Saturday 23 October 2004, 3:00pm at Villa Park, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa
Solano 29'; Hendrie 75'
Fulham FC

29' Goal

Nolberto Solano

75' Goal

Lee Hendrie

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlton Cole
Off:Darius Vassell

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steven Davis
Off:Peter Whittingham

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Thomas Hitzlsperger
Off:Lee Hendrie

16' Yellow Card

Moritz Volz Card was given for a foul

10' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zesh Rehman
Off:Ian Pearce

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Claus Jensen

88' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Andrew Cole

Strikes from Nolberto Solano and Lee Hendrie preserved Aston Villa's unbeaten home record and continued Fulham's winless away streak. Solano lit up a dour game played in atrocious conditions by curling an exquisite free-kick over the wall.

Hendrie followed suit, curling a delightful left-foot shot around Edwin Van der Sar to seal Villa's victory.

Fulham were denied a penalty when the referee failed to spot Hendrie's arm blocking Claus Jensen's free-kick.

Fulham rode out some early pressure as Villa forced two corners but Steed Malbranque led a break-out with a run from his own half before slipping a pass to Luis Boa Morte whose shot was smothered by Olof Mellberg.

The Cottagers backed off as Darius Vassell thrust forward, but he opted to shoot with Peter Whittingham screaming for the ball in space.

There was an unfortunate legacy for Fulham as Vassell accidentally caught Ian Pearce on his follow-through and the big defender limped off to be replaced by Zesh Rehman.

Villa managed to stretch Fulham's back line, with Whittingham sliding a pass through to Vassell but the England striker screwed his shot horribly across the face of goal.

Sodden conditions did not help the flow of the game and as Boa Morte outstripped Mark Delaney to latch on to Andy Cole's flick he lost his footing to the Villa defender's relief.

A rash foul by Pape Bouba Diop on Lee Hendrie 20 yards out was ruthlessly punished by Solano on 29 minutes with the Peruvian curling his shot up and over the wall and although Edwin Van der Sar got his hand to the ball he could not keep it out.

With Cole hunting alone up front, Fulham offered little threat and even when a slip by Ulises De la Cruz let Boa Morte in, Delaney was across quickly to slam the door shut.

It took Fulham 44 minutes to muster their first sight of goal, but after the ball broke to Malbranque the Frenchman fired wide from 18 yards.

In first-half injury time Solano spurned a chance to double Villa's lead but he failed to hit the target with his header from Whittingham's pin-point cross.

Villa had the first sight of goal after the restart, with Angel nodding the ball down for Vassell six yards out but he failed to react, and when the ball broke for Solano he drove his shot straight down Van der Sar's throat.

Villa had a let-off on 55 minutes when Hendrie clearly blocked Jensen's free-kick with an up-raised arm, but referee Phil Dowd pointed for a corner.

Bouba Diop's clumsy challenge saw Vassell stretchered off, to be replaced by Carlton Cole but Villa had some defending to do, with Jensen firing a free-kick across a greasy goalmouth in the hope of getting a goal-bound deflection.

Villa needed the insurance of a second goal and got it with a delightful striker from Hendrie.

Malbranque lost possession deep in his own half, and Carlton Cole slipped a pass to Hendrie who fashioned a yard of space to curl a left-foot shot round Van der Sar.

Any hopes Fulham had of getting a leg-up into the game disappeared when Boa Morte somehow failed to make contact five yards out after Andy Cole nodded a cross into his path. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 23 October 2004
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 34,460

Referee: Phil Dowd

Aston Villa

Line-up: Sørensen; Delaney, Mellberg, de la Cruz, Samuel; Solano, Whittingham (Steven Davis 78'), McCann, Hendrie (Hitzlsperger 87'); Vassell (Carlton Cole 62'), Angel

Unused substitutes: Postma, Ridgewell


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Pearce (Rehman 10'), Bocanegra; Malbranque, Claus Jensen (John 69'), Pembridge, Diop, Boa Morte; Cole (McBride 88')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Radzinski

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 9 25
2 Chelsea 10 23
3 Everton 10 22
4 Bolton Wanderers 10 18
5 Middlesbrough 9 14
6 Manchester United 9 14
7 Aston Villa 10 14
8 Liverpool 8 13
9 Newcastle United 9 13
10 Tottenham Hotspur 10 13
11 Charlton Athletic 9 12
12 Manchester City 9 11
13 Portsmouth 8 11
14 Birmingham City 9 8
15 Crystal Palace 10 8
16 West Bromwich Albion 10 8
17 Fulham 10 8
18 Norwich City 10 6
19 Blackburn Rovers 10 6
20 Southampton 9 5
Aston Villa (4-4-2)
  • 29Thomas Sørensen
  • 2Mark Delaney
  • 4Olof Mellberg
  • 23Ulises de la Cruz
  • 3Jlloyd Samuel
  • 24Nolberto Solano
  • 7Peter Whittingham
  • 8Gavin McCann
  • 7Lee Hendrie
  • 13Darius Vassell
  • 9Juan Pablo Angel
  • Stefan Postma
  • 19Liam Ridgewell
  • 12Steven Davis
  • 16Thomas Hitzlsperger
  • 9Carlton Cole
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 16Claus Jensen
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Andrew Cole
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 21Zesh Rehman
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 17Collins John
  • 17Tomasz Radzinski