Belfast Telegraph

Heskey gives Houllier perfect start

Emile Heskey's late goal enabled new Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier to emerge with a 2-1 win from his first Barclays Premier League match in charge of the midlands club at Wolves.

The England striker celebrated his first league start for six months by heading home an 87th-minute cross from Stephen Warnock.

Matt Jarvis' first goal of the campaign looked to have rescued Wolves a point after Stewart Downing's close range effort separated the sides at half-time.

The home side created the first clearcut opening after six minutes when Kevin Doyle's reverse pass picked out the run into the box of David Edwards. But he hesitated for a split second and eventually shot high and wide when under pressure from Stephen Warnock.

Villa started to enjoy more possession and after 26 minutes Downing put them ahead.

Nigel Reo-Coker found Heskey who held the ball up well before finding Marc Albrighton in space on the right. He drilled a dipping centre right across the six-yard box and Downing stayed on-side to deflect the ball past Marcus Hahnemann from close range.

Villa dominated proceedings but it needed a double save from Brad Friedel to keep Villa on level terms after 35 minutes. First the veteran goalkeeper parried a fierce volley from Steven Fletcher and then kept out the follow-up effort from Doyle.

But after 61 minutes Wolves got back on level terms through Jarvis. The midfielder cut back inside onto his right foot and floated a dangerous ball across the box. Edwards attacked the ball but failed to get a touch and it flew across Friedel into the far corner of the net.

Hahnemann produced a superb finger-tip save to keep out Ashley Young's rasping drive. But with three minutes remaining Heskey snatched the winner.

Warnock supplied a probing cross from the left flank and Heskey rose to place a header into the corner of the net.

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