Yakubu brilliance as Boro battlers outclass Villa
Aston Villa 2
Monday 03 October 2005
Middlesbrough, who advanced to the group stages of the Uefa Cup on Thursday, were seldom stretched in achieving only their second victory in 10 attempts in a fixture following a European match. Their previous victims had been Villa, and with the two-goal Aiyegbeni Yakubu giving a masterclass in lone front-running, they demonstrated what their manager, Steve McClaren, called "a freshness and an energy".
Villa have endured their worst start to a campaign in 14 seasons of the Premiership and their manager bluntly described their display as "not good enough".
O'Leary added: "We're missing four or five quality players through injury, people like [Gavin] McCann, [Milan] Baros and [Kevin] Phillips, but I still think we should be doing better."
Middlesbrough were especially well served by their former Villa players, Gareth Southgate and George Boateng. The Dutchman restored their lead after Luke Moore had nullified Yakubu's opener, and was brought down for the late penalty through which Boro plumped up a two-goal cushion.
Yakubu looked a man possessed, nutmegging Olof Mellberg with only 50 seconds played before making Thomas Sorensen sprawl to save his shot. The only surprise was that it took him 33 minutes to score. A cross by Emanuel Pogatetz was headed sloppily into the air by Wilfred Bouma, and the Nigerian simply waited for the ball to drop, his volley hitting Liam Ridgewell on its way in.
Villa, having doubtless felt O'Leary's wrath at half-time, soon underlined the fragility of a one-goal lead. Patrik Berger's mis-hit shot thudded into Juan Pablo Angel's back, and Moore, seizing on the loose ball, curled in his second goal in as many games.
Middlesbrough regained the initiative midway through the second half. A corner by the impressive Fabio Rochemback evaded everybody on its way to the far side of the penalty area, where Boateng met the ball with a fierce left-footed cross-shot.
With three minutes remaining, Jlloyd Samuel cut down Boateng, whose melodramatic limp to the touchline angered the Holte End. Yakubu nonchalantly converted the penalty, and Steven Davis' stoppage-time goal, a low shot through a crowded area after a corner, was scant consolation for those still left among Villa Park's lowest crowd of the season.
Goals: Yakubu (33) 0-1; Moore (51) 1-1; Boateng (64) 1-2; Yakubu pen (88) 1-3; Davis (90) 2-3.
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Sorensen; De La Cruz (Samuel, h-t), Mellberg, Ridgewell, Bouma (Bakke, 76); Milner, Davis, Barry, Berger; Moore, Angel. Substitutes not used: Taylor (gk), Djemba-Djemba, Cahill.
Middlesbrough (4-5-1): Jones; Abel Xavier, Riggott, Southgate, Pogatetz; Mendieta (Queudrue, 65), Doriva, Rochemback, Boateng, Nemeth (Parnaby, 69); Yakubu. Substitutes not used: Knight (gk), Hasselbaink, Maccarone.
Referee: M Dean (Wirral).
Booked: Aston Villa: Barry, Berger, Ridgewell, Samuel. Middlesbrough: Riggott.
Man of the match: Yakubu.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea in Thailand: Eden Hazard offered 'free hug' as Jose Mourinho meets a familiar face
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget that fateful day in Belgium
Paul Scholes column: With Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Fifa bomb threat: Swiss authorities confirm a bomb threat has been made at the Fifa Congress
Michel Platini to consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa election
- 1 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 3 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'