Emile Heskey’s late goal gave Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier a 2-1 victory away to Midlands rivals Wolves in the Frenchman’s first Premier League match in charge of the club.
Villa and England winger Stewart Downing put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute at Molineux on Sunday after turning in Marc Albrighton’s cross before Wolves’ Matt Jarvis equalised just after the hour.
But ex-England striker Heskey sealed victory for Villa with a powerful header two minutes from time as Houllier’s men moved up to fifth in the table.
It was the second time in a week Heskey – signed for 11 million pounds by then Liverpool manager Houllier a decade ago – had come to Villa’s aid after he inspired a midweek comeback League Cup win over Blackburn Rovers.
“It was the perfect return because we got three points,” Houllier told Sky Sports. “They made life extremely difficult for us but we kept playing and the second goal was a reward for the way we want to play.”
Heskey’s goal took his tally to three in four games – not bad for a forward long criticised for a lack of goals and Houllier said: “Emile’s header was fantastic. We know what he’s capable of.
“All strikers need confidence,” Houllier added after Heskey’s first league start in six months.”
But Wolves manager Mick McCarthy was unhappy the already booked Stephen Warnock did not receive a second yellow card for bringing down Kevin Doyle before supplying the cross that led to Heskey’s winner.
“It was a better second-half performance, we got done by a good goal but I’m not sure if the bloke who crossed it should have been on the field,” McCarthy said. “We’ve been punished harshly for some of the fouls we’ve committed.”
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