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Game #3368

Saturday, 10 January 1976

Attendance: 24,501

Drew

Division One

13th= (-1)

Arsenal

WLDLD

Highbury

Villa earn an away point in an attritional draw at Highbury as Chris Nicholl, injured midway through the first half, stays on to help Ron Saunders' side claim a first clean sheet since October.

Arsenal

0-0

Aston Villa

Assist(s) | None

KEY MAN

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MATCH TIMELINE

HT Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa
FT Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

Ron Saunders' Villa return to League competition and make it eight wins, eight draws and nine defeats in twenty five League games following their return to the top flight. Meanwhile, Alan Peters made his one and only appearance in the Villa squad aged 17 before moving on to Hereford United.

Aston Villa

Arsenal

League Champions: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
FA Cup Winners: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
League Cup Winners: โŒ
Last Trophy: 1970โ€“71

FIXTURE HISTORY

Arsenal

Previous 5 vs. Arsenal: | ๐ŸŸฅ | ๐ŸŸฅ | ๐ŸŸจ | ๐ŸŸฉ | ๐ŸŸฉ |

FIXTURE DETAILS

Season | 1975-76 |
Matchday | #31 |
League Match | #25 |
Manager Game | #86 |
Saturday, 10 January 1976

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Ron Saunders |
Referee | Tom Reynolds, Bratton Westbury |
FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 0-0 |
Last 5 Games | WLDLD |

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Tom Reynolds | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ | Swansea, 1968-1979
Previous 5:
Last Match:
Cards: None

CARDS

Villa

None

Arsenal

None

Tom Reynolds

TEAM NEWS

Charlie Aitken and Dennis Mortimer replace Ray Graydon and John Deehan.

TEAM STATS

Starting XI Average Age
| 25.97 |

Oldest Player |
CB Charlie Aitken | 33.72 |

Youngest Player |
CF Andy Gray | 20.13 |

MANAGER

MANAGER

Ron Saunders

Aston Villa

GK John Burridge |
LB Charlie Aitken |
FB John Robson |
RB John Gidman |
CB Chris Nicholl |
CB Ian Ross |
M Dennis Mortimer |
M Leighton Phillips |
M Chico Hamilton |
W Frank Carrodus |
CF Andy Gray |

Arsenal

Rimmer (ex), Oโ€™Leary, Powling, Mancini, Rice, Nelson, Armstrong, Brady, Ball, Kidd, Stapleton. Manager: Bertie Mee.

SUBSTITUTES

None

SUBSTITUTES

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

F Alan Peters |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

SQUAD STATS

MATCHDAY SQUAD

SQUAD STATS

MATCHDAY SQUAD

UNAVAILABLE

Injury | 2 |
CF Keith Leonard |
F Brian Little |

UNAVAILABLE

Not Recorded

Player Abbreviations:

GK : Goalkeeper

LB, RB, FB : Left Back, Right Back, Full Back

CB, D : Centre Back, Defender

M, W : Midfielder. Winger

F, CF : Forward, Centre Forward

๐ŸŸข : Debut ๐Ÿ”ด : Final Game

Symbols:

โšฝ | Goal
๐Ÿ”ฅ | Assist
๐Ÿ” | Substitution

๐ŸŸจ | Booking

๐ŸŸฅ | Sending off

๐Ÿ†˜ | Poor refereeing performance

DEBUT APPEARANCES

FINAL APPEARANCES

MATCH STATS

Not recorded

TABLE

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PROGRAMME

Quotation Marks.png

MATCHDAY QUOTES

โ€œI really did not know how I was going to continue. I was in dreadful pain every time I moved, but the rest of the lads covered me splendidly.โ€

Chris Nicholl, who injured his left knee in a 24th minute collision with Sammy Nelson, somehow managed to complete the game even though he could hardly kick the ball or jump to head it.

*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 12 January 1976

Aston Villa won few friends at Arsenal as they resolutely and deliberately went about the business of collecting the point they wanted at Highbury.

If they had attempted a similar display at Villa Park they would most probably have received the same howling abuse as Arsenal supporters gave their team.

The game, ordinary and featureless though it was, scarcely deserved the epitaph pronounced by one Arsenal fan, however, who shouted at the players as they walked off: โ€œBring hack hanging.โ€

For there were several redeeming factors with perhaps the most important being that Villaโ€™s defence played with a rugged determination that made them well worth their point.

The defence could certainly hold their heads high, particularly as they had to carry key defender Chris Nicholl for three quarters of the time with an almost crippling knee injury.

Nicholl, who injured his left knee in a 24th minute collision with Sammy Nelson, somehow managed to complete the game even though he could hardly kick the ball or jump to head it.

He said afterwards: โ€œI really did not know how I was going to continue. I was in dreadful pain every time I moved, but the rest of the lads covered me splendidly.โ€

In this respect nobody played better than goalkeeper John Burridge, who made three brilliant first half saves from Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton and Brian Kidd.

Skipper lan Ross also had a tremendous game covering for the hobbling Nicholl while John Robson sensibly marked Arsenalโ€™s midfield star Alan Ball, out of the contest.

These tactics were more than enough to deny a dismal looking Arsenal any freedom of movement on a blustery afternoon which always made ball control difficult.

Little was seen of Villaโ€™s attack, although the hard-working Andy Gray almost pinched both points for them in the last ten minutes with a blocked shot and a diving header which just brushed off his forehead.

New ยฃ175,000 midfield signing, Dennis Mortimer made one or two neat runs along with Frank Carrodus, but the former Coventry man clearly needs more time to settle into the team.

It was obviously not the kind of performance to delight the fans. But there was one Villa admirer in Bob Wilson the BBC match analyser and former Arsenal goalkeeper. โ€œIn a year or two theyโ€™re going to be a very good side,โ€ he told me afterwards.