Aston Villa’s Darius Vassell scored in his side's 2-1 win away to Charlton Athletic.
Aston Villa’s striker was watched by Sven-Goran Eriksson as he scored to help put his club in Champions League contention at Charlton on Saturday.
"Reminded Eriksson of his predatory instincts" – The Observer
"England coach chose right match to see quality available to him" – News of the World
"That’s the Vassell we want to see" – David O’Leary
England’s most important goal of their successful Euro 2004 qualification campaign was scored by Darius Vassell, the opener in the all-important match against Turkey at the Stadium of Light.
That was a year ago but the pacy Villa striker showed on Saturday he is recapturing his very best form.
Vassell scored Villa’s opener in the 2-1 win at Charlton, watched by Sven-Goran Eriksson to boost his chances of playing for England against Sweden on Wednesday.
Manager David O’Leary was delighted with his performance. "That was the Vassell you see with England and the one we should see more often with Villa," he said. "Maybe we should get Sven down to watch him more often!"
Villa’s win put them right back in Champions League contention and it was Vassell who got them underway with an important equaliser after Carlton Cole had scored for Charlton.
Gareth Barry’s shot hit Juan Pablo Angel and when the ball bounced to Vassell eight yards out, he buried the chance with an instinctive volley.
His all-round play was good as well, stretching the home defence whenever Villa broke.
"Darius was very good today," acknowledged O’Leary after his striker’s ninth goal of the season.
LION OF THE WEEKEND – WEEKLY AWARDS
Paul Scholes 4
Steve Gerrard 3
Frank Lampard 3
Wayne Rooney 3
James Beattie 2
David Beckham 2
Jermain Defoe 2
John Terry 2
Shola Ameobi 1
Dean Ashton 1
Kieron Dyer 1
Anthony Gardner 1
Emile Heskey 1
Glen Johnson 1
James Milner 1
Stefan Moore 1
Luke Moore 1
Kevin Nolan 1
Jermaine Pennant 1
Michael Owen 1
Darius Vassell 1
Shaun Wright-Phillips 1
TheFA.com will announce their Lion of the Weekend every Monday. A Lion of the Season award will be announced in May based on the number of weekly nominations.