
Yellow | James Milner | 90’ |
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 25.69 |
Oldest Player | F Kevin Phillips | 32.44 |
Youngest Player | W James Milner | 19.91 |
Monday, 28 November 2005
Match report by Russell Thomas
#16 Villa fail to kid fans with successive wins
It is not yet Christmas - when David O’Leary wants his team to be judged - but Aston Villa are already in wonderland. The faithful enjoyed a rare home victory and must have been pleasantly surprised to hear later that their team had produced “some of our best football of the season”.
That was the judgment delivered by Villa’s assistant manager Roy Aitken, who warmed up for a rare meet-the-media role by taking the lead in the technical area, standing and cajoling Villa throughout. O’Leary, occasionally stepping forward with a few words of advice, took a more magisterial view.
Perhaps it was a good occasion to stay in the background. Villa’s manager went into the game, according to William Hill, as leader in the Premiership sack stakes. And when the chairman’s face briefly lit up the giant screens - a plug for Deadly Doug, his latest book - jeers rang out from the frozen masses in the Holte End. Only Steven Davis’ crushing volley, utterly out of context in this game, banished rising home frustration.
After victory at Sunderland O’Leary can see two successive Premiership wins as a turning point - after all, Villa had not managed that for a year. It is now time to turn sights upwards, away from the danger zone and towards a top-half position - where Villa have not been since winning their last home game, back in August.
Alan Curbishley wants his August form back. Charlton, after their blazing four-win opening, have now suffered the reverse sequence, a bad case of winter burn out. Curbishley dropped Danny Murphy and Dennis Rommedahl here.
“If I can leave Murphy out, I can leave anyone out,” said the manager. “That’s the message - but they didn’t get the message today.” It appears they will this week.
“It was a real poor performance,” said Curbishley. “Murphy, Rommedahl and others have to do what they were doing earlier in the season. I love my players to death but I’m not standing for a couple of performances they’ve put in. I don’t care who they are.”
He did not even protest about Villa’s winner, when Stephan Andersen looked to be obstructed by Kevin Phillips, before Milan Baros struck the bar and, eventually, Davis volleyed home from just inside the area. The goalkeeper received the yellow for dissent but his general error-prone performance must have made Curbishley see red.
The second half was a signal to open the fattest textbook of blunders, not that the first represented a thin volume. The referee deserves a good wigging, too. Mark Clattenburg bungled badly in refusing Baros a penalty when blatantly body checked in the area by Talal El Karkouri. Baros complained at length but not at all when booked, correctly, for a later dive.
Earlier James Milner sent a cross - or was it a shot? - for a throw-in, Gareth Barry sent a studied free-kick well over and Wilfred Bouma boomed one even higher into the Holte End. Cue the loudest jeers of the day. Liam Ridgewell, supporting his strikers, then
took a Phillips shot full in the face before blocking a Barry cross. No one could possibly have seen Davis’s cracker coming.
Ridgewell was back in his own area to take an Alexei Smertin drive in the face, Charlton’s only genuine attempt other than Darren Bent’s shot that ran just past the far post almost half an hour earlier. Aitken remarked that the young centre back and the 20-year-old Davis, now top scorer, “are the ones who have been consistent all season”.
The midfielder has a big future, according to Aitken. “He’s such a talented lad and such a hard worker. That’s what separates players.”
*Man of the match: Gavin McCann*
The Villa midfielder provided a solidity and strength in the centre to complement the work of the young Steven Davis.
*Best moment:* Receiving a difficult, strongly driven ball and stunning his pass at an oblique angle to one of his Villa colleagues - a skill that is rarely seen in English football.