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Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

Aston Villa   2 - 2   Wolverhampton

Jody Craddock celebrates for Wolves
Jody Craddock (left) stunned the hosts with a swift first-half equaliser for Wolves

By Mark Ashenden

Relegation-threatened Wolves were denied the spoils after a John Carew double salvaged a draw for Aston Villa.

The hosts grabbed the lead when James Milner and Ashley Young combined well on the left for Carew to side-foot in.

Wolves hit back after a David Jones free-kick was mis-hit by Ronald Zubar for Jody Craddock to blast home.

A Milner own goal had Wolves sensing a shock victory, but after a flurry of second-half chances, Carew was close by to tap in Steve Sidwell's pass.

Both teams would have kicked off their 100th meeting in the league desperate for all three points for contrasting reasons and this keenly-contested battle was a hugely entertaining and open affair.

606: DEBATE
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Villa, starting the day in seventh and hunting the fourth Champions League spot, began with invention and energy and Stephen Warnock came within a whisker of stabbing in Carew's dragged shot inside five minutes.

The Norwegian striker did not have to wait much longer for another golden chance and he made no mistake from six yards to bag the opener.

In the stands, England boss Fabio Capello would have been impressed by the contribution of midfielder Milner, who burst through the middle to set up Young on the left and his low cross was easily slotted home by the unmarked Carew.

Despite being the lowest scorers in the Premier League, Wolves did not crumble as one might have thought and they hit back only seven minutes later.

A floated Jones free-kick dropped to Zubar three yards out and after his mis-timed shot bizarrely went backwards, the ball fell to defender Craddock who crashed home his fifth of the season.

Villa's fighting spirit delights O'Neill

Worse was to come for Villa's increasingly animated manager Martin O'Neill as he witnessed his highly regarded defence breached for the second time in 15 minutes.

Jones was the provider again and after a mazy run, the midfielder fed the ball to Matthew Jarvis on the left and his cross was poked into his own net by the unlucky Milner.

Wolves fought desperately as Villa piled forward searching for an equaliser before the interval and Stewart Downing wasted a golden opportunity when he nodded down and over from Young's cross.

After ending a three-match losing streak last week with a win at Burnley, the visitors looked comfortable in thwarting the Villa attack, thanks also to manager Mick McCarthy shoring up his defence with George Elokobi in for Adiene Guedioura at the start of the second half.

The long balls continued to pepper the Wolves backline but keeper Marcus Hahnemann stood firm as Heskey and Carew both missed headed chances.

O'Neill continued to jump, scratch his head and bark orders from the touchline and he was nearly rewarded as the lively Young struck another dangerous cross for the towering Heskey to nod the ball off the backs of the defenders into the arms of Hahnemann.

Defensive error frustrates Mcarthy

With eight minutes left on the clock, the Wolves' hearts were finally broken when Carew narrowly avoided the offside flag to stab in the equaliser.

Young, for once, was not involved as Brad Friedel's monumental kick bounced through to Heskey and substitute Sidwell was lurking on the edge of the box to feed the ball through to Carew to restore parity again.

It was slightly harsh on a very hard-working Wolves, who might have nicked it at the end when a sloppy Warnock back-pass almost led to a winner from Kevin Doyle.


Wolves boss Mick McCarthy:
"My heart rate is still pounding but I'm pleased - but also disappointed," he said after a 2-2 draw at Villa Park.

"One we settled down we gave an excellent account of ourselves. I thought we were terrific.

"I'm disappointed with the goals but there are more positives. It feels like we've had a couple of points snatched away but it was our own downfall."

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"I've got nothing but admiration for the players. They were not the best goals in the world, but they fought when we had to throw everything at it.

"I couldn't have any more respect and regard for the players."

"On chasing a Champions League qualifying fourth spot, O'Neill added: "The race is well and truly on. We are not out of it."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 2-2 Wolves FT
(HT 1-2)
  • Carew 16
  • Carew 82
  • Craddock 23
  • Milner (og) 38

Aston Villa

Substitutes

Wolverhampton

Substitutes

Ref: ClattenburgAtt: 37,562
ASTON VILLA
WOLVES

Possession

  • Aston Villa 54%
  • Wolves 46%

Attempts on target

  • Aston Villa 3
  • Wolves 4

Attempts off target

  • Aston Villa 8
  • Wolves 3

Corners

  • Aston Villa 7
  • Wolves 5

Fouls

  • Aston Villa 10
  • Wolves 12
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:20 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
  • 90:00+3:30 Centre by George Elokobi.
  • 90:00+2:59 Corner from the right by-line taken by David Jones, Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 90:00+1:50 Kevin Doyle fouled by Steve Sidwell, the ref awards a free kick. George Elokobi restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+1:14 Carlos Cuellar crosses the ball, Marcus Hahnemann makes a comfortable save.
  • 90:00+1:02 The ball is sent over by James Milner, Christophe Berra manages to make a clearance.
  • 90:00+0:13 Marc Albrighton challenges Kevin Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by George Elokobi, Stephen Warnock manages to make a clearance.
  • 88:04 Substitution Matthew Jarvis goes off and Chris Iwelumo comes on.
  • 86:47 Marc Albrighton sends in a cross.
  • 84:39 Stephen Warnock fouled by Kevin Foley, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.
  • 81:55 Steve Sidwell provided the assist for the goal.
  • 81:55 GOAL - John CarewAston Villa 2 - 2 Wolverhampton John Carew scores a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-2 Wolverhampton.
  • Correction - 81:33 Assist on the goal came from Steve Sidwell.
  • Correction - 81:33 GOAL - John CarewAston Villa 2 - 2 Wolverhampton A goal is scored by John Carew from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-2 Wolverhampton.
  • 81:31 Steve Sidwell takes a shot.
  • 81:19 Michael Mancienne takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a comfortable save.
  • 80:13 James Milner has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 79:15 The ball is crossed by Ashley Young, Header from deep inside the penalty area by John Carew goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
  • 77:20 Stephen Warnock fouled by Kevin Doyle, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.
  • 76:15 Stiliyan Petrov restarts play with the free kick.
  • 76:15 Substitution Steve Sidwell comes on in place of Stewart Downing.
  • 76:15 Michael Mancienne challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 75:52 Matthew Jarvis takes a shot. Comfortable save by Brad Friedel.
  • 74:38 Free kick crossed by Ashley Young.
  • 74:38 Booking Ronald Zubar booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 74:30 Unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Ronald Zubar results in a free kick.
  • 73:06 Christophe Berra challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Carlos Cuellar.
  • 71:46 Marcus Hahnemann takes the free kick.
  • 71:46 Substitution Richard Dunne leaves the field to be replaced by Marc Albrighton.
  • 71:46 John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 70:41 Ashley Young crosses the ball, clearance by Christophe Berra.
  • 70:18 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing, clearance by Jody Craddock.
  • 70:00 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young.
  • 68:43 The ball is crossed by Kevin Doyle, comfortable save by Brad Friedel.
  • 66:26 Foul by James Collins on Kevin Doyle, free kick awarded. David Jones crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance.
  • 65:37 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ronald Zubar. Direct free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 63:31 Substitution Michael Mancienne is brought on as a substitute for Stephen Ward.
  • 62:08 The ball is swung over by James Milner, John Carew takes a shot. Save made by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 61:10 Ashley Young crosses the ball, George Elokobi manages to make a clearance.
  • 59:24 Foul by Karl Henry on James Milner, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by James Milner from right channel, Karl Henry manages to make a clearance.
  • 58:32 James Milner delivers the ball, Matthew Jarvis makes a clearance.
  • 58:09 Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 58:03 Ashley Young sends in a cross, Jody Craddock gets a block in.
  • 56:39 Corner from right by-line taken by Stewart Downing.
  • 55:39 Unfair challenge on Jody Craddock by John Carew results in a free kick. Jody Craddock restarts play with the free kick.
  • 54:29 Ashley Young crosses the ball, Karl Henry makes a clearance.
  • 54:12 Emile Heskey crosses the ball, Marcus Hahnemann makes a save.
  • 51:53 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Matthew Jarvis. Strike comes in from Ashley Young from the free kick.
  • 49:54 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Richard Dunne produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
  • 48:32 Stewart Downing produces a cross, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 46:41 Corner taken right-footed by Matthew Jarvis, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
  • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
  • 45:01 Substitution George Elokobi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Adlene Guedioura.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:15 The referee blows for half time.
  • 45:00+1:39 Shot from just outside the box by Carlos Cuellar goes over the bar.
  • 45:00+1:07 Corner from the left by-line taken by Ashley Young, clearance made by Stephen Ward.
  • 45:00+0:23 Handball decision goes against Kevin Foley. Stephen Warnock restarts play with the free kick.
  • 44:06 Karl Henry challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by James Milner, Christophe Berra manages to make a clearance.
  • 41:46 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Kevin Doyle, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 41:16 Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
  • 41:16 Booking Adlene Guedioura is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
  • 41:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Adlene Guedioura.
  • 40:13 Stewart Downing has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
  • 39:22 Foul by Carlos Cuellar on Adlene Guedioura, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Ward.
  • 37:27 The assist for the goal came from Matthew Jarvis.
  • 37:27 GOAL - James MilnerAston Villa 1 - 2 Wolverhampton James Milner puts the ball into his own net from 6 yards. Aston Villa 1-2 Wolverhampton.
  • 32:50 Floated corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line, clearance by David Jones.
  • 32:45 The ball is delivered by Ashley Young, Ronald Zubar manages to make a clearance.
  • 29:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Foley by John Carew. Free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 27:32 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Ronald Zubar, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
  • 26:28 Effort from deep inside the area by Kevin Doyle clears the bar.
  • 26:22 Kevin Foley produces a cross, James Milner makes a clearance.
  • 22:33 The assist for the goal came from Ronald Zubar.
  • 22:33 GOAL - Jody CraddockAston Villa 1 - 1 Wolverhampton A goal is scored by Jody Craddock from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Aston Villa 1-1 Wolverhampton.
  • 22:10 David Jones takes the free kick.
  • 22:10 Booking Stiliyan Petrov booked.
  • 21:52 Unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Stiliyan Petrov results in a free kick.
  • 20:39 Shot by Matthew Jarvis. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in. David Jones takes a corner.
  • 17:55 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 17:19 Effort from just outside the box by Karl Henry goes over the bar.
  • 15:50 Assist on the goal came from Ashley Young.
  • 15:50 GOAL - John CarewAston Villa 1 - 0 Wolverhampton John Carew scores a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Wolverhampton.
  • 15:33 Kevin Doyle crosses the ball, James Collins manages to make a clearance.
  • 14:24 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
  • 13:19 Stewart Downing delivers the ball, clearance made by Kevin Doyle.
  • 12:39 The ball is crossed by Ashley Young, Ronald Zubar manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Ashley Young.
  • 10:24 Corner taken by Matthew Jarvis.
  • 7:57 Corner taken by Matthew Jarvis, Adlene Guedioura produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
  • 5:49 Kevin Foley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Warnock. Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.
  • 4:04 Effort from close in by John Carew goes wide left of the target.
  • 0:59 Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Karl Henry results in a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov takes the direct free kick.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the match started.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 20 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 31 40 67
2 Man Utd 30 46 66
3 Chelsea 29 42 64
4 Tottenham 30 26 55
5 Liverpool 30 19 51
6 Man City 28 17 50
7 Aston Villa 29 17 50
8 Everton 30 6 45
9 Birmingham 30 -3 44
10 Fulham 29 0 38
11 Stoke 30 -6 36
12 Sunderland 30 -6 34
13 Blackburn 29 -17 34
14 Bolton 31 -20 32
15 Wigan 31 -30 31
16 Wolves 30 -24 28
17 West Ham 30 -14 27
18 Burnley 31 -33 24
19 Hull 30 -35 24
20 Portsmouth 30 -25 13

see also
Saturday football as it happened
20 Mar 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
20 Mar 10 |  Football



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