Aston Villa Logo Aston Villa 3 - 0 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 22
Monday 18 January 1999
Villa Park, Birmingham
Att: 32,488
« Leicester City (h) Ref: Neale Barry Ipswich Town (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
Aston Villa: Joachim (40', 51'), Merson (78')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
Aston Villa: Oakes, Ehiogu, Southgate, Barry, Watson, Scimeca, Taylor (59' Merson), Hendrie (82' Draper), Wright, Joachim, Dublin (46' Collymore). Grayson, Rachel.
EVERTON: Myhre, Cleland (10' Sent Off!), Watson, Dacourt, Ball, Barmby, Oster (83' Cadamarteri), Grant (69' Ward), Hutchison, Materazzi, Bakayoko (83' Branch).
Unavailable: Unsworth (suspended); Collins, Bilic, Short, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Gerrard, Spencer (on loan).
Simonsen, Milligan
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Aston Villa: Dublin (51')
EVERTON: [Cleland (9', 10')], Myhre (57') Cleland (10')

Robert Bland Odds on disaster
THE INDEPENDENT Joachim and Merson put the sparkle in Villa
by Pete Lansley
THE TIMES Joachim's goals keep Villa in touch with the summit
by Richard Hobson
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Joachim double keeps Villa on Chelsea's tail
by Henry Winter
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the Echo/Daily Post Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Odds on disaster
Robert Bland
The clock turned seven and operation 'Everton on the box' was well under way.

The Stella Artois was in the fridge cooling, my lucky shirt was on, and previous lucky tops locations were checked in case of anything going drastically wrong.Nibbles were stratigically placed and I had claimed 'the best' TV viewing position for the armchair. Also the TV remote-control was wrestled from the misses.

"If you want to watch Corry, you can bloomin watch it upstairs", I firmly tell her,as I give licence to Andy Gray and Richard Keys to entertain me for the hour until kick off.

The hour goes quickly and the wife descends from upstairs with the assumption she is about to see a one-sided game of football that befits the bookies pre-match odds (Villa 1/2, Everton 5/1). However, the match is now an 8:15 kick off due to there being a couple of accidents on the M6, and most of the Everton fans had been held up.

Villa lined up as a 5-3-2 with Dublin and Joachim upfront. Everton changed to a 4-5-1,forced upon them by Dunne failing a late fitness test. Altogether there were three changes to the side that last played Leicester: Grant for Dunne; Barmby for Cadamateri; and Materazzi for the suspended Unsworth.

The match got under way and it was quite obvious that Everton were there to contain Villa and come away with a 0-0 draw. I saw no chance of Bakayoko scoring on his own up front, when a front two had only managed thirteen all season.

It was Everton who had the first attempt on goal after eight mins when Grant found himself with the ball on the edge of the area and, having no one immediately to pass to, somewhat reluctantly fired a soft effort at Oakes.

A minute later and it was Villa on the attack. Dublin found his way to the edge of the Everton box on the right and was then brought down by Cleland, who received a yellow card. The Villa free kick came to nothing.

A minute later came the decision that was to effectively kill the game as a contest. Dublin received the ball on the wing and was meet with a lunge from behind by Cleland. The inevitable happened, the ref seeing Red that someone could be so stupid as to tackle from behind just one minute after being booked. That was the end of his game and Everton's slim hope's of getting anything out of this match.

Everton were lucky to still have ten men on the pitch as Hutchison was putting himself about a bit. There was one particular late challenge on Watson, and a bookable offence on Dion Dublin that went unpunished. However the referee was quite lenient were Hutchison was concerned, infact he even booked Dublin prior to half time for a tackle on big Don that was more Hutchison's fault, going in clumsy.

However, from then on in, Villa ran the show without really stamping their authority on the game. Everton to their credit did manage to keep Villa at bay by matching them in midfield, but really we were on a hiding to nothing and the inevitable happened 5 mins before half time.

Dublin found his way to the Everton right where he was brought down again, this time by Dacourt, who was filling in for Cleland at right back. The resulting free kick was floated over to Taylor who out jumped Ball, by fair means or foul. He headed down to Joachim who bobbed the ball up and fired an unstoppable volley past Myhre: 1-0.

Again, to Everton's credit – faced with chasing the game and down to ten men – they immediately sprung back into life. Bakayoko was played through onto the edge of the Villa box, tussling with Southgate as he ran in on goal. The shot actually came off Southgate's shin, a lovely chip over his own keeper. But Oakes craned backwards to tip it agonizingly over the bar.

In the final minute of the half had a penalty appeal turned down,when Oster fired a volley in the box that hit a Villa defenders arm. However Mr.Barry was having none of it, and the little bit of luck we needed had disappeared.

The start of the second half brought two changes. The first was my so called lucky shirt, now replaced by a 'new' lucky scarf; the second change was on the pitch, Dublin coming off injured to be replaced by Collymore.

Well it took all of five mins for Villa to score in this half and it was that man Joachim again. Hendrie played him through with a beautiful first-time ball. Watson was never going to get the better of the Villa striker's pace, and he fired off another fearsome volley across Mhyre's goal into the top right hand corner: 2-0.

Where do we go from here.... ten men, 2-0 down? Damage limitation, obviously.

We were never going to score, although we had a couple of half-chances through Barmby firing over and Oster meeting a Dacourt cross to head over as well. But the main thing was to try and stay solid; they did this but we did not see the best of Villa, so it could have been a lot worse.

On 68 mins, Grant was replaced by Ward, who released Dacourt from right back so that he could revert back to his midfield role. By now, Villa where searching for another and it was not long in coming. On 78 mins a Joachim cross was headed down by Watson into the path of an incoming Paul Merson who drilled a shot past Myhre: 3-0.

In the final 10 mins Walter had nothing to lose and precious little to gain, so he replaced Oster for Cadamateri and Bakayoko for Branch.

In the end my wife had seen a one sided match, and the odds had proved correct. But I cannot help thinking if we had of gone there a bit more positive and without the Cleland sending off, we could have beaten them as they did not play like a top three team tonight.

Player ratings

  • 6. Myhre:- He did fine, he had no chance with any of the goals and when called for he looked solid.....Tommy has regained his form and is looking good again. Keep up the good work.
  • 1. Cleland:- What can be said, that hasn't been said already... A total knobend. I thought what he did was unforgiveable. He is after all supposed to be a professional.
  • 6. Ball:- He was better today.... Not as bad as he has been for many of the games. He did seem to give Steve Watson room to move was beyond comprehension. Is Ball to become another Unsworth? (aka 1 season wonder???) To be continued...
  • 6. Watson:- This fella has given EFC great service over many years.... He is a legend, but sadly he is well past it for the quick paced premier league. It's a sorry state of affairs that Watson is the best we have. (Even with Dunne Bilic Short and Unsworth all out).
  • 8. Materazzi:- What a star we have in this tall Italian. He was a rock. His tackling was good his passing was at times excellent. He did however have some sticky moments but he was on the whole ROCK SOLID!
  • 4. Oster:- This kid is way outta his league. I have yet to see the exceptional skill and vision that some have said he has. Maybe in time he will come good, I surely hope so.
  • 8. Hutchison:- I thought Hutchy did pretty good considering he had little or no support in the midfield. It was not a polished display by any means. But he worked his arse off. He was sometimes very lucky with a few of his challenges but at least he was there giving it his all. .
  • 5. Dacourt:- What a disappointing game he had....His head was down as soon as Cleland was sent off. He moved into the right back position with little success. And how many times did he give the ball away to Villa? Here, have another go at goal why don't you?  So very frustrating to watch.
  • 4. Grant:- When will he start producing what we know he is capable of?!? No intelligent influence on the game whatsoever, apart from that rather tame and piss weak shot at the Villa goal..... He was crap.
  • 5. Barmby:- Poor Nicky. Stuck out on the left with no help from either Ball or Grant. He was almost invisible for most of the game.... Now and again he would give us a glimpse of what he can do but more often than not fails to do. An undoubted talent that was just wasted playing where he was playing. If Nicky was to find form in a position that suits him I'm sure he would be a star. Fingers crossed that our most exspensive signing doesn't fade from sight.
  • 6. Bakayoko:- Baka must surely think that he is in football hell. No one up front with him and no support from the midfield. He was left to try and dribble past 4 or 5 players that were stuck on him like limpets. Yet he still managed to get past 3 or 4 before being tackled, poor bastard.


Hard to pick, I dont blame Tommy for the goals and I think Materazzi played quite well.Barmby and Dacourt were both guilty of giving the ball away. For me, I will give it just to Hutchison for a dogged display in midfield and leaving his mark on one or two of the Villa players.

 Joachim and Merson put the sparkle in Villa
by Pete Lansley, The Independent
Julian Joachim may possess the least celebrity value of Aston Villa's multi-million pound strike force, but two brilliantly dispatched goals last night, taking John Gregory's team level on points with the Premiership leaders, Chelsea, mean he is now the leading scorer of Villa's costly quartet.

Joachim, at £1.5M a snip compared with figures upwards of the £5.75M it cost to buy a Dublin, Collymore or Merson, made Everton rue the dismissal of their right-back, Alec Cleland, 11 minutes into last night's game. Joachim even set up Paul Merson's comeback goal, crossing from the right 12 minutes from time for Steve Watson to head down the final assist.

Traffic on the M6 delayed the kick-off by 15 minutes but Cleland soon showed just what real lateness looks like. With the game barely started, the Everton full-back was booked twice within 100 seconds for tardy tackles. The team with the worst disciplinary record in the Premiership, with 60 yellow cards collected so far, soon found themselves in more trouble. Cleland, outpaced by Joachim down the right flank, took expedient action just before the Villa forward, still keeping Collymore and Merson out of the side, entered the penalty area.

It was a measured, even pre-meditated, move by the former Rangers defender, and he could not complain at the immediate sanction. Dion Dublin headed Lee Hendrie's subsequent free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

Cleland had previously only been cautioned twice since he followed Smith to Goodison Park in the summer. Yet a minute later, near the half-way line, he was impetuous enough to tackle Dublin rashly – and unnecessarily – from behind. Neale Barry's red card was not far behind the yellow.

Everton, however, have become hardened by the need for a robust approach in recent times. They resorted to a 4-4-1 formation, with Olivier Dacourt reverting to right-back, and after Joachim, set up by an eye-of-the-needle pass from Hendrie, had unluckily shot across the face of goal after 12 minutes, Everton initially succeeded in frustrating the Premiership title contenders.

It was when Dublin slapped his palms on the pitch in pique, after being grounded illegally by Dacourt six minutes before the break, that Villa's patience was most palpably wearing thin. Yet when Hendrie curled over the free-kick, and Ian Taylor won his far-post header to knock the ball back, Joachim's brilliant first touch allowed him to volley his second, which crashed in off the crossbar to give Villa the lead.

The sigh of relief was almost audible around Villa Park, but the home side appeared to then relax, for three minutes later Ibrahima Bakayoko chased down a long ball and seemed to have held Gareth Southgate off sufficiently to get in a shot. The Villa captain recovered well, though, even if his shinned effort required a fully extended Michael Oakes to tip the ball over.

Stan Collymore, with only one Premiership start in seven, began the second half in place of Dublin, but it was the least illustrious of Villa's forwards who yet again made his mark five minutes later. A flowing move culminated in Hendrie laying off an exquisite first-time pass into the path of Joachim, who sped past Dave Watson before striking a rising shot into the top corner of the Everton net, for his 10th goal of the season.

When Merson came on before the hour, for his first serious football for seven weeks after a back injury and a stress-relieving jaunt to New York, it seemed everyone inside Villa Park was happy. Even Everton had avoided a goalless draw.

Report © The Independent

 Joachim's goals keep Villa in touch with the summit
by Richard Hobson, The Times
WHEN John Gregory flies to Madrid this week in an attempt to bring Juninho back to England, the Brazil striker, unsettled at Atlético, may find the FA Carling Premiership table a compelling reason to join Aston Villa. The relegation troubles he must remember at Middlesbrough will seem a world away.

Victory last night against an unambitious Everton side, restricted to ten men for 79 minutes following the sending-off of Alex Cleland, came ultimately in comfort once Julian Joachim gave Villa the lead five minutes before half-time. It took Villa level on points with Chelsea, the leaders, who stay at the summit of the FA Carling Premiership on goal difference. There is no evidence, yet, that Villa's attempt to secure the title will flounder.

No praise can be too high for Gregory, 11 months into his period of office. Joachim has become a conspicuous success since being given a run in the first team and the latent talent evident in his teenage days at Leicester City is now flourishing. His two goals testified to the burgeoning confidence that follows regular football. "Julian might have been drifting for 18 months but he is back now," Gregory said. "The second strike was an absolute dream."

Glenn Hoddle, the watching England coach, must have been impressed, too, with a pair of youngsters introduced by Gregory. Lee Hendrie demonstrated rare vision in midfield while Gareth Barry seemed unflappable in the back three.

The equilibrium of this 17-year-old has clearly not been disturbed by the unsavoury public row over compensation payments between Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion, his former club.

Everton contributed to their own downfall as they sought a first league win at Villa Park since 1987. Cleland, the right back, became their fourth player dismissed this season when Neale Barry showed him a second yellow card.

If there was an element of desperation about the first offence, a mistimed tackle on the flying Joachim, then the second, a challenge from behind on Dublin, was quite needless.Few could have agreed with Walter Smith, the Everton manager, who described the second decision as harsh.

For almost half an hour Villa failed to impose their numerical superiority. Then, Joachim volleyed into the roof of the net after Taylor headed a free kick by Hendrie across the face of the goal and the tension lifted.

Villa suffered no further anxiety once Oakes had denied Bakayoko with a fingertip save. "We did not have to win the game in the immediate five minutes after the sending-off," Gregory said. "It took us some time to work that out but I always knew we would win in the end."

In the 51st minute Joachim capped his earlier effort by scoring his tenth goal of the season. Scimeca and Taylor fed Hendrie, who threaded a first-time pass through a square Everton defence. Joachim's first touch removed any prospect of being caught by Watson; the second, a rising shot from 16 yards, left Myhre flailing helplessly.

The introduction of Collymore for Dublin during the break had done nothing to weaken the home side and, indeed, with £18 million of talent among the substitutes – and the possibility of expensive reinforcements – the idea that Villa lack strength in depth to cope with the final 16 games must be considered contentious.

Paul Merson received a loud ovation when he replaced Taylor for a first appearance after missing seven weeks through a back injury. The personal problems that surfaced last week seemed a world away as he crowned his return by extending the lead in the 78th minute, rising first to a Joachim cross that Watson pushed towards him. His was not the only smiling face.

Villa were eventually as good as they needed to be. Joachim was somewhat better.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Joachim double keeps Villa on Chelsea's tail
Henry Winter, Electronic Telegraph
The prospect of Juninho arriving at Villa Park eventually inspired John Gregory's attackers into action against a 10-man Everton last night. Needing five goals to replace Chelsea at the peak of the Premiership, Villa managed three, through Julian Joachim's splendid double and Paul Merson, which was enough to carry them into second.

Gregory confirmed his interest in Juninho, whose first acquaintance of English football began with Brazil at Villa Park in the 95 Umbro Cup. "We are continuing to look at all possibilities," Villa's manager said. "But I'm not going to be jumping on a plane tomorrow morning."

The start had been delayed 15 minutes because of traffic congestion on the M6. Everton fans were not the only Goodison representatives who were late. Cleland deservedly departed for two foolish lunges within 10 minutes, so setting the scene for Villa's victory.

Everton's right-back first fouled Joachim, bringing a straightforward sanction from Neale Barry, the referee. With Scotch mist of the red variety still swirling around him, Cleland foolishly clattered into the back of Dion Dublin, so precipitating an inevitable second scarcely 60 seconds after the first.

Everton's management, Walter Smith and Archie Knox, voiced their disbelief at Barry, who had sent off Olivier Dacourt earlier this season, but their complaints lacked any foundation. Cleland was guilty of stupidity as well as injudicious tackling.

Smith, whose team had started in cautious mode, moved Dacourt to right-back and, for a while, Everton defended with commendable resilience, although Don Hutchison was fortunate not to add to Everton's 62 Premiership yellows with fouls on Lee Hendrie and Steve Watson.

Hutchison, though, embodied Everton's brief spirit of defiance, running hungrily, refusing to accept that the match had swung inexorably against his team. Everton may have been depleted in numbers but they overflowed with determination. Nicky Barmby, his attacking inclinations placed to one side, worked over-time in defending Everton's left flank.

The visitors' task was initially eased by Gregory's surprising decision to persist with three centre-backs against a lone front-runner, Ibrahima Bakayoko. Watson was admittedly pushed further forward, from right wing-back almost into a winger's position but Villa still lacked midfield creativity and forward penetration. The Holte End called for Stan Collymore but the forward was not to arise from the bench until the start of the second period.

His team were ahead before he arrived, Villa's numbers eventually telling with a goal six minutes before the break. Following Dacourt's trip on Dublin, Hendrie curled over the left-sided free-kick to the far-post where Ian Taylor out-jumped Michael Ball. The midfielder's flick flew to Joachim, whose first touch was marvellous, the ball immediately brought firmly into the little striker's orbit. Joachim's second touch was even more exceptional, the ball volleyed violently into the roof of Thomas Myrhe's net. His ninth of the season was greeted with relief as much as delight.

Yet still Everton offered a threat on the break, seen when Bakayoko went charging through on Michael Oakes' goal. As Bakayoko was in the act of shooting, Southgate snaked out a leg to strike the ball back, although Oakes did well to repel the remaining danger.

Collymore's introduction seemed to encourage Villa to raise the tempo and within four minutes they had doubled their advantage. Hendrie teased the ball forward and Joachim was off, his phenomenal pace destroying Everton's flat back-four. His finish matched the majesty of his first goal, the ball thundered from right to left past Myrhe.

Villa were in the mood, attacking at speed and Collymore and Watson brought good saves from Myhre as the pressure mounted.

Everton, to their credit, never gave up and Barmby almost gave them hope with a rising shot as did Bakayoko's break before Ehiogu intervened. Yet the force remained with Villa and Merson, well received following his recent problems, added Villa's third 12 minutes from time by meeting Watson's knockdown with a first-time shot.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 RESULTS  (Game 22)
Saturday 16 January 1999
Chelsea                   2-1  Coventry City          34,869
Leboeuf 45, Di Matteo 90       Huckerby 8
Derby County              1-0  Blackburn Rovers       27,306
Burton 84
Leeds United              2-0  Middlesbrough          37,473 
Smith 21, Bowyer 27
Leicester City            2-6  Manchester United      22,091
Zagorakis 35,                  Yorke 10,63,84,
Walsh                          Cole 49,61, Stam 90
Liverpool                 7-1  Southampton            44,011
Fowler 21,36,47, Matteo 35,    Ostenstad 59
Carragher 54, Owen 63, Thompson 73
Nottingham Forest         0-1  Arsenal                26,021
                               Keown 35
Tottenham Hotspur         0-0  Wimbledon              32,422

West Ham United           0-4  Sheffield Wednesday    25,642
                               Hinchcliffe 25, Rudi 30
                               Humphreys 67, Carbone 73:pen
Sunday 17 January 1999
Charlton Athletic         2-2  Newcastle United       
Bright 61, Pringle 93          Ketsbaia 15, Solano 55

Monday 18 January 1999
Aston Villa               3-0  Everton                32,488
Joachim 40,51, Merson 78

 LEAGUE TABLE (after 18 January 1999 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Chelsea                      22   11   10    1   34   18   16   43
Aston Villa                  22   12    7    3   34   20   14   43
Manchester United            22   11    8    3   49   26   23   41
Arsenal                      22   10    9    3   23   11   12   39
Leeds United                 22    9    9    4   36   20   16   36
Liverpool                    22   10    5    7   43   26   17   35
Wimbledon                    22    9    7    6   29   33   -4   34
West Ham United              22    9    5    8   25   31   -6   32
Middlesbrough                22    7   10    5   32   28    4   31
Derby County                 22    7   10    5   22   20    2   31
Tottenham Hotspur            22    7    8    7   28   30   -2   29
Leicester City               22    7    8    7   25   27   -2   29
Sheffield Wednesday          22    7    5   10   25   22    3   26
Newcastle United             22    6    7    9   26   31   -5   25
Everton                      22    5    9    8   13   24  -11   24
Blackburn Rovers             22    5    6   11   21   29   -8   21
Coventry City                22    5    5   12   21   31  -10   20
Charlton Athletic            22    3    8   11   26   36  -10   17
Southampton                  22    4    5   13   20   46  -26   17
Nottingham Forest            22    2    7   13   18   41  -23   13
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© Michael Kenrick 1999
Last updated: 20 January 1999