Portsmouth 0-1 Aston Villa

27 January 2009 09:59
Villa have now won their last four Premier League games and their last six away from home - and the result at Fratton Park moves them above Chelsea and level on points with Liverpool, both of whom play on Wednesday.O'Neill accommodated Heskey by deploying him alongside Gabriel Agbonlahor in a 4-4-2 formation.Adams made four changes from the team that lost to the Swans as he sought to manufacture a change of fortune.Mullins made his first appearance since his transfer from West Ham, while Kanu made a rare start alongside Peter Crouch up front.With so many new faces and combinations on display there was little fluency to the opening phase of the match, and Stiliyan Petrov's strike wide of the Pompey goal after 16 minutes was just about the first real attempt on goal.He might have been given a straight red in the first half after cynically kicking out at Craig Gardner but escaped with a booking.But he did see red when he was booked for a second time by referee Peter Walton for protesting a decision after he was penalised for handball.Nonetheless, Pompey continued to press forward but Villa's defence held firm, with Friedel saving at the feet of substitute John Utaka.Portsmouth manager Tony Adams: "I thought we deserved something. We worked extremely hard and put in a decent performance."I asked for a response after the defeat to Swansea and I thought they were excellent. I cannot fault them."We have got nothing again but I'm taking the extreme positives out of the game. The fans could see that the boys were giving everything."Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill: "It was an impressive debut by Emile and he won the game for us. His whole performance was terrific. I could not be more pleased."Portsmouth put us under a lot of pressure but we won the game."Although we looked to be out on our feet it was a fantastic effort. The performance epitomised our spirit."Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell (Kaboul 46), Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Davis, Mullins, Belhadj, Crouch, Kanu (Utaka 74). Subs Not Used: Begovic, Nugent, Pamarot, Mvuemba, Armand Traore.Sent Off: Belhadj (71).Booked: Belhadj, Johnson.Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Knight, Davies, Luke Young, Gardner (Sidwell 65), Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Heskey (Shorey 83). Subs Not Used: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Salifou, Osbourne.Booked: Petrov, Milner.Goals: Heskey 21.Att: 19,073Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Villa's Emile Heskey 8.43 (on 90 minutes).Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

Source: BBC_Sport