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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 August, 2003, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Villa make Leicester pay
Juan Pablo Angel

Aston Villa 3-1 Leicester

Juan Pablo Angel inspired Aston Villa to their first victory of the season - leaving Leicester still searching for their opening win.

The home side had scored just once in their first three matches of the new campaign but wrapped up the win with three goals in the opening 16 minutes.

Angel's double put Villa firmly in control after Ben Thatcher had headed an own goal - and once Les Ferdinand was sent off for dissent there was no way back for Leicester.

Though Muzzy Izzet scored with a free-kick for the Foxes just after the break, it never looked more than a consolation.

Leicester's cause had been hindered after just four minutes when John Curtis limped out of the action and was replaced by Andrew Impey.

And it was not long before Villa took advantage as the visitors re-shuffled.

KEY MOMENTS
8 mins: Thatcher heads into his own goal
10 mins: Angel doubles Villa's lead with another header
16 mins: Angel scores his second with a low shot
40 mins: Ferdinand is sent off after two cautions
53 mins: Izzet pulls one back for Leicester

Leicester's left side of defence was woefully exposed - as it would be for each Villa goal - and Peter Whittingham's cross was directed into his own net by Thatcher.

Just two minutes later, Whittingham was at it again, this time supplying the cross for Colombian Angel to head home his first strike of the day.

And with barely more than a quarter of an hour gone, Villa chose the same route to goal and found Leicester still had not blocked their path.

Whittingham whipped in another inviting cross and Angel side footed home from eight yards out.

Leicester boss Micky Adams opted for a tactical switch to a 3-5-2 system, bringing off Steve Howey and dropping Riccardo Scimeca into the back three.

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Substitute Lilian Nalis filled the extra position in midfield.

But Adams' plan had not allowed for Ferdinand's ill-discipline - and the manner of the striker's dismissal must have added to his boss' frustrations.

Ferdinand received his first caution after disputing a throw-in, then he continued his protests towards referee Steve Bennett who promptly showed him a second yellow card.

However, Leicester rallied and Izzet reduced his side's deficit with a well-struck free kick.

But the damage had already been done, much of it self-inflicted, though Villa deserved their victory.

Boss David O'Leary will be delighted to have earned the first win of his reign at Villa Park, and it was probably one of the most comfortable of his career.


Aston Villa: Sorensen, Delaney, Mellberg, Johnsen (Alpay 77), Samuel, Hendrie (De la Cruz 83), McCann, Hitzlsperger, Whittingham, Angel, Vassell (Dublin 83).
Subs Not Used: Postma, Kinsella.

Booked: Johnsen.

Leicester: Walker, Curtis (Impey 4), Howey (Nalis 31), Thatcher, Rogers, Scowcroft, Izzet, Scimeca, Gillespie, Ferdinand, Dickov (Stewart 79).
Subs Not Used: Hignett, Deane.

Sent Off: Ferdinand (40).

Booked: Ferdinand, Izzet.

Attendance: 32,274




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara
"Leicester weren't ever going to rain on Villa's parade"




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