Robbie Keane back to haunt Wolves
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Aston Villa 3: Villa take derby spoils and McCarthy vents anger at red-carded Henry as his team fall into drop zone
Sunday 22 January 2012
Some 14 years and £70 million in transfer fees since he marked his debut for Wolves with two goals against Norwich, Robbie Keane returned to Molineux to repeat the feat in an Aston Villa shirt. It was a day that may tempt Mick McCarthy to wonder if he has upset the footballing gods in some way.
Keane's second-half double, which came as the Irishman made the first start of his two-month loan from LA Galaxy, enabled Villa to recover from a 2-1 half-time deficit and complete a third win in their past four Premier League matches away from home.
McCarthy, his side now eight games without a win and in the bottom three, might have known that the star of his 2002 Republic of Ireland World Cup squad would come back to haunt him when he needed it least. But it also appeared that fate was conspiring against him – Emmanuel Frimpong sustained a nasty injury that ended his influence on a match he had been dominating from midfield, and Karl Henry was foolishly sent off with 23 minutes left.
Henry, disentangling himself from Mark Albrighton after winning a free-kick, seemed to kick the Villa man in the chest with his right boot. Albrighton's reaction was on the theatrical side but the referee, Michael Oliver, had a clear view and had little option. With eight minutes of injury time, Wolves were effectively down to 10 men for a quarter of the match.
It was enough time for Keane to win it, controlling Roger Johnson's headed clearance with his left foot and using his right to smash the ball home off the bar.
"One man sent off, another carried off and a penalty – I don't think much more could have gone wrong," McCarthy said. "I can't excuse the red card. Albrighton's rolled about like he has been hit by a steamroller but it was a sending-off. I don't think we would have lost with 10 men.
"Was it a turning point? Yes, but there were several. We found yet another way to concede a goal – their second, when there were five or six things we could have done better."
It was a sloppy goal indeed, coming after Wolves had recovered from the concession of a penalty when Christophe Berra's attempt to clear from his penalty area instead took away Darren Bent's legs. Bent scored from the spot. The goal ensured that whatever the outcome, Wolves would not keep a clean sheet for a 19th successive match, equalling their leakiest run in the Premier League. Yet as an indicator of how the first half might unfold, it was entirely misleading.
Frimpong, whose arrival on loan from Arsenal has already shown signs of reviving Wolves' season, controlled the midfield and Michael Kightly shone on the right flank.
It was from Frimpong's pass that Kightly went past Clark to equalise after 21 minutes, beating Shay Given with a cool left-foot finish. Kightly's corner was then headed home by Dave Edwards as Wolves went ahead.
But after the Villa manager, Alex McLeish, at that point contemplating a miserable 53rd birthday, made some half-time adjustments, the tide began to turn.
Keane levelled as his hopeful swing of the right boot after a sloppy clearance by Matt Jarvis had too much for Wayne Hennessey. He then scored the winner. "Injuries made it easy for me to get Robbie in today," McLeish said. "You could see there what a striker of his quality can do."
Wolves (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley (Ebanks-Blake, 89), Johnson, Berra, Ward; Kightly, Frimpong (Milijas, 58), Henry, Jarvis; Edwards (Stearman, 82); Fletcher.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Given; Hutton, Collins, Dunne, Clark; Gardner (Bannan, 87), Petrov; Albrighton, Keane (Weimann, 89), Agbonlahor (Warnock, h-t); Bent.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Man of the match: Keane (Aston Villa)
Match rating: 8/10
Latest in Sport
David De Gea latest: Louis van Gaal wants goalkeeper sold to Real Madrid so Jasper Cillessen can be signed before Saturday
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Arsenal vs Chelsea player ratings: Was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the star as the Gunners ended their Jose Mourinho hoodoo?
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Community Shield 2015: Mesut Ozil can prove his greatness at last, says Arsene Wenger
Manchester United and Adidas branded 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' as women's shirt features plunging neckline and different design
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains