Savo the saviour
Aston Villa 1 Milosevic 37 Sunderland 0 Attendance: 32,491
Sunday 02 February 1997
Every bobble and bounce off the shin went the much-mocked Serb striker's way as his seventh goal of the season woke up a subdued Villa crowd, from the juggernaut turn in midfield by which he somehow propelled the ball towards Sunderland's goal to the deflected sidefoot shot which sent goalkeeper Lionel Perez off- balance before coming to rest in the bottom corner.
They all count. And after waiting until now for their first Premiership victory of 1997, Villa were relieved to count three points towards the restoration of their faltering season. Such has been Villa's decline that they had not won in six league matches, since thrashing Wimbledon 5-0 before Christmas. They have also seen their FA Cup campaign go the way of their interest in the Coca-Cola Cup, the winning of which last season gave rise to the optimism that greeted this one.
Another stab at the Uefa Cup appeared the only target for which they can now realistically aim, but on this performance even that may seem ambitious. They were hampered here by the absence of key personnel, but there was evidence of a lack of self-belief that will worry Brian Little more. "Without Andy Townsend, Mark Draper and Ian Taylor, the balance in midfield is not right," the Villa manager said. "Really, we played poorly at times so the result was a relief."
Even Little conceded that fortune had favoured Milosevic, although he pointed out that Dwight Yorke might have scored two other goals before half-time, firstly after a sharp one-two with Milosevic, when Perez saved well, and again, just before the break, when a low Milosevic cross eluded him by inches.
Sunderland, as they often do, looked solid without offering much threat going forward, however Villa's Mark Bosnich pulled off a fine fingertip save to deny John Mullin. Jan Eriksson, who played in the Helsingborg's team that put Villa out of Europe this season, made a sound debut in Sunderland's defence, though it was his foot that unwittingly gave Milosevic his winning moment.
Latest in Sport
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Juventus vs Real Madrid match report: Carlos Tevez gives Juve the edge after goals from Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...