Stalemate at The Hawthorns
Aston Villa gained a valuable point in the attempt to retain their Premier League status as they held West Brom to a goalless draw.
Last Updated: 28/04/12 7:03pm
Aston Villa gained a valuable point in their attempt to retain their Premier League status as they held West Bromwich Albion to a goalless draw at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The Villans went into the game just three points above the relegation zone, while the Baggies were in mid-table, but the visitors emerged the better of the two teams.
In a West Midlands derby that came alive in the second half in which both sides went for the kill, Villa were guilty of not finishing the game off late on when they had a flurry of chances.
Alex McLeish's side looked full of attacking intent in the early stages and Charles N'Zogbia found Stephen Warnock in space and his shot was blocked by Billy Jones.
But Albion nearly caught out Villa during their first serious counter-attack.
Carlos Cuellar failed to make clean contact on his attempted clearance from Shane Long's cross-shot after a determined run by the Republic of Ireland striker. The loose ball broke to 11-goal leading scorer Peter Odemwingie, whose close-range back heel was blocked.
The first clear-cut chance fell to Villa midfielder Chris Herd after 26 minutes.
Richard Dunne showed good control to the right of Ben Foster's goal before sending over a low cross which landed in Herd's path. He struck his shot firmly enough but it flew straight at Foster who was able to make the save.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, without a goal in 20 league games, then used his pace to get clear of the Baggies back four. But his touch was heavy inside the area and Foster was able to block his eventual shot.
Foster then blocked another shot from Agbonlahor, whose pace was causing problems for Billy Jones, with his feet.
Chris Brunt looked to handle a ball into the box from Alan Hutton but Villa's penalty appeals were waved aside.
Albion were incensed when denied what appeared to be a clear-cut penalty four minutes into the second half.
Liam Ridgewell climbed above the Villa defence to power in a header from Graham Dorrans' corner. Hutton, who had already been booked, appeared to scoop the ball over the bar with his arm but Mark Clattenburg turned aside Albion's appeals.
Foster again came to Albion's rescue when he blocked a fierce close-range attempt from N'Zogbia after he was completely unmarked from Agbonlahor's accurate cross.
Tempers were becoming frayed and Clark and Emile Heskey were booked in quick succession for challenge on Gareth McAuley.
Cuellar came to Villa's rescue when he headed Odemwingie's shot off the line.
Albion were now looking more dangerous and Jonas Olsson was only inches too high with a header from a Jerome Thomas cross.
Villa probed for a winner in the closing stages and a mix-up between Olsson and Foster saw the ball break to Agbonlahor.
His cross was turned back by Heskey to Herd whose shot was blocked by Olsson. Shay Given produced a superb save with seconds remaining to keep out an Odemwingie volley from Thomas' cross.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|6||Shots off Target||5|
|53.3||1st Half Poss.||46.7|
|58.6||2nd Half Poss.||41.4|