Wolves 1 Aston Villa 2: Emile Heskey heads superb late winner for Villa

26 September 2010 07:29
Emile Heskey forged his reputationworking under Martin O'Neill at Leicester.

But he saves his most prolific formfor Gerard Houllier.

And it was as if theFrenchman and the big striker hadnever been parted yesterday as a trademarkheader two minutes from time settled this WestMidlands derby in dramatic fashion.

Heads up: Heskey jumps highest to score Villa's winner

The revitalised striker plantedthe ball expertly inside MarcusHahnemann's right-hand post tomark a welcome return to the BarclaysPremier League for Villa'snew boss.

It was more than a decade agothat then Anfield manager Houllierchose to bring Heskey in ata cost of £11million to partnerMichael Owen.

He created a strikingpartnership that has not beenbettered on Merseyside since.

Now Heskey has responded morepositively to Houllier in less thantwo matches than in 18 monthsunder former protege O'Neill atVilla. Houllier got off to an uncertain start. Unsure of his bearingsbefore kick-off, he headedtowards the home dug-out.

But hefound himself very much at homeby the final blast of Mark Halsey'swhistle.Heskey, 32, had re-introducedhimself to stunning effect duringthe midweek Carling Cup defeat ofBlackburn Rovers.

He was rewarded with a start atMolineux and played a key part inStewart Downing's 25th-minuteopening goal before saving his bestfor last when he out-jumped ChristopheBerra to bury the winner.

Delight: Heskey celebrates after his crucial late goal

Beaming from ear to ear andusing the word 'tough' to describea very thorough examination,Houllier said: 'I told Emile: 'Welldone, son' after the Carling Cupgame. I said to him that there wasno reason why he couldn't repeatthat performance.

'But because he plays up front and sometimes misses sitters, peopleget on his back. Maybe it hashurt him in the past. Bill Shanklyhad a saying, that if a striker missesa sitter at least he was in a positionto miss that sitter.

'Strikers sometimes miss, butother times they score the type ofgoal that Emile scored here today.

'His work-rate was phenomenal.It's difficult to play up front inEngland, eh? He's quick, he canleap. He seems to have forgottenabout his shot. But he has a tremendousshot. Maybe it's a matterof confidence.'I don't know whether he believesin me. But I believe in him.'

Perfect start: Stewart Downing scores to give Villa an early lead

Wolves boss Mick McCarthysomehow kept an even temper toappear before the media. This wasthe third time in successivematches Fulham and Spursbeing the previous games thatWolves have conceded decisively inthe closing minutes.

It has turned a promising startinto an average one.For all that Villa were on the frontfoot during the opening exchanges,Wolves dominated the secondperiod after McCarthy had changedthings at half-time.

It was Heskey's turn and subsequentcharge across the area witha Wolves defender trailing in hiswake that set up the first goal.The ball reached Marc Albrightonand his neat stepover and thumpingcross was turned in on the fullby Downing.

It's only gone all the way in: Matt Jarvis sees his cross evade Brad Friedel and creep in to give Wolves an equalising goal

The £12m signing hasnow collected as many goals beforethe end of September as he managedthroughout the whole of lastseason.

But watched by England bossFabio Capello and what must hehave been thinking after Heskey's international retirement causedbarely a ripple just two monthsago? Matt Jarvis earned Wolvesa route back.

A fine start: Gerard Houllier watched his Villa side claim victory at Molineux

MATCH STATS Wolves:(4-4-2) Hahnemann 7, Foley 6, (Stearman 73min, 6) Craddock 6, Berra 6,Ward 5; (Elokobi 38, 6) Edwards 6, (Guedioura, 81) Jones 6, Henry 7,Jarvis 8; Fletcher 6, Doyle 6. Subs not used: Hennessey, Bent, Milijas.Goal: Jarvis 61. Booking: Craddock.

Aston Villa: (4-4-2) Friedel 7, L Young 7,Cuellar 7, Collins 7, Warnock 6; Albrighton 7 (Agbonlahor 66, 6), Reo-Coker 8, Petrov 6 (Sidwell 85), Downing 7, A Young 7, Heskey 9. Subs not used:Ireland, Davies, Guzan, Bannan, Lichaj.Goals: Downing 25, Heskey 88.

Bookings: Warnock, Sidwell.Man of the match: Emile Heskey.Referee: Mark Halsey 8.Attendance: 27,511.

The winger's cross was curled infrom the left. Dave Edwardscharged across Brad Friedel's eyelineand the ball ended up in thenet. Wolves fans, sensing their firstvictory over Villa at Molineux since1978, erupted.But Villa stood firm.

The gameappeared to be petering out whenDowning broke and fed the ball toAshley Young who had dartedacross the area. He, in turn, fedStephen Warnock. Heskey did therest.

McCarthy was unhappy as Warnock,who had been booked in thefirst half, earned a reprieve fromHalsey after a foul on Kevin Doyle.'It's a great header by Heskey,' hesaid.

'Could we have done better?Yes, we could have done.

'But I don't think Warnock shouldhave been on the pitch. If it was afoul on Kevin, it was a booking. Itwas a real attacking opportunityfor us.

'Bearing in mind, we had twobookings at Fulham that resultedin a sending off, it just rankles abit.

'Today Villa were streets betterthan us in the first half. We dominatedthe second half equally asmuch except for the last bit thatmattered most.'

 Wolves 0 Aston Villa 1 - all the action as it happenedHoullier insists Aston Villa will benefit from Heskey quitting England dutyASTON VILLA FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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