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Match Report


Posted Sat 07 Nov 09 at 17:50 PM

Report: Aston Villa 5 Bolton 1

Wanderers' woes at Villa Park continued as they suffered their third successive loss on Aston Villa's home patch.

Ashley Young's neat finish gave the hosts the early advantage before Gabriel Agbonlahor doubled the lead on 43 minutes.

Substitute Johan Elmander's close-range tap-in reduced the deficit just before half-time, but further second half strikes from John Carew, James Milner and Carlos Cuellar completed the scoring for the hosts.

Both Ricardo Gardner and Matt Taylor were recalled to the starting line-up while Paul Robinson was making just his third start of the season in the absence of the suspended Jlloyd Samuel.

It was the hosts who started in the ascendancy and were one goal ahead with five minutes played.

Jussi Jaaskelainen, who had already made one fantastic reflex save, did excellently to parry away John Carew's headed attempt following James Milner's pinpoint centre. However, Ashley Young capitalised on the rebound and found the top corner with a predatory finish from just a few yards out.

Not despondent with the early set-back, Wanderers almost found an instant response.

When Tamir Cohen was knocked to his feet, Matt Taylor's deep free-kick found the unmarked Kevin Davies at the far post. The captain's header was directed across goal and out of the reach of Brad Friedel, but there was no Wanderers attacker inside the six-yard box to convert. Carlos Cuellar hacked the ball clear before Bolton's attack ended when Gary Cahill's follow-up header was well clutched by the Villa keeper.

The pace of Agbonlahor and goalscorer Young, as expected, was a threat for the Trotters especially from wide positions. Cohen was the first name taken by referee Mark Clattenburg for a late challenge on Milner while an accidental clash of heads between Robinson and Knight also caused a moment of concern.

Richard Dunne headed over from a corner and Agbonlahor scuffed a shot wide either side of the half-hour mark. In between the two Villa chances, Gary Megson had to make a tactical reshuffle when Cohen limped off with a groin injury that he appeared to sustain in the warm-up. Johan Elmander was the replacement in an adapted 4-4-2 formation.

The substitution injected an impetus into Bolton and twice patient attacks involving Davies and Gardner were halted on the edge of Villa box by last-ditch tackles.

But just two minutes before the interval, Villa's lead was doubled through Agbonlahor. Carew used his strength to win the ball off Cahill on the byline before cutting the ball back to the England forward, who tucked the ball under Jaaskelainen.

It appeared that the Whites would be going into the break trailing by two goals but there was an instant reply from Elmander, who notched his first Premier League goal of the season.

Sam Ricketts' long ball from defence was latched onto by Cahill, who advanced from defence. The centre-half outmuscled Cuellar and struck an attempt which took a deflection en route to hitting the post. The Sweden international was well poised to put Wanderers back in the game with a simple tap-in from close-range.

Wanderers continued that momentum in the opening exchanges of the second-half with efforts from both Muamba and Kevin Davies. But they too had to be alert defensively as a lapse in concentration from Ricketts allowed Ashley Young to fire in a skidding effort that was again repelled by Jaaskelainen.

It was a fine low save, however there was little that the Finnish goalkeeper could have done to prevent Villa's third strike which arrived on 53 minutes. John Carew created and finished the goal by holding off tackles from Knight and Cahill before tucking the ball into the corner of the net.

The match ebbed and flowed without any real opportunities for the following 15 minutes, up until Mark Clattenburg's decision to award a penalty to Aston Villa when John Carew was apparently grounded by a push from Kevin Davies.

Jaaskelainen produced a fantastic save to deny James Milner, but luck was totally against the goalkeeper as the ball firstly rebounded out to Sidwell, who hit the post, and then Milner converted his second attempt.

Chung-Yong came within a fraction of grabbing his third goal of the season with a sizzling first-time volley, but it was 5-1 on 76 minutes when Cuellar's glancing header floated past Jaaskelainen and into the far corner of the goal.

Wanderers' Korean winger again came close with a snap shot from the edge of the box and Matt Taylor volleyed straight at Friedel as the Whites pressed for their second of the afternoon.

The match was concluded after three minutes of stoppage time, not before Jaaskelainen made a world-class save from Ashley Young's curling free-kick.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Sidwell (Gardner 87), Dunne, Ashley Young, Milner (Delfouneso 83), Carew, Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker (Delph 87), Cuellar, Warnock (Subs not used: Guzan, Albrighton, Shorey, Clark)

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts (Steinsson 68), Muamba, Taylor, Gardner, Cohen (Elmander 29), Chung-Yong, Kevin Davies (Subs not used: Al Habsi, O'Brien, Basham, Mark Davies, Klasnic)

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