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Villa Park (ATT 36,053) 23rd April 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: Uriah Rennie

A Villa Aston Villa vs Bolton Wanderers Bolton

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Bolton 1

Jussi makes Bolton point

By Patrick Goss.   Last Updated: 23/04/05 4:50pm

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Bolton kept their UEFA Champions League dreams alive, coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

An outstanding display by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen kept Bolton in the game at times, and Gary Speed hauled them level in the second half after Fernando Hierro had inexplicably put through his own net.

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The first half had exploded into life after a nervous start when Stelios Giannakopolous missed a point-blank header that would have given the visitors the lead.

Relieved by their let off Villa pushed on and after prodding and probing the Villa rearguard finally got the breakthrough.

A fine move down the right released Ulises de la Cruz and his cross was nodded goalwards by Juan Pablo Angel drawing a fine save from Jaaskelainen.

From the resultant corner Hierro got his header all wrong and nodded past Jaaskelainen and into his own to his palpable embarrassment.

It could, and perhaps should, have got worse for Bolton who were thankful that Villa squandered several chances.

Vassell was a mixture of liveliness and wastefulness and he showed both when he did superbly to dispossess Tal Ben Haim but after racing through one-on-one could not beat Jaaskelainen.

The big goalkeeper was on hand again late on, staying alert when Jlloyd Samuel's run brought an Angel chance that was cleared and making an acrobatic save to deny the full back from the follow-up.

The Finland international started the second half where he had left off in the first saving well from Steven Davis after a nice move, and his saves were made to look even more crucial when Bolton levelled.

El Hadji Diouf is playing for a new deal at Bolton, and he did himself no harm with a fine bit of work on the right - his clever cross perfect for Speed to bullet home with his head.

An offside flag denied Angel soon after, with Solano rightly adjudged to have been beyond the last man as he ran around the back and crossed - and the Peruvian was denied by a fine block by Ricardo Gardner within a minute.

Jaaskelainen underlined his quality with two fine saves in quick succession, the first seeing him throwing himself to his right to keep out Angel's accurate header.

Within minutes he had made another important stop when the impressive Davis raced through but found the Finn equal to his effort.

Both teams looked increasingly inclined not to lose in the gritty final stages, although the passion of both midfields was evident in every crunching tackle.

Bolton still harbour dreams of denying both Liverpool and Everton fourth place and a spot in the Champions league - and if they do make it they may well be looking back and thanking Jaaskelainen for his key role in sparing them defeat at Villa Park.

Aston Villa v Bolton player ratings

Aston VillaTeam NameBolton Wanderers
1Goals1
7Shots on target ( Inc Goals )3
3Shots off Target (inc woodwork)6
3Blocked Shots3
7Corners Won5
17Total Fouls Conceded14
4Offsides1
0Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
51%Possession49%

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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