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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 14:38 GMT
Aston Villa 3-0 Portsmouth

Aston Villa goalscorers Juan Pablo Angel (left) and Nolberto Solano celebrate
Aston Villa produced a fine first-half display to cruise past Portsmouth.

Villa took the lead when Carlton Cole's cross evaded the Pompey defence and Peter Whittingham tapped the ball home.

Juan Pablo Angel doubled the lead with a fabulous solo strike before Nolberto Solano curled a right-foot finish past Shaka Hislop before the interval.

Villa eased off after the break and Pompey had chances to get back into it, but Amdy Faye's shot was saved and Lomano LuaLua blazed over the crossbar.

Pompey's apathetic display lent weight to the adage that a team always loses after its boss is named manager of the month.

Harry Redknapp felt the full force of that particular curse as his side invited Villa to attack from the start and paid a hefty price for their lethargy.

With the in-form Lee Hendrie at the heart of everything, Villa were soon well on top and Whittingham lashed in an early left-foot shot from 20 yards that Hislop got down well to save.

But Villa did not have to wait too much longer to go in front and the visitors' defending left a lot to be desired.

Cole was put through down the right and when his cross was missed by Angel and the three defenders marking him, Whittingham was left with the simple task of tapping into an empty net.

Seven minutes later Angel doubled the lead with a fine individual goal, controlling the ball with his back to goal 10 yards out, skipping past two defenders and firing past Hislop into the bottom corner.

Pompey were in stark contrast laboured, their three-pronged strikeforce flattering to deceive and Angel should have made it three wen he headed wide from Jlloyd Samuel's stunning left-wing cross.

Villa looked like scoring at will and Solano put the result beyond doubt five minutes before the break with a sumptuous finish with the outside of his right foot.

It could have got even worse for Redknapp's bewildered team but Hendrie's right-foot curler was safely gathered by Hislop.

With the game pretty much over Villa took their foot off the gas after the interval, though Portsmouth were still struggling to string more than two passes together.

They managed to threaten sparingly, with Ricardo Fuller firing wide and Faye's left-foot drive finally bringing Thomas Sorensen into the action.

As Villa allowed Pompey on to them the ball fell invitingly to the strangely subdued LuaLua 15 yards out, but the DR Congo hitman blazed his shot hopelessly over the bar.


Aston Villa: Sorensen, De la Cruz, Mellberg, Delaney, Samuel, Solano (Hitzlsperger 85), McCann, Hendrie (Davis 78), Whittingham, Cole (Luke Moore 68), Angel. Subs Not Used: Postma, Ridgewell.

Booked: Samuel.

Goals: Whittingham 18, Angel 25, Solano 40.

Portsmouth: Hislop, Primus (Griffin 38), De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Unsworth, LuaLua, Faye (Cisse 83), Mezague (Hughes 62), Quashie, Yakubu, Fuller. Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Taylor.

Booked: Unsworth.

Att: 32,633

Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Aston Villa boss David O'Leary


Interview: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp




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