BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 18:59 UK

Aston Villa   2 - 0   Portsmouth

By Les Roopanarine

Gabriel Agbonlahor
Gabriel Agbonlahor celebrates after scoring Aston Villa's second goal

Aston Villa maintained their impressive form to consign Portsmouth to a sixth successive Premier League defeat.

James Milner opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Nadir Belhadj upended Villa skipper Stilian Petrov.

Gabriel Agbonlahor then underlined Villa's superiority, converting a Milner flick-on with aplomb after a lapse of concentration by Tal Ben Haim.

The defeat makes Pompey the first top-flight side to lose their opening six games in over a quarter of a century.

Leicester City were the last team to start a top-flight campaign in similarly desultory fashion.

And while Portsmouth can perhaps take heart from the fact that the Foxes eventually recovered to finish the 1983/84 season in 15th place, they will need to tighten up significantly at the back if history is to repeat itself.

O'Neill praises 'fantastic' Agbonlahor

After a fifth successive win in all competitions, Villa have no such problems.

Nigel Reo-Coker's training-ground contretemps with manager Martin O'Neill overshadowed the prelude to the game, but a vibrant performance will have done much to lighten the mood in the claret-and-sky-blue camp.

O'Neill dealt with the absence of Reo-Coker, who was sent home from training on Thursday but will be considered for return to first-team contention next week, by restoring John Carew alongside Agbonlahor in attack.

The result was an infusion of attacking impetus that was evident from the opening seconds, when Agbonlahor's purposeful run towards the Pompey goal required a lunging intervention from Belhadj.

Villa's enterprise almost reaped an early reward when a left-wing cross from Ashley Young took a deflection off the forehead of Pompey midfielder Aaron Mokoena, forcing a sprightly save from England veteran David James.

606: DEBATE

If that was a warning shot across the Pompey bows, further signs of a torrid afternoon ahead for the visitors were not long in coming.

A well-timed tackle by Michael Brown halted Steve Sidwell's surging run into the box before Belhadj blocked a stinging effort from Milner.

In between came Portsmouth's best chance of the opening period, Frederic Piquionne shaking off the attention of two defenders only to direct his angled header wide of Brad Friedel's far post.

But as the relentless Villa onslaught continued, Portsmouth were clearly beginning to feel the squeeze.

O'Neill's side finally gained the advantage that their superiority demanded when Belhadj upended Petrov to concede a penalty.

The Algeria international appeared to argue that the Villa captain was heading away from goal, but referee Stuart Attwell was having none of it and Milner ended the debate with a clinical spot kick.

With the interval approaching O'Hara forced an unconvincing save from Brad Friedel, but if that was a faint ray of hope for Portsmouth, it was quickly snuffed out by Agbonlahor.

'Schoolboy errors costly - Hart

Milner flicked on a Friedel goal kick from inside the centre circle, and the Villa forward, still brimming with confidence after scoring the winner in the second city derby last weekend, turned Ben Haim before firing a crisp finish beyond James.

Staring down the barrel of another spirit-sapping defeat, Portsmouth improved markedly after the break, with Belhadj twice stinging the palms of Friedel from distance.

But Pompey's efforts came to nought, and a sixth consecutive loss represents a new low for a club that has twice narrowly avoided the drop since winning promotion from the Championship six years ago.


Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:

"I'm delighted, because it was a difficult afternoon for us, particularly in the second half.

"Expectations were high, but we got the penalty and then Gabriel Agbonlahor scored an absolutely magnificent goal to give everyone a lift.

"Overall I'm just really pleased with the team, there's a great spirit in the dressing room and I'm delighted to have got off to a reasonable start."

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart:
"I'm very disappointed in the result and the manner of the defeat because we shot ourselves in the foot.

"Then two defensive mistakes which were inexplicable and that has killed the game for us.

"We played well throughout the match and created a few chances. We have let ourselves down again but I have great belief in the players and feel we will improve."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Milner (pen) 34
  • Agbonlahor 43

    Aston Villa

    Substitutes

    Portsmouth

    Substitutes

    Ref: AttwellAtt: 35,979
    ASTON VILLA
    PORTSMOUTH

    Possession

    • Aston Villa 54%
    • Portsmouth 46%

    Attempts on target

    • Aston Villa 5
    • Portsmouth 12

    Attempts off target

    • Aston Villa 2
    • Portsmouth 5

    Corners

    • Aston Villa 7
    • Portsmouth 5

    Fouls

    • Aston Villa 17
    • Portsmouth 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:24 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+2:57 Fabian Delph fouled by Aaron Mokoena, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
    • 90:00+2:10 Danny Webber takes a shot. Richard Dunne gets a block in.
    • 90:00+0:50 Kevin-Prince Boateng crosses the ball, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 90:00+0:03 James Milner takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
    • 89:07 Gabriel Agbonlahor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Brown. Michael Brown takes the direct free kick.
    • 88:25 Corner taken short by Ashley Young.
    • 87:28 Corner taken short by Ashley Young.
    • 86:45 Michael Brown challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
    • 86:31 A cross is delivered by Anthony Vanden Borre, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
    • 83:24 Michael Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Sidwell. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance by Kevin-Prince Boateng.
    • 82:28 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. Blocked by Stiliyan Petrov.
    • 82:05 Unfair challenge on Tal Ben-Haim by Gabriel Agbonlahor results in a free kick. Tal Ben-Haim takes the free kick.
    • 81:14 Shot from a long way out by Jamie O'Hara goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 80:25 Corner taken by Jamie O'Hara played to the near post, clearance made by James Collins.
    • 80:17 Nadir Belhadj sends in a cross.
    • 79:16 Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Fabian Delph coming on for Emile Heskey.
    • 77:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey by Tal Ben-Haim. James Collins takes the free kick.
    • 76:42 Stephen Warnock is ruled offside. David James restarts play with the free kick.
    • 75:50 Substitution Danny Webber replaces Frederic Piquionne.
    • 75:50 Substitution (Portsmouth) makes a substitution, with Nwankwo Kanu coming on for Tommy Smith.
    • 72:55 Corner taken by Ashley Young, Carlos Cuellar takes a shot. Save by David James.
    • 72:16 Emile Heskey fouled by Anthony Vanden Borre, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ashley Young, clearance by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 70:44 James Milner sends in a cross.
    • 69:53 David James restarts play with the free kick.
    • 69:53 Booking Gabriel Agbonlahor goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 69:49 Unfair challenge on Younes Kaboul by Gabriel Agbonlahor results in a free kick.
    • 69:23 Michael Brown takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
    • 68:27 Nadir Belhadj takes a shot. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar.
    • 68:14 Tommy Smith delivers the ball, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
    • 67:01 Jamie O'Hara delivers the ball, Brad Friedel makes a save.
    • 66:23 Nadir Belhadj takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
    • 65:18 The assistant referee signals for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
    • 64:58 Substitution Emile Heskey comes on in place of John Carew.
    • 64:39 Unfair challenge on Kevin-Prince Boateng by Richard Dunne results in a free kick. Kevin-Prince Boateng takes the direct free kick.
    • 63:11 Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
    • 62:45 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, Nadir Belhadj manages to make a clearance.
    • 61:54 The ball is swung over by Nadir Belhadj, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 61:28 The ball is crossed by Steve Sidwell, clearance made by Younes Kaboul.
    • 60:18 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
    • 60:04 Foul by James Milner on Tal Ben-Haim, free kick awarded. Tal Ben-Haim takes the free kick.
    • 59:48 Centre by Nadir Belhadj, clearance by Richard Dunne.
    • 59:05 The ball is crossed by Jamie O'Hara, Steve Sidwell makes a clearance.
    • 58:53 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
    • 57:59 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Kevin-Prince Boateng, free kick awarded. Kevin-Prince Boateng takes the free kick.
    • 57:32 Younes Kaboul takes a shot.
    • 57:00 Foul by John Carew on Tommy Smith, free kick awarded. Jamie O'Hara takes the free kick.
    • 56:34 Booking Carlos Cuellar receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
    • 56:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin-Prince Boateng by Carlos Cuellar. Jamie O'Hara takes the direct free kick.
    • 54:00 Foul by Tommy Smith on James Milner, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Young from left channel.
    • 53:18 Steve Sidwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie O'Hara. Jamie O'Hara takes the free kick.
    • 53:05 Gabriel Agbonlahor is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Younes Kaboul takes the indirect free kick.
    • 51:04 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Brown by Ashley Young. Direct free kick taken by David James.
    • 50:12 Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line played to the near post, save by David James.
    • 49:55 Stiliyan Petrov takes a shot. Save made by David James.
    • 48:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tal Ben-Haim on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Strike comes in from Ashley Young from the free kick.
    • 47:31 Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a cross, clearance by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 45:47 The ball is sent over by Kevin-Prince Boateng, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 45:18 The ball is delivered by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:06 The players leave the pitch at half time.
    • 44:54 Unfair challenge on Aaron Mokoena by John Carew results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 43:40 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 42:15 The assist for the goal came from James Milner.
    • 42:15 GOAL - Gabriel AgbonlahorAston Villa 2 - 0 Portsmouth Gabriel Agbonlahor fires in a goal from just inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth.
    • 41:35 Centre by Kevin-Prince Boateng, Unfair challenge on Brad Friedel by Kevin-Prince Boateng results in a free kick. Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.
    • 41:00 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, Younes Kaboul manages to make a clearance.
    • 39:53 Gabriel Agbonlahor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Vanden Borre. Free kick taken by David James.
    • 39:13 Jamie O'Hara takes a short corner.
    • 39:01 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
    • 38:15 Jamie O'Hara takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by John Carew.
    • 38:08 The ball is delivered by Nadir Belhadj, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
    • 37:26 James Milner produces a cross, clearance by Younes Kaboul.
    • 35:24 Unfair challenge on Stephen Warnock by Frederic Piquionne results in a free kick. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
    • 34:37 Foul by Steve Sidwell on Kevin-Prince Boateng, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Younes Kaboul.
    • 33:12 Stiliyan Petrov provided the assist for the goal.
    • 33:12 GOAL - James MilnerAston Villa 1 - 0 Portsmouth Penalty taken right-footed by James Milner and scored. Aston Villa 1-0 Portsmouth.
    • 31:58 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Nadir Belhadj, the ref awards a Penalty.
    • 31:28 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, save made by David James.
    • 31:20 The ball is swung over by Gabriel Agbonlahor, Nadir Belhadj makes a clearance.
    • 31:01 Foul by Frederic Piquionne on James Collins, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
    • 30:14 Stiliyan Petrov challenges Michael Brown unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 28:09 Gabriel Agbonlahor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Mokoena. Free kick taken by David James.
    • 26:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Brown by Stephen Warnock. David James takes the direct free kick.
    • 26:52 The ball is crossed by James Milner, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.
    • 25:57 The assistant referee flags for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Richard Dunne takes the indirect free kick.
    • 22:54 The ball is swung over by Michael Brown, Close range header by Frederic Piquionne misses to the right of the goal.
    • 22:26 Corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 22:15 Michael Brown takes a shot. Blocked by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
    • 22:08 The ball is delivered by Anthony Vanden Borre, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
    • 21:02 James Milner takes a shot. Nadir Belhadj gets a block in.
    • 20:16 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in.
    • 19:29 Foul by John Carew on Younes Kaboul, free kick awarded. David James restarts play with the free kick.
    • 18:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Michael Brown. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.
    • 17:54 Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 14:41 Michael Brown gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Richard Dunne takes the direct free kick.
    • 12:02 Corner taken by James Milner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Younes Kaboul.
    • 11:54 The ball is sent over by Ashley Young.
    • 10:07 Stephen Warnock takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Richard Dunne misses to the left of the goal.
    • 9:53 The ball is sent over by Ashley Young, blocked by Aaron Mokoena.
    • 8:05 Effort on goal by Jamie O'Hara from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 3:44 The ball is crossed by Nadir Belhadj, clearance by James Collins.
    • 3:01 Jamie O'Hara delivers the ball, Header by Kevin-Prince Boateng from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
    • 1:05 Aaron Mokoena takes a shot.
    • 0:15 Short corner taken by James Milner from the right by-line, Centre by Stephen Warnock, clearance by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



    Print Sponsor


    Premier League results

    19 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Arsenal 4-0 Wigan R
    Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth R
    Bolton 1-1 Stoke R
    Burnley 3-1 Sunderland R
    Hull 0-1 Birmingham R
    West Ham 2-3 Liverpool R

    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 19 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 5 9 15
    2 Man Utd 5 8 12
    3 Liverpool 6 7 12
    4 Man City 4 6 12
    5 Tottenham 5 5 12
    6 Aston Villa 5 5 12
    7 Arsenal 5 9 9
    8 Sunderland 6 0 9
    9 Burnley 6 -5 9
    10 Stoke 6 -2 8
    11 Birmingham 6 -1 7
    12 Fulham 4 -2 6
    13 Wigan 6 -8 6
    14 West Ham 5 -1 4
    15 Blackburn 4 -1 4
    16 Bolton 5 -2 4
    17 Wolverhampton 5 -4 4
    18 Hull 6 -8 4
    19 Everton 4 -6 3
    20 Portsmouth 6 -9 0


    BBC navigation

    BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

    This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.