MATCH REPORT - VILLA 4 - 0 BOLTON
By Charlene Cole
Monday 07 Apr 2008 17:43:31
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Aston Villa returned spectacularly to winning ways on Saturday afternoon in a stunning 4-0 triumph over Bolton.

A double from Gareth Barry and further goals by Gabriel Agbonlahor and Marlon Harewood marked Villa’s comeback, returning to form after a drought of six games without a win.

Bolton’s defeat spells more trouble for the Northerners as they are still left to face relegation.Keeping their first clean sheet in five months Martin O’Neill’s boys ruled in a one sided encounter as Bolton could only look on in despair.

Villa threatened the visitors from the first whistle till the end. The first chance of the match came from the Wanderers in the fourth minute when an on target Kevin Davies headed over the bar after rising to meet Danny Guthrie’s cross from the left wing.

Just one minute later Bolton were panicking the defence were alert though to Ashley Young’s left wing cross which was cleared by former Republic of Ireland international Andy O’Brien. On seven as Davies leapt onto an Olof Mellberg back header only to have Guthrie fire into the Holte end stands.

The hosts took the lead with their first goal on nine as Young raced down the left, crossing to Barry who headed into the far post.

As chances came fast Bolton looked in danger of trailing. On 19 Tim Cahill blocked John Carew’s flick which came from Young’s cross as Villa did everything in their power to add a second. Another of Bolton’s few chances few chances came on 23. The visitors nearly leveled but Davies chipped the bar with a close range shot.

On 26 Laursen was unable to meet an oncoming free kick from Young. A minute after Taylor was lucky to block Young’s rising drive with Petrov shooting the rebound high and wide of the post.

Bolton keeper Al Habsi raced from his line on 30 to capture Young’s centre shot that was sure to be connected by Carew and Agbonlahor. On 31 a corner came after Taylor’s Matthew Taylor’s 30 yard free kick was deflected just wide.

A well executed challenge from Steinsson denied Carew a chance to get on the score sheet six minutes later.

It was Steinsson who was there again to rescue Bolton on 39 after intercepting Nigel Reo-Coker’s low and potentially deadly cross from the right.

 An exasperated Helguson fired high into the stands with his shot a minute before half time. Though before the break an on target Reo-Coker shot wide with a right footed drive.

If the first half was action packed the second managed to up the tempo even more. Laursen cut out a right wing centre from Steinsson on 50. Untroubled Villa keeper Scott Carson cleared the ball as Taylor sent in a corner from the right.Two minutes on saw Steinsson’s low drive from the edge of the box blocked by Laursen.

It was goal shy Agbonlahor who doubled Villa’s tally on 56 scoring his first goal of the year after slotting in from close range after meeting Barry’s low cross on the left.

59 saw Bouma firing high into the Holte stands with his left footed effort from the edge of the box.

An in control Villa tried for the back of the net again when Reo-Coker was denied by Habsi after meeting Agbonlahor’s pass. Bolton were left disheartened again when Barry added the third and his second of the match when his deflected left foot drive found the net rounding up the first hour.

On 64 Bouma amazingly denied Davies with a sliding challenge after the striker met Guthrie’s cross on the edge of the box.

Barry tried to get a hat trick on 76 but headed straight into Habsi’s clutches after he met Carew’s right wing cross.

Carson an onlooker for most parts of the game wasn’t endangered, easily gathering Steinsson low angled drive.

Substitute Harewood spiced things up having his low right footed drive deflected a minute later resulting in a corner.

It was then on 85 he rounded up the scoring with his first goal of the season. The unmarked forward headed home from Barry’s curling free kick. Rounding up a memorable afternoon for all Villa fans.  

Speaking to BBC sport post match an elated Martin O’Neill said: "We got back
to basics and we were terrific. We had been scoring freely but then we recently hit the buffers. The first goal was crucial and we got it through Gareth Barry's header and then our confidence came back.”

He concluded: "We have not been able to keep a clean sheet to save our lives so it was very pleasing to get one."

 

Whilst Bolton boss Gary Megson said:"We fell apart after they scored their second goal. We have to get up and dust ourselves off and we have to take the criticism.

He ended: "We have only taken one point from the last 27 points available but we now have to focus against our game against West Ham next week."

 

Att: 37, 773

Ref: Martin Atkinson (North Yorkshire)

 



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