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SPORT

Birmingham

VILLA SURVEY Find out what the fans think of their club EXCLUSIVE REPORT PAGE 90

HESKEY: I LOVE PLAYING UNDER GERARD PAGE 81

VILLA VS UNITED: GERARD SAYS “DON’T SHOW TOO MUCH RESPECT” By Jaspreet Marwaha

CHELSEA DOUBLE DEFEAT By Jaspreet Marwaha

Yesterday, Chelsea saw there second defeat from two games after losing 1-0 to Birmingham City. Birmingham’s Bowyer netted a goal early in the first half after 17 minutes past Petr Cech. Chelsea who have suffered back- to - back defeats had so many chances and opportunities but they came of nothing. Birmingham dominated the first half but they only had one other real chance after the goal of which came from Lawson. The second half however, Chelsea dominated completely and Blues only had one goal scoring chance. This was proved in the match Stats whereby Chelsea had a massive 61% of the possession leaving Birmingham dwindling with 39%. After the game Ancelotti said that he would “be worried about being defeated if they [Chelsea} weren’t playing great football which we are. We were very unlucky” He then added “A goal keeper can make a game, and Ben Foster was amazing” Foster is main reason that Blues came away with the whole three points. Chelsea, who lost their assistant coach earlier this

week, seemed to have been affected by his departure. Ancelotti also had his moment of play in the 67th minute where the ball play was going out of play, and he ran on the pitch and kicked the ball, even though it hadn’t gone out of play yet. It was a very Manchester United v Tottenham moment, which received a loud roar out outburst from the Birmingham City fans. Chelsea who sit top of the Barclays Premier League, but only on goal difference, have Manchester United on their backs. On the same number of points so they will be looking to see Chelsea lose again next week. Whereas Birmingham jumped from 18th up 5 places to 13th. After the game Alex Mcleish said “this year’s league is funny one at the moment, it’s so open.” During the week Mcleish took some stick about where his team are in the league, which was 18th He said “We did take some stick but now look- after one win”

FULL STORY- PAGE 85

ENGLAND STAR’S HEARTACHE > PAGE 80

Villa boss Gerard Houllier will be reunited with Manchester United’s “genius” Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time since Houllier’s rein at Liverpool ended in 2004. Houllier completely admires Sir Alex for his achievements at United and the success that he has brought them. He said “Ferguson has been a good friend of mine for a long time, even before I came to England.” He jokes saying that because of their friendship it makes these games even more competitive. The two prestigious coaches met at a coach’s gettogether. Houllier has regarded the United Boss as a “genius.” He said “they [Manchester United] are so good and we must not watch them play and give them too much respect or be scared of them.” Villa are much in need for picking up all the points that they can get especially after carelessly dropping two points in the final minutes against Fulham. Villa who have played three away games have come out with a disappointing one point. It has been 15 years since Villa won at home against United and that was on the opening day of the 1995/96 campaign. Out of the 148 times the two teams have met, Villa have won 40 of the games, Manchester United have won 73 leaving 35 to a draw. Villa will go into the match struggling for consistency by conceding late goals and getting last-minute winner such as what happened with their win over Blackpool. Whereas United, who slipped down to four points behind the leaders, Chelsea, can boast about an unbeaten record which goes back 24 games. They are also the only unbeaten team in their opening 12 matches of the Premier League. Villa, who have kept four clean sheets in their last six league games, have netted 69% of their goals in the first half. Houllier, who has a rare achievement of five successive victories over united, has said “We hope in front of our fans, we give the best of ourselves and get a result. I regret that some of our experienced players aren’t available but I have faith in our team.” On the down side for Villa, they could be without nine players for Saturday including John Carew, Heskey and their skipper Petrov. Another senor player who is also out is midfielder Stephen Ireland after he missed training with a sickness bug. But on the plus side Gabby Agbonlahor returns from injury being speed and hopefully goals to the Villa side, as he has scored four of the six goals that Villa have scored against United But United are also at a disadvantages as Paul Scholes is suspended after already getting to five yellow cards.


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