Saturday 21 October 2006, 5:15pm at Villa Park, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa
1
Barry (pen) 26'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Volz 45'
Moritz Volz's volley cancels out Gareth Barry's penalty to earn Fulham a point at Aston Villa.

26' Penalty

Gareth Barry

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Didier Agathe
Off:Milan Baros

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Sutton
Off:Juan Pablo Angel

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Isaiah Osbourne
Off:Steven Davis

45' Goal

Moritz Volz

25' Yellow Card

Zat Knight Card was given for a foul

74' Yellow Card

Franck Queudrue Card was given for a foul

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Brian McBride

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Chris Coleman opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Claus Jensen earning a starting place in midfield following his dramatic exploits on Monday night against Charlton Athletic.

Coleman retained the same back four with Zat Knight captaining the side in the absence of Luis Boa Morte. Carlos Bocanegra was drafted into central midfield alongside Michael Brown whilst Tomasz Radzinski and Moritz Volz occupied the flanks. Jensen was Coleman’s creative link in midfield and Brian McBride operated as the lone striker.

Villa were looking to continue their outstanding start to the Premiership season and Martin O’Neill opted for an attacking line-up. With summer signing Stiliyan Petrov and Gabriel Agbonlahor operating down the flanks, Milan Baros and Juan Pablo Angel led the Villa line.

Under a heavy downpour Villa kicked off attacking the Holt End. Both sides battled for possession in the opening minutes and the atmosphere was raised when Agbonlahor raced down the right flank. The youngster’s pace was Villa’s most direct threat during the early period of the game.

After five minutes Olof Mellberg’s sent his cross into the area from the right hand side. Liam Rosenior was first to the ball and the defender chested the ball down in the box before clearing the ball to safety. Villa’s players and fans appealed for handball but referee Foy dismissed the claims.

Villa nearly broke the deadlock after seven minutes. After a foul on Ridgewell on the right hand side some 25 yards from goal Stiliyan Petrov sent in a left footed in-swinging cross which flew past both sets of players and past Niemi’s far post.

The home side continued to threaten down the flanks with Petrov looking threatening down the left hand side.  After 19 minutes Villa won possession in the centre of the Park and Agbonlahor was set free down the right hand side. The youngster accelerating down the flank and sent in a right footed in-swinging cross. Milan Baros was first to the ball but the Czech sent his header well wide.

On 23 minutes Petrov raced into the box from the left and after some close contact with Liam Rosenior referee Foy pointed to the spot. Fulham’s players protested and moments later Zat Knight was booked by Foy.

Villa Captain Gareth Barry stepped up to take the penalty and smashed his left footed drive into the roof of the net to put O’Neill’s side a goal to the good.

Following the goal both sides fought for possession and Fulham almost pulled the game level after 30 minutes.

Franck Queudrue’s cross from the left sailed over the Villa defence and Brian McBride was left unmarked on the right hand side of the area.

The American sent his right footed volley across the six yard box and Claus Jensen found himself yards from goal in a great position. However the Dane could not control his shot and the ball was cleared to safety by the Villa defence.

Moments later Milan Baros was set free down the right flank. The Czech entered the box but Franck Queudrue recovered and put in an outstanding tackle.

Villa won a free kick after a foul by Queudrue. Barry sent his left footed in-swinging cross into the box but Ian Pearce leapt to clear the ball to safety with a commanding clearance.

In the closing minutes of the first half Villa upped the tempo of the game but Fulham’s defence held firm. Despite being a goal to the good Villa’s chances were limited to set pieces, although Barry’s left footed deliveries were causing problems.

On 45 minutes Fulham were back in the game following some outstanding play on the left hand side by Radzinski. Rosenior's cross field ball was brought under control by the Canadian on the left wing. Radzinski then teased his marker before sending in his delivery. As the ball entered the area Moritz Volz raced into the box and sent his drive past keeper Sorensen.

The ecstatic Volz celebrated with his team mates and Fulham were back in the game moments before half time.

Martin O’Neill made the only substitution during the break, replacing Milan Baros with Didier Agathe. Fulham got the second half underway and started the stronger team.

Claus Jensen’s clever play on the right flank opened up the Villa defence and the Dane sent in a right footed cross which Villa’s defence comfortably cleared to safety.

Moments later Radzinski’s pace took him into the box and clear of the Villa defence but the midfielder could only send his cross into the side netting.

Villa immediately charged up field and Zat Knight continued his outstanding recent form, marshalling Agbonlahor across the area before blocking the cross and winning a goal kick. The captain was putting in another fine performance alongside Ian Pearce as Fulham looked to build on their promising start to the second period.

Villa almost took the lead on 53 minutes. Agathe was fouled on the right hand side of the area and Gareth Barry sent in the resulting free kick. The Villa captain’s left footed cross evaded both sets of players and flew past the far post.

Following Villa’s chance Fulham dominated possession with Jensen, Brown and Radzinski linking up well and causing problems down the left flank.

On 60 minutes Angel found himself with time and space on the edge of Fulham’s area. The Colombian turned and sent his right footed drive to the far post but Niemi’s positioning was perfect and the keeper made a comfortable save.

Following some creative work by Claus Jensen on the right hand side of the pitch the Dane sent in his pass to Michael Brown. The midfielder laid the ball to Radzinski on the edge of the box and with his back to goal the Canadian sent a left footed volley looping over the Villa defence but Sorensen comfortably saved.

Chris Coleman made his first substitution of the game on 70 minutes, replacing Brian McBride with Collins John.

Moritz Volz required treatment on 73 minutes after falling awkwardly from a headed clearance but the German was back on the field moments later.

Franck Queudrue was booked on 73 minutes following a hefty challenge on Didier Agathe on Fulham’s left flank.

Martin O’Neill made his second substitution of the game on 74 minutes with Chris Sutton replacing Juan Pablo Angel. The striker was in the thick of the action immediately, earning Villa a corner but once again Fulham’s defence held firm.

In the closing ten minutes Coleman’s side looked the more threatening side. Following a deep cross into Fulham’s area Ian Pearce remained on the turf and referee Foy immediately called a halt to proceedings for the defender to receive medical attention. Pearce was back on the pitch moments later, recovering from a knock to the head.

During the interruption O’Neill made his final substitution of the game, replacing Steven Davis with Isaiah Osbourne.

Fulham’s travelling support were in good voice in the final minutes as Chris Coleman’s side looked to earn a further point on their travels. Claus Jensen had the best opportunity at the end of the game.  As the Dane entered the Villa box the midfielder sent a right footed curling shot over the bar.

Fulham soaked up the home side’s pressure in the four minutes of injury time and continued their good run of recent results and earned a well fought point at Villa Park. Fulham’s Man of the Match was the outstanding Zat Knight. The towering central defender led his side by example and put in a fine captain’s performance. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 21 October 2006
Kick-off: 5:15pm

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 30,919

Referee: Chris Foy

Aston Villa

Line-up: Sørensen; Hughes, Laursen, Mellberg, Ridgewell; Steven Davis (Osbourne 83'), Barry, Petrov, Agbonlahor; Baros (Agathe 45'), Angel (Sutton 75')

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Bouma

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Rosenior, Knight, Pearce, Queudrue; Volz, Bocanegra, Claus Jensen, Brown, Radzinski; McBride (John 72')

Unused substitutes: Lastuvka, Zakuani, Routledge, Helguson

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 9 22
2 Manchester United 8 19
3 Bolton Wanderers 8 17
4 Portsmouth 9 16
5 Everton 9 16
6 Aston Villa 9 15
7 Arsenal 7 14
8 Reading 8 13
9 Fulham 9 13
10 Blackburn Rovers 8 12
11 Liverpool 8 11
12 Manchester City 9 9
13 Wigan Athletic 8 8
14 Middlesbrough 8 8
15 Tottenham Hotspur 8 8
16 Newcastle United 8 7
17 Sheffield United 9 6
18 Watford 9 5
19 West Ham United 8 5
20 Charlton Athletic 9 4
Aston Villa (4-4-2)
  • 29Thomas Sørensen
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Martin Laursen
  • 4Olof Mellberg
  • 19Liam Ridgewell
  • 12Steven Davis
  • 6Gareth Barry
  • 19Stilian Petrov
  • 11Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • 9Milan Baros
  • 9Juan Pablo Angel
Substitutes
  • 13Stuart Taylor
  • 3Wilfred Bouma
  • 17Didier Agathe
  • 27Isaiah Osbourne
  • 20Chris Sutton
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 7Liam Rosenior
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 19Ian Pearce
  • 4Franck Queudrue
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 16Claus Jensen
  • 8Michael Brown
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 12Jan Lastuvka
  • 18Gabriel Zakuani
  • 22Wayne Routledge
  • 9Heidar Helguson
  • 15Collins John