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Manchester City 3 - Aston Villa 1

City Of Manchester Stadium

31/10/05

Attendance: 42069

Villa Gift Man City Goal.

A Halloween horror show for Villa.

Peter Reid, guest presenter for Sky, said Man City were more hungry. And that sums it up. In every part of the pitch Villa were outclassed.

If I was the new owners of Villa, I'd be checking the players contracts, because it seems they can only play one half.

O'Leary said the first two goals we gave away were 'disgusting' and a 'joke'. I'd agree, the first one was a farce, the sort you only seem to see at Villa. Taylor - on for Sorenson who twisted his ankle before the game - came flying out of his box, Samuel told him to get past but still flicked the ball over him and guess who latched on to the free ball? Yes, it had to be Vassell 1-0.

Man City's second goal, to be fair, was sublime. I doubt you will see many better this season. Cole flicked the ball to Vassell and with plenty left to do, Vassell did what he never really did for us on a consistent basis and buried it. 2-0 and at this stage, it looked like the score could get embarrassing.

In the first half, we only tested James once from memory. That being a blistering shot pushed to the side by the former Villa shot stopper. In the second half Villa huffed and puffed their way back into the game and Ridgwell - with his first senior Villa goal - chested the ball in to make it 2-1. City started to get nervous, but just as we started to put a bit of pressure on, the Vassell / Cole partnership sprang to life once more, this time Vassell turning provider and Cole shooting. With a huge slice of luck, the shot deflected off the unlucky Delaney, who was one of the Villa players who could hold his head up and say he played his best tonight, and beat the stranded Taylor.

I hate to say this, but Villa are bang in trouble. I'm not sure if I'll get any emails saying I'm negative this week. If I do, the people who send them had better take the time to send me their positive match report to post on Holteenders. I can't see the positives in an injury ravaged small squad. Nor can I see the positives in the fact that our players don't seem to be able to string two passes together. We don't have the height, we don't have the speed, we don't get behind defences and we don't get the ball up to the strikers. And O'Leary himself admitted, our defence has been appalling this year giving away stupid goals. BUT if the midfield can't keep the ball, our defence are always going to be in trouble. If there are any negatives to this seasons start, out record, our points haul and our place in the league, then please educate me.

The manager can't legislate for stupid mistakes and gifting the opposition goals, especially when you do that in the first five minutes as it is always going to put you under pressure. However, I'm not convinced this is a team who are up for it and playing for their manager. It will be fascinating to see if the new group, when they take control, have faith in the management team. I'm not sure a good percentage of the fans do at the moment?

Star Player

Vassell. Did what he rarely did for us and terrorised the opposition.

Player Ratings


Taylor 5.

Nightmare debut.

Mark Delaney 8.

Tried all night, stopped what seemed a certain Cole goal.

Liam Ridgewell 7.

I think he is learning, certainly put the effort in and was in the right place to score his first senior goal.

Olof Mellberg 6.

Not inspiring as a captain and not the man mountain we know and love.

Jlloyd Samuel 5.

Woeful, I assume his injury is affecting him.

Steven Davis 6.

Good shot, tried to get on the ball, but.......

James Milner 5.5

Quiet on the right, better in the second half from the central position (as Barry moved to left back)

Gareth Barry 6.

Mr Versatile. No real speed, but certainly not the worst on the pitch.

Gavin McCann 5.5

Not on song tonight.

Luke Moore

Starved of supply.

Kevin Phillips.

Starved of supply.

Berger on for Samuel (46).

Then back off with an injury. Oh dear.

Bakke on for Moore (71).

Didn't notice him in honesty.

Jumper Jumper on for Berger (75).

Oh dear, oh dear.

Manager Rating

O'Leary. Should be rightly worried. AND why bring off a striker just as we pull a goal back? WHY?

Opponent Rating

Pearce, should be rightly proud.

Next Up

Liverpool at Villa Park. Hmmm.




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 31 2005

Time: 10:37PM

Your Comments

i don't think you are being too critical. I think its disgusting play, for all too long villa have just been 'ok'. Every match I go into thinking we will loose (and I'm a life long villa fan) - this is not a way to be. O'Leary surely can't be that bad (surely better than GT2), is there something else which is stopping us from winning? Its an all round team effort and the team just aren't pulling together. A change of captain help?!?
maigrait
i don't think you are being too critical. I think its disgusting play, for all too long villa have just been 'ok'. Every match I go into thinking we will loose (and I'm a life long villa fan) - this is not a way to be. O'Leary surely can't be that bad (surely better than GT2), is there something else which is stopping us from winning? Its an all round team effort and the team just aren't pulling together. A change of captain help?!?
maigrait
 

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