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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Aston Villa 2-0 Charlton
By Nathan Mercer

Luke Moore
Luke Moore rises highest to meet a Villa cross
Aston Villa extended their unbeaten run in the Premiership thanks to fine strikes either side of half-time from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Luke Moore.

The sublime Agbonlahor met Gareth Barry's floating cross to give the home side a deserved first-half lead.

And when Moore latched on to Juan Pablo Angel's precise pass, the striker confidently put Villa two up.

Charlton striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was twice denied by Thomas Sorensen, but the hosts cruised home.

New owner and chairman Randy Lerner would have been impressed with his Villa side who dominated throughout and punished a Charlton team which lacked creativity and confidence.

But Villa could have fallen behind in the third minute when Olof Mellberg's slip allowed Hasselbaink a free run and shot on goal.

Goalkeeper Sorensen reacted quickly and turned the thunderous effort into the side netting.

Moore and Barry had tame efforts comfortably gathered by Scott Carson as the home side began to take control of a dull first period.

Villa grew in confidence after a flurry of jinking runs from Agbonlahor, and Angel's aerial threat encouraged a barrage of crosses into the Addicks' box.

And Agbonlahor's endeavour was rewarded in the 35th minute when Barry's deep cross picked out the England under-20 international who confidently volleyed home from close in.

The exciting teenager's second goal in an Aston Villa shirt typified the winger's danger from the right and gave the hosts a deserved lead at the break.

In their worst start to the Premiership season, Charlton were guilty of allowing Agbonlahor and Barry to steam in from the flanks and struggled to gain a stranglehold on the match.

But they were given hope immediately after the restart Hasselbaink again almost caught the Villa defence sleeping.

The veteran striker fired in a low drive that forced Sorensen into a full-stretch save, but it was the home side who still looked the more likely to find the net.

And on 62 minutes Moore doubled Villa's lead with a fine run and finish.

Strike partner Angel slipped in a perfectly-weighted pass that dissected the Charlton defence and Moore's pace and strength allowed him to force home and put Villa firmly in control.

Agbonlahor, superb throughout, almost claimed a brace after carving through the Charlton back line and firing in a low shot that was well pounced upon by Carson.

The Addicks freshened up their attack in the second half but they lacked the attacking verve of their opponents and Villa closed out the game to continue Martin O'Neill's fine start to in his new job.

  • Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
    "I thought we played some sparkling stuff at times and fully deserved the three points.

    "We didn't make the best of starts, it was a bit like the Reading game, where we took a while to get started. But we gradually got going and created chances.

    "It was a bonus that we kept a clean sheet. We had a few problems early on, losing a lot of headers and we had to withstand a bit of pressure."

  • Charlton manager Iain Dowie:
    "For 55 minutes we were very good, but the second goal punctured us and I was disappointed with our reaction of that.

    "I was bitterly disappointed with the manner of their first goal but up until then we were excellent.

    "We should have got something from the game, and should have kept a clean sheet, that has cost us dear."

    Aston Villa: Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Barry, Davis, McCann, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Angel, Moore (Baros 82).
    Subs Not Used: Taylor, Laursen, Whittingham, Berger.

    Goals: Agbonlahor 35, Moore 62.

    Charlton: Carson, Young, Fortune, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Rommedahl, Faye, Holland (Marcus Bent 66), Hughes, Hasselbaink (Ambrose 66), Darren Bent.
    Subs Not Used: Myhre, Kishishev, Sankofa.

    Booked: Faye.

    Att: 35,513

    Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

    Saturday's football photos
    23 Sep 06 |  Football


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