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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 16:52 UK

Bolton   0 - 1   Aston Villa

Ashley Young
Ashley Young's 11th-minute strike gave Villa a first win in four games

By Kevin Darling

Ashley Young's fine winner saw Aston Villa bounce back from last weekend's humiliation at Chelsea and stay in the hunt for a Champions League place.

The winger curled an exquisite shot into the corner from 18 yards after being teed up by Stephen Warnock.

Bolton substitute Ivan Klasnic had the hosts' best chances, going close to an equaliser on three occasions.

But Villa remained largely in control and Gabby Agbonlahor fluffed a great opportunity to double their lead.

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Young's decisive contribution after 11 minutes was a welcome tonic for Villa after a difficult week, which was dominated by speculation over Martin O'Neill's future in the wake of the crushing 7-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

O'Neill, who has publicly committed himself to Villa, called for a strong response from his side and he got his wish. He also received the backing of the Villa fans, who sang his name throughout the game.

Villa can be further buoyed by fourth-placed Tottenham's defeat at Sunderland, which leaves them just four points behind the Londoners.

Disappointed Coyle rues poor first half

That is no mean feat for a team who came into this match on a run of just three wins in 13 league games, culminating in their capitulation in west London.

The hangover from that drubbing still seemed to be afflicting Villa in the opening exchanges as they started sloppily, with Bolton's Tamir Cohen dragging a good chance wide from 15 yards and then seeing his sweet volley saved by Brad Friedel.

But the visitors went ahead against the run of play thanks to a moment of class from Young, as Bolton's defenders were caught napping.

The winger picked up Warnock's pass just inside the area and was given the time to send a precise curling shot into the corner.

The goal seemed to deflate the hosts and settle the visitors, who could have extended their lead as Agbonlahor and Young both forced smart stops from Jussi Jaaskelainen

Bolton showed no lack of endeavour but created little besides a series of set-pieces, which were easily dealt with by Villa's towering central defensive duo of James Collins and Richard Dunne.

Villa continued to look the more dangerous side after the break, with Downing heading just over from Young's corner.

O'Neill hails fantastic Villa response

The introduction of cult hero Klasnic roused the Bolton supporters but the home fans were left berating the Croatian just moments later as he skewed a header wide from a fine Sam Ricketts cross.

The substitute was in the thick of it again when he found some space eight yards out and prodded an effort goalwards, only to be denied by the feet of Friedel.

At the other end, Jaaskelainen made a point-blank save from Villa substitute Emile Heskey after a searing run down the right from Young.

The visitors should have sealed the win when a drop-ball fell kindly for Agbonlahor, who raced clear only to sidefoot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Bolton rallied late on as Davies headed Matt Taylor's corner straight at Friedel and Taylor then had a shot charged down in the box.

But Villa held on to greatly improve O'Neill's state of mind ahead of their next match - an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley next Saturday.

Meanwhile, Bolton remain five points clear of the relegation zone but face an anxious few weeks until their Premier League safety is secured.


Bolton manager Owen Coyle:
"We had a good chance to win three points and put ourselves in a very good position in the league, but we've allowed it to pass us by.

"Although it was an exquisite finish (from Ashley Young), it was a poor goal to lose.

"After that we huffed and puffed without any fluency or real cohesion to our game."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Bolton 0-1 Aston Villa FT
(HT 0-1)
    • A Young 11

    Bolton

    Substitutes

    Aston Villa

    Substitutes

    Ref: JonesAtt: 21,111
    BOLTON
    ASTON VILLA

    Possession

    • Bolton 46%
    • Aston Villa 54%

    Attempts on target

    • Bolton 10
    • Aston Villa 9

    Attempts off target

    • Bolton 4
    • Aston Villa 4

    Corners

    • Bolton 6
    • Aston Villa 8

    Fouls

    • Bolton 13
    • Aston Villa 14
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:54 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+2:32 Stewart Downing takes a short corner.
    • 90:00+1:48 Stewart Downing challenges Vladimir Weiss unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
    • 90:00+0:04 The assistant referee flags for offside against Ashley Young. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 89:18 Foul by Fabrice Muamba on Richard Dunne, free kick awarded. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
    • 88:28 Zat Knight produces a cross. Shot from 12 yards from Matthew Taylor. Blocked by Richard Dunne.
    • 88:18 The ball is swung over by Paul Robinson, clearance by Richard Dunne.
    • 87:35 The ball is crossed by Vladimir Weiss, Carlos Cuellar gets a block in.
    • 85:51 Paul Robinson produces a cross, save made by Brad Friedel.
    • 84:22 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Vladimir Weiss. Gary Cahill produces a overhead kick right-footed shot from 12 yards. Blocked by Richard Dunne. Corner from the right by-line taken by Matthew Taylor, Kevin Davies takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
    • 84:01 The ball is delivered by Samuel Ricketts.
    • 83:24 James Collins concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Davies. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • 82:55 Booking The referee books Jussi Jaaskelainen for dissent.
    • 82:38 Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
    • 80:15 Emile Heskey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samuel Ricketts. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 78:46 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 77:18 Substitution Matthew Taylor on for Chung-Yong Lee.
    • 76:31 Ivan Klasnic takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
    • 76:18 Samuel Ricketts sends in a cross, James Collins manages to make a clearance.
    • 76:02 Stewart Downing has an effort at goal from 6 yards. Blocked by Samuel Ricketts.
    • 74:30 Substitution Steve Sidwell joins the action as a substitute, replacing Fabian Delph.
    • 73:37 Vladimir Weiss takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
    • 71:56 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jack Wilshere from the right by-line.
    • 71:13 Ivan Klasnic takes a shot. Brad Friedel gets a block in.
    • 69:51 Zat Knight gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey. James Collins produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • Correction - 68:45 Kevin Davies is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
    • 68:45 Substitution Emile Heskey comes on in place of John Carew.
    • 68:45 Kevin Davies is ruled offside. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
    • 67:52 Ashley Young challenges Samuel Ricketts unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
    • 66:58 Ashley Young sends in a cross, clearance by Paul Robinson. Corner taken by Stewart Downing played to the near post.
    • 66:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Dunne by Fabrice Muamba. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
    • 65:04 Substitution (Bolton) makes a substitution, with Vladimir Weiss coming on for Tamir Cohen.
    • 64:14 Foul by Gary Cahill on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
    • 62:19 Stephen Warnock produces a cross, Zat Knight manages to make a clearance.
    • 61:33 Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save.
    • 61:25 John Carew takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill.
    • 60:48 The ball is delivered by Fabrice Muamba.
    • 59:46 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Kevin Davies, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young crosses the ball in from the free kick, save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 58:30 Samuel Ricketts crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Ivan Klasnic misses to the left of the goal.
    • 57:56 Foul by James Collins on Tamir Cohen, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Chung-Yong Lee, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 56:34 Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 56:34 Substitution Ivan Klasnic on for Johan Elmander.
    • 56:34 The referee blows for offside.
    • 56:06 Centre by Stewart Downing, Gary Cahill manages to make a clearance.
    • 54:50 Kevin Davies fouled by James Collins, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 54:14 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Samuel Ricketts gets a block in.
    • 53:27 Jack Wilshere concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. James Collins takes the free kick.
    • 53:03 Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross, Zat Knight makes a clearance.
    • 51:04 Corner taken by Ashley Young from the right by-line played to the near post, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Stewart Downing goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 49:29 Unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Paul Robinson results in a free kick. Stewart Downing fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Johan Elmander gets a block in. Ashley Young takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Fabrice Muamba.
    • 48:15 The ball is sent over by Johan Elmander. Corner taken by Chung-Yong Lee, James Collins makes a clearance.
    • 45:50 The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, clearance by Gary Cahill.
    • 45:01 The second half has started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:40 The half-time whistle blows.
    • 45:00+0:32 Corner taken by Chung-Yong Lee, Brad Friedel makes a save.
    • 45:00+0:22 Fabrice Muamba takes a shot. Fabian Delph gets a block in.
    • 45:00+0:11 Samuel Ricketts sends in a cross, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar.
    • 44:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Johan Elmander by Stephen Warnock. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
    • 42:45 Ashley Young has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
    • 38:16 Centre by Samuel Ricketts, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
    • 37:15 Fabian Delph takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Samuel Ricketts gets a block in.
    • 36:26 The ball is crossed by Johan Elmander, blocked by Carlos Cuellar. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Chung-Yong Lee from the left by-line, save made by Brad Friedel.
    • 36:08 Stewart Downing sends in a cross, Paul Robinson makes a clearance.
    • 35:23 Corner taken by Ashley Young played to the near post.
    • 32:52 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 32:38 Ashley Young takes a shot. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save.
    • 30:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Gary Cahill. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
    • 29:41 Tamir Cohen has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
    • 28:57 Stewart Downing crosses the ball.
    • 28:11 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance by Tamir Cohen.
    • 25:07 Paul Robinson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Stewart Downing, clearance by Zat Knight. James Collins challenges Zat Knight unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 23:50 Carlos Cuellar delivers the ball.
    • 23:27 Zat Knight challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
    • 23:02 Kevin Davies produces a cross, clearance made by James Collins.
    • 21:53 Kevin Davies fouled by James Collins, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
    • 19:59 Booking Samuel Ricketts receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
    • 19:53 Carlos Cuellar crosses the ball.
    • 19:40 Ashley Young sends in a cross, Paul Robinson makes a clearance.
    • 18:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by Fabrice Muamba. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
    • 16:42 Fabrice Muamba takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Dunne. Ashley Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chung-Yong Lee. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jack Wilshere from right wing, clearance by John Carew.
    • 16:04 The assistant referee flags for offside against John Carew. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 14:29 Paul Robinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Free kick crossed by Stewart Downing.
    • 13:01 Shot from just outside the box by Jack Wilshere misses to the right of the target.
    • 11:54 Foul by Stewart Downing on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Chung-Yong Lee, save by Brad Friedel.
    • 11:42 Fabrice Muamba takes a shot. Stiliyan Petrov gets a block in.
    • 11:34 Chung-Yong Lee produces a cross.
    • 10:06 Assist by Stephen Warnock.
    • 10:06 GOAL - Ashley YoungBolton 0 - 1 Aston Villa Ashley Young gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Bolton 0-1 Aston Villa.
    • 9:06 John Carew is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
    • 8:15 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, clearance made by Kevin Davies.
    • 7:09 Stewart Downing crosses the ball.
    • 5:17 Carlos Cuellar challenges Jack Wilshere unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson. Shot by Tamir Cohen. Save made by Brad Friedel.
    • 4:01 Tamir Cohen challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
    • 2:04 Foul by Kevin Davies on Richard Dunne, free kick awarded. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
    • 1:49 Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a cross, Zat Knight gets a block in.
    • 1:05 Tamir Cohen has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
    • 0:41 Fabian Delph concedes a free kick for a foul on Johan Elmander. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
    • 0:00 The game gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 3 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 33 54 74
    2 Man Utd 33 50 72
    3 Arsenal 33 41 71
    4 Man City 32 24 59
    5 Tottenham 32 26 58
    6 Liverpool 32 21 54
    7 Aston Villa 32 12 54
    8 Everton 32 8 49
    9 Birmingham 32 -4 45
    10 Stoke 32 -3 42
    11 Blackburn 33 -15 42
    12 Fulham 31 -3 38
    13 Sunderland 33 -7 38
    14 Wolves 33 -23 32
    15 Bolton 33 -25 32
    16 Wigan 32 -33 31
    17 West Ham 32 -17 27
    18 Hull 32 -35 27
    19 Burnley 33 -39 24
    20 Portsmouth 33 -32 14

    see also
    Fan backing 'overwhelms' O'Neill
    03 Apr 10 |  Aston Villa
    Saturday football as it happened
    03 Apr 10 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    03 Apr 10 |  Premier League