top of page

Game #5018

Aston Villa

Lost

Round of 32

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Last 5: 🟩 🟥 🟨 🟥 🟥

UEFA Cup

CSKA Moscow

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Attendance: 25,650

CSKA Moscow

2-0

Aston Villa

Assist(s) | None

MATCH SUMMARY

THE GAME THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING Martin O'Neill causes controversy in real time as he selects arguably the most unrepresentative line up in Villa's history outside of war time football to take to the field in Moscow. Unsurprisingly this mix of fringe, third choice and youth players come unstuck and Villa's chance of more European glory is thrown away.

KEY MAN

Marc Albrighton makes his debut in the most inauspicious circumstances as Martin O'Neill surrenders progress in Europe for a punt on gaining qualification for Europe the next season, Thursday, 26 February 2009.

2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.

MATCH TIMELINE

Thursday, 26 February 2009

🟢 | 1’ Debut, Marc Albrighton
🕒 | HT CSKA Moscow 0-0 Aston Villa
🔁 | 46’ Sub off, Moustapha Salifou 🔴, Sub on, Marlon Harewood 🔴
🥅 | 61’ Goal, 0-1, (CSKA Moscow), Yuriy Zhirkov
🔁 | 85’ Sub off, Curtis Davies, Sub on, Isaiah Osbourne
🟨 | 84’ Booking, Barry Bannan
🟨 | 88’ Booking, Marc Albrighton
🥅 | 90’+3 Goal, 0-2, (CSKA Moscow), Vágner Love
🕒 | FT CSKA Moscow 2-0 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

It had happened before of course, in fact it was a relative novelty for Martin O’Neill to play anything approaching a full strength line up in a Cup game as he had done earlier in the month at Everton.

The FA Cup was one thing but the UEFA Cup was another. Perhaps giddy with success in the League - Villa were third at the time - O’Neill gambled and relatively ‘lost’ in the home leg. For the away leg in Moscow however O’Neill took “fielding a weakened team to new heights.”

With all due respect to the players involved this wasn’t weakened, it was surrender.

Of course if Villa had gone on to secure a 3rd place or better finish in the League it would have been a gamble that paid off. At the time, and subsequently however, it was at best a gamble that hadn’t worked and at worst an insult.

Of the 16 players O’Neill named in the squad, three had yet to make their debuts, two had made 6 starts, one had made 4 starts, another just 3 this season. Yet another had appeared just once as a substitute, another hadn’t been selected in the squad for over 6 months, one had played in just 4 of the last 17 games, and one was a centre forward who had scored just once all season.

Martin O’Neill spoke of “decisions not taken lightly” but regardless a wrong decision was obvious and the performance of the Cup side through the season to date had shown as much.

If a first chink in the armour of the Martin O’Neill armour had been exposed a year earlier by the sale of Gary Cahill, this second chink opened a gaping hole that would take some real mending.

Centre forward Marlon Harewood made his final appearance for Villa aged 29 before moving on to Blackpool on a free transfer in July 2010. O’Neill had signed Harewood just 18 months before his final appearance for £4,950,000. Harewood made 11 starts and 31 substitute appearances scoring 6 goals.

Midfielder Moustapha Salifou made his final appearance for Villa aged 25 but would remain with the club until June 2011, 4 years after he joined and 2 and a half years after his final appearance.

Salifou made 7 starts and 6 substitute appearances after Villa had paid FC Wil 1900 £450,000 for his services.

After leaving Villa, Salifou spent 8 months with German fourth tier side 1.FC Saarbrücken but was then without a club for 20 months before 4 months with another 4th Division side TSV 1860 Rosenheim ahead of another 13 months out of the game since when he has joined German fifth tier side Türkspor Augsburg.

Winger Marc Albrighton made his Villa debut aged 19 despite having yet to sign professional forms with the club. Something he would do in July 2009 having come through the ranks as a schoolboy.

Albrighton wouldn’t play again for Villa this season, neither would midfielder Barry Bannan who also made his first start for the club.

Stuart Taylor would not appear on the bench again and Brad Guzan would only make one further substitute appearance this season.

In addition Defenders Shane Lowry and Chris Herd would neither make their debuts or appear on the substitute bench again this season and £5,670,000 signing Steve Sidwell would only feature for Villa once more this season in the final game of the campaign.

In total then of the 16 players O’Neill selected for this fateful game, 10 saw their Villa careers interrupted or ended completely.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

CSKA Moscow

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
UEFA Cup / Europa League: 🏆
Soviet Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Soviet Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Russian Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 2007-08

FIXTURE HISTORY

CSKA Moscow

Previous 5 vs. CSKA: 🟨

PREVIOUS MATCH

NEXT MATCH

None

FIXTURE DETAILS

Villa.gif
2509-2.png

Season | 2008-09 |
Matchday | #43 |
Manager Game | #126 |
Thursday, 26 February 2009

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager: Martin O’Neill | 🇬🇧 | County Londonderry, 2006-2010
Referee: Felix Brych | 🇩🇪 | Munich, 2007-2021
Kick off: 5.00pm
HT Score: 🟨 0-0
FT Score: 🟥 0-2
FT Result: 🟥 Lost
Last 5: 🟩 🟥 🟨 🟥 🟥

MANAGERIAL RECORD

Martin O'Neill | 🇬🇧 |

GAMES | WINS | DRAWS | LOSSES | POINTS PER GAME

🕒 126 | 🟩 | 52 🟨 | 40 🟥 34 | 1.56

Villa Career Form:

Top 8

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Felix Brych | 🇩🇪 | Munich, 2007-2021
Matches Officiated: 1
🟩 : 0
🟨 : 0
🟥 : 1
🆘 : 0
Previous 5: None
Last Match: None
Cards: 🟨 🟨 🟨
Assistants: Thorsten Schiffner, Mark Borsch

ALL THE MATCHES REFEREED BY:

CARDS

Villa

🟨 🟨

CSKA Moscow

🟨

TEAM NEWS

Martin O'Neill makes a raft of changes to even his 'Cup' team for the crucial Round of 32 game in Moscow. O'Neill brings in Craig Gardner, Steve Sidwell, Moustapha Salifou, Nicky Shorey, Nathan Delfouneso, Brad Guzan, Barry Bannan (first start) and Marc Albrighton (debut). Meanwhile, Carlos Cuéllar, James Milner, Brad Friedel, Gareth Barry, John Carew, Stiliyan Petrov and Ashley Young are left at home.

TEAM STATS

Starting XI Average Age
| 24.17 |

Oldest Player |
RB Luke Young | 🇺🇸 | 29.63 |

Youngest Player |
F Nathan Delfouneso | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 18.08 |

MANAGER

Martin O'Neill | 🇬🇧 |

Villa.gif

Aston Villa

GK Brad Guzan | 🇺🇸 |
LB Nicky Shorey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Curtis Davies | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
CB Zat Knight | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Luke Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Craig Gardner | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Steve Sidwell | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Barry Bannan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | 🟨 |
M Moustapha Salifou | 🇹🇬 | 🔴 | 🔁 |
W Marc Albrighton | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟢 | 🟨 |
F Nathan Delfouneso | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

MANAGER

Zico | 🇧🇷 |

2509-2.png

CSKA Moscow

GK Igor Akinfeev | 🇷🇺 |
CB Sergey Ignashevic | 🇷🇺 |
CB Aleksey Berezutskiy | 🇷🇺 |
CB Vasiliy Berezutskiy | 🇷🇺 |
LB Georgiy Shchennikov | 🇷🇺 |
LB Yuriy Zhirkov | 🇷🇺 | ⚽ |
M Deividas Šemberas | 🇱🇹 |
M Alan Dzagoev | 🇷🇺 | 🟨 |
M Elvir Rahimić | 🇧🇦 |
W Milos Krasić | 🇷🇸 |
CF Vágner Love | 🇧🇷 | ⚽ |

Villa.gif

STARTING XI

SUBSTITUTES

Not necessarily indicative of the actual matchday formation

UNUSED

Player

SUBSTITUTES

Villa.gif

🔁 CF Marlon Harewood | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Moustapha Salifou | 🇹🇬 | 46' |
🔁 M Isaiah Osbourne | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for CB Curtis Davies | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 84' | ​

SUBSTITUTES

2509-2.png

No Substitutions Made

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

Villa.gif

GK Stuart Taylor | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Shane Lowry | 🇮🇪 |
CB Ciaran Clark | 🇮🇪 |
RB Eric Lichaj | 🇺🇸 |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

2509-2.png

GK Evgeni Pomazan | 🇷🇺 |
LB Caner Erkin | 🇹🇷 |
M Daniel Carvalho | 🇧🇷 |
M Pavel Mamaev | 🇷🇺 |
M Chidi Odiah | 🇳🇬 |
M Ramon | 🇧🇷 |
CF Ricardo Jesus | 🇧🇷 |

SQUAD STATS

Villa.gif

1st XI:
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 9/11
Homegrown: 4/11

Squad:
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 12/18
Homegrown: 8/18

SQUAD STATS

2509-2.png

Home Nation 🇷🇺 : 7/11

MATCHDAY SQUAD

Villa.gif

MATCHDAY SQUAD

2509-2.png

UNAVAILABLE

Villa.gif

Not recorded

UNAVAILABLE

Villa.gif

Not Recorded

Player Positions:

​

GK : Goalkeeper
CB, D, B : Centre Back, Defender, Back
FB, LB, RB, WH : Full Back, Left Back, Right Back, Wing Back, Wing Half


M, CH, LH, RH : Midfielder, Centre Half, Left Half, Right Half
W, OL, OR : Winger, Outside Left, Outside Right
F, IF, IL, IR : Forward, Inside Forward, Inside Left, Inside Right, Second Striker, False 9
CF : Centre Forward

​

Match Symbols:

​

⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance
🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game

DEBUT APPEARANCES

FINAL APPEARANCES

🔴 M Moustapha Salifou | 🇹🇬 | 2008-10 | 🕒 13 | 7 (6) | ⚽ 0 | 🔥 0 | 🇺 44 | #804 |
🔴 CF Marlon Harewood | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 2007-09 | 🕒 40 | 9 (31) | ⚽ 6 | 🔥 0 | 🇺 35 | #801 |

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 43%
Possession A | 57%
Shots F | 5
Shots A | 16
Shots on Target F | 3
Shots on Target A | 8
Corners F | 2
Corners A | 6
Fouls F | 16
Fouls A | 14

MATCH QUOTES

"It's not a decision that was taken lightly. "I am disappointed we were beaten. I will have to see what the rest of the season brings to see if that disappointment is worsened. "We've played strongly this year and that's why we're in where we are. We don't want to give it up lightly." Martin O'Neill.

MATCH REPORT

*The Guardian*
Thursday, 26 February 2009

O’Neill’s gamble fails to pay off as Villa are sent packing from Russia by Love Much to his bemusement, Martin O’Neill was told by a Russian journalist that he bore a striking resemblance to Harry Potter beforehand, but the Aston Villa manager would have needed the young ­wizard’s magic rather than his looks to avoid European elimination here. The margin of victory may have been slender but CSKA ­Moscow’s passage into the last 16 never looked in doubt against a spirited but ­woefully under-strength Villa side. Villa needed to score to have any chance of going through and that was unlikely to happen from the moment that O’Neill decided to prioritise qualification for the Champions League. Whether that decision was correct remains to be seen but after 12 European matches, spanning eight months, this felt like an unsatisfactory way to bow out of the Uefa Cup. Goals from Yury Zhirkov and Vagner Love merely confirmed the inevitable. While the 250 Villa supporters here expected a weakened line-up, few could have anticipated O’Neill would name a starting XI that included Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton, two teenagers ­making their full debuts. Their presence, allied to the surprise absences of John Carew (not risked because of the hard surface) and Marlon Harewood (embarrassingly overlooked), left Villa both callow and fragile. Indeed, with Emile Heskey, Gabriel Agbonlahor, James Milner, Gareth Barry, Stilian Petrov, Ashley Young, Carlos ­Cuellar and Brad Friedel all left at home, there were not even enough players to fill the bench. Villa, in short, looked there for the ­taking on a night with CSKA at full strength and always more likely to be comfortable with the ­artificial pitch and plummeting temperatures that had fallen to -10C by half-time in Moscow. That was the theory, at least. But Villa, through a combination of their defensive discipline and CSKA’s lack of urgency, were level at the interval and proving obdurate opponents. When Brad Guzan gathered Milos Krasic’s raking 20-yard drive in the 40th minute it was the first time the Villa goalkeeper had made a save. The Russian side were not without their opportunities but there was little ­evidence of the approach that had seen Villa punished so ruthlessly in the first leg. Vasily Berezutski twice headed over, Alan Dzagoev curled a free-kick narrowly wide and Vagner Love swept past the far post on the stroke of half-time, but Villa were hardly a team under siege. It helped that Villa’s defence was the one department of the side replete with experience. Elsewhere they made little ­impression as Moustapha Salifou, Steve Sidwell and Craig Gardner toiled in ­midfield without reward. The same was true of the isolated Nathan Delfouneso who had Villa’s only real chance of the opening 45 minutes when his volley was comfortably saved by Igor Akinfeev. CSKA had more purpose after the restart, yet profligacy continued to afflict Zico’s side. Once again Villa’s right-side was exposed when Zhirkov rampaged clear on the left but the midfielder should not have allowed Guzan to save at his feet. Zhirkov did not make the same mistake just after the hour mark. From a well-worked free-kick that looked like it had come straight from the training ground, Dzagoev cut the ball back into the path of Zhirkov whose 20-yard left-footed drive flew inside Guzan’s near post. Then, as Villa poured forward, CSKA added a second in injury-time when Vagner Love scored his 10th Uefa Cup goal of the season. ---- *Villa crash out of Europe* Aston Villa’s Uefa Cup hopes were ended as they lost 2-0 to 2005 winners CSKA Moscow in Russia. Villa boss Martin O’Neill fielded a greatly weakened side which succumbed to second-half goals from Yuri Zhirkov and Vagner Love as CSKA completed a 3-1 aggregate success. Zhirkov scored following a free-kick awarded for a debatable foul by Curtis Davies and Villa, showing eight changes from the team that lost to Chelsea last weekend, then conceded a second in stoppage time to leading scorer Love. O’Neill gave full debuts to teenage midfielders Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton and Villa held their own for an hour. *Dead