Manchester City v Aston Villa 1980/81

aston villa home 1980 to 81 prog


League Division 1

23rd August 1980

Attendance 30,017

City Tueart(84 pen), Ranson(88)
Villa Withe(8 & 75)

Ref A Saunders

City Corrigan, Ranson, Caton, Booth, Power, Reid, MacKenzie, Daley, Sugrue, Tueart, Reeves – sub Palmer(67)

Villa Rimmer, Swain, Gibson, Evans, McNaught, Mortimer, Bremner, Shaw, Withe, Cowans, Morley –  sub Williams(unused)

aston villa home 1980 to 81 withe goal

Uncharacteristic nerviness in the closing six minutes robbed Aston Villa of a deserved victory at Maine Road on Saturday. Manchester City, facing their third successive defeat, and with the axe surely poised over the management team of Book and Allison, salvaged a draw because, to their eternal credit and the sympathetic crowd’s relief, they refused to give up against all the odds.
The result, however, still leaves open many questions about City. Individually they have considerable talent, from the coolness of Ranson and Reid in defence to the persistent drive of Tueart. and Reeves in attack. But the midfield of Daley, Power and Mackenzie, making his first appearance of the season, only occasionally mounted the type of wide, free-running attacks that can come from a 4-3-3 formation. Often, especially in the first half, they were too busy trying to staunch the rush of swift. direct attacks opened by Cowans and Morley from Villa‘s tight-knit 4-4-2 formation.

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Cowans, small and beautifully balanced. stretched City by alert passing and Villa‘s right-wing was especially
productive. From there came Morley’s centre in the ninth minute to the unmarked Withe, whose shot beat Corrigan at the near post.
Curiously, in the second half Villa seemed increasingly to settle for a draw as City busily tried to satisfy an increasingly restive crowd. But when Rimmer made stunning saves from Tueart and Reeves, the stands began to empty. The trickle became a torrent in the 75th minute when Cowans floated a tempting free-kick to the far post for Withe effectively to seal the match.

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The dissatisfied absentees missed a thrilling closing six minutes, beginning when Tueart scored from the penalty spot after Withe had handled. Villa disputed the decision and lost all semblance of their earlier control.
No-one wanted the responsibility of holding the ball, culminating in McNaught making an aimless kick downfield in the 87th minute. It came to Corrigan and in a flicker of an eyelid, Caton swung the ball over to Ranson who twice beat Gibson before driving home the equaliser. The chants of “Out Allison”, and “ Out Swales” were silenced for another day.

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2 thoughts on “Manchester City v Aston Villa 1980/81

  1. I attended this match although being a United supporter. I went with my sisters then boyfriend a City season ticket holder and his best mate a lifelong Vila fan. Stood in the kippax stand I can just remember the 2late City goals to earn a point for the beleaguered City boss Malcolm Allison. The crowd had been voicing their dissatisfaction towards him as the game went on. It was a Dennis Tuert penalty & a Ray Ransom ‘cross shot’ that deflected off villa full back Kenny Swain to wrong foot goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer for a share of the points.

  2. I was at this game (Villa fan) and I thought we’d made it safe when Withe scored to make it 2-0. A bit of a soft penalty if I remember rightly that Rimmer got very close to. Couldn’t believe we’d thrown away a point when City equalised!! Always loved going to Maine Road.

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