- English Barclays Premier League
- 28 April 2012, 2:00pm
- The Hawthorns
- Attendance: 25,984
|West Brom||v||Aston Villa|
90 mins:FULL TIME: WEST BROM 0-0 ASTON VILLA
89 mins:What a save from Given! Fortune does brilliantly to get his head to a decent cross, and Given is at full stretch before punching the ball away.
89 mins:Samir Carruthers comes on for Clark.
88 mins:Confusion from Olsson and Foster in the box should allow Agbonlahor a clear shot at goal, but he decides to pass to Heskey, who also opts not to shoot! That's unbelievable from Villa. What more do they need to be persuaded to try to score?
87 mins:Cuellar tries to create something down the left for Villa and feeds Heskey, who picks out Hutton. Hutton, however, opts to play the ball back to Warnock, rather than cross into the box. That's so frustrating it isn't even funny.
85 mins:Hutton plays a cross towards the far post, where substitute Gardner is lurking, but his control is poor, and the ball drifts out of play.
84 mins:Ridgewell takes a quick throw-in towards Fortune. He twists and turns and tries to shift the ball into the box, but Agbonlahor, of all people, dispossesses him.
82 mins:The body language of the Villa players really isn't great out there; their shoulders are slumped and there are a few heads dropping.
80 mins:That's quite an attacking move from Roy Hodgson, especially compared to McLeish's second half tactics. Could those differences in tactics prove crucial in these last 10 minutes?
78 mins:Youssuf Mulumbu is replaced by Keith Andrews.
78 mins:Herd tries to get his head on a Villa free kick, but the referee blows for a foul in the box.
76 mins:The strange thing about this Villa performance, given their precarious league position, is the lack of passion on display from the majority of the players. Surely not all the blame for that can be placed at McLeish's door, can it?
74 mins:What a defensive switch that is from McLeish. The Villa fans won't be happy with that move from their manager.
73 mins:Gary Gardner comes on for N'Zogbia.
73 mins:What a chance for Olsson, the West Brom man heading the ball just inches over the bar. Dunne and Cuellar, both tall players, should have done far better there.
72 mins:Fortune, just back from injury, is looking pretty lively up front, but Long had a great game for West Brom considering the injury problems he's faced recently.
70 mins:The referee awards West Brom a free kick after a foul from Cuellar. Brunt plays the ball towards the back post, but Olsson can't quite meet it with his head, and Villa breathe a collective sigh of relief!
68 mins:Long is replaced by Marc-Antoine Fortune.
67 mins:Dunne plays a free kick into the box and Heskey attacks the ball really well, forcing Foster to stay on his toes before making the save. Seconds later, Cuellar heads the ball off the line after a stinging shot from Odemwingie.
65 mins:Jones cuts inside before trying to find Long, who is brought down by Hutton. The referee, strangely, doesn't blow the whistle for a free kick, and Villa play on.
63 mins:N'Zogbia has started to play in a more central position, just to try to mix things up a little in what has looked like a very predictable Villa shape this afternoon.
61 mins:Now Heskey picks up a booking for a nasty tackle on Gareth McAuley.
61 mins:The rhythm of the game is being disrupted by a few dodgy tackles in the middle of the park from the likes of Hutton and Clark. This isn't helping either side's chances of breaking forward for the opening goal.
59 mins:It's fair to say the referee isn't having the best of games here today!
58 mins:Clark picks up the third booking of the game.
57 mins:N'Zogbia is down injured now after a slightly late tackle from Thomas, but he should be fine to continue after some treatment.
56 mins:N'Zogbia slams the ball straight at Foster from just yards out. That was a golden chance for him, with Agbonlahor sending a peach of a cross over to the midfielder in the box, but what a waste in the end.
54 mins:Looking at who McLeish could bring on, perhaps Barry Bannan might inject some creativity into Villa's play here. Other than that, it's difficult to spot game-changers on the bench for the away side.
52 mins:Dunne takes a free kick for the away side, but everything about Villa's play is very ponderous, and West Brom battle back to win the ball in the middle of the park.
50 mins:Villa don't seem in any hurry here, and that is perhaps indicative of the negative attitude that has haunted their play this season under manager Alex McLeish. The away fans are starting to make a few moans and groans heard as well.
48 mins:That should have been the opening goal for West Brom. Ridgewell heads the ball towards goal from a Dorrans corner, but the ball strikes the arm of Hutton. That was so blatant; it's unbelievable the referee hasn't seen that.
47 mins:Given plays a goal kick straight to a player in a West Brom shirt, and Dunne and Cuellar are absolutely furious at that piece of play. Frustration is certainly starting to creep into the game here.
46 mins:Villa didn't end the first half too badly, but they could do with adding more width to their game during this half.
45 mins:The referee blows the whistle and gets the second half underway.
45 mins:HALF TIME: WEST BROM 0-0 ASTON VILLA
43 mins:Looking back on that penalty appeal, Brunt did appear to handle the ball, so Villa are a little unlucky not to have been awarded that one.
41 mins:Hutton is booked for a foul on Jerome Thomas.
41 mins:Villa appeal for a penalty after Brunt appeared to handle the ball, but the referee isn't at all interested in that.
39 mins:West Brom do well to win another corner. It's taken towards the back post, and Liam Ridgewell, a former Villa man, sends a headed effort just over the bar.
37 mins:From the West Brom free kick, Graham Dorrans plays the ball towards the back post, but Villa have enough men back to clear the danger.
35 mins:Warnock brings down Long, and picks up a booking in the process.
35 mins:West Brom have done well to take the sting out of Villa's play, just as they were starting to work their way into dangerous positions in the final third.
33 mins:Agbonlahor is played in brilliantly by Heskey, but the Villa man doesn't hit the ball with any confidence, making it an easy save for Foster.
32 mins:A cross-field ball from Alan Hutton, played up towards Herd in the box, is a little over-hit, and Foster can take the goal kick.
30 mins:Villa have started to work themselves into this match, and are now narrowly edging the possession stats.
28 mins:Gabriel Agbonlahor finds himself through on goal after a decent move from Villa in midfield, but a poor touch in the box allows Foster to punch the ball clear before the Villa man can pounce.
27 mins:A left-footed strike from Odemwingie flashes wide of the post. That wasn't a bad effort from the West Brom man, but it was never going to trouble Given.
25 mins:Herd, played in really well by Dunne, is denied the opening goal by a brilliant double save from Ben Foster.
23 mins:There are so many Villa players playing out of position today, most notably Clark, Warnock, and Herd, and at the back it really seems to be causing problems, as we saw with that last attacking effort from the home side.
21 mins:Brunt takes a free kick for West Brom. Bizarrely, two Villa players go for the same ball, but Dunne is the man to head clear. Seconds later, from a West Brom corner, Jonas Olsson is left completely unmarked at the back post and sees a headed attempt hacked clear.
19 mins:West Brom are edging the possession stats at the moment, roughly 60/40, but they aren't committing too many men forward, despite the dodgy Villa defence that has been on display in these early stages.
17 mins:There's been a glut of early goals in the Premier League this afternoon, but the signs aren't looking good for a handful of goals at The Hawthorns today!
15 mins:Chris Herd is seeing plenty of the ball at the moment, but Charles N'Zogbia is offering absolutely no support in midfield. Everything Villa do is so predictable.
13 mins:At the moment it looks like just a matter of time before West Brom take the lead. Villa are inviting pressure on themselves at the back.
11 mins:Brunt, in a very advanced position, shoots towards goal. His effort takes a slight deflection and the ball runs just wide of the target.
9 mins:That's very, very poor defending from Villa. Richard Dunne allows Shane Long to run right past him into the box and the West Brom man plays a decent ball towards the back post. Carlos Cuellar misses an easy attempt to hack the ball clear, and only a lack of concentration from Peter Odemwingie prevents him from tapping the ball past Shay Given.
7 mins:A long, raking pass from Stephen Warnock misses everyone in a Villa shirt, the ball running out for a throw, and that perhaps sums up Warnock's questionable recent form.
5 mins:It's going to be very, very difficult for Villa to score today. There are probably three attack-minded players on the pitch for them, and this trio has scored just the single goal between them since November 2011.
3 mins:Villa take a long throw, aimed towards Emile Heskey in the box, but Chris Brunt isn't going to be beaten that easily, the West Brom man dealing with that one fairly comfortably.
1 mins:West Brom drive forward through Billy Jones, but he runs into the imposing figure of Ciaran Clark and loses possession.
Today's match referee Mark Clattenburg gets the game underway at The Hawthorns.
It would have taken a brave individual to bet on Aston Villa, rather than West Brom, being the team staring the dreaded relegation battle in the face at this stage in the season before the campaign kicked off last year, but that's the situation Villa fans and players are currently facing. With the fans turning against manager Alex McLeish, key players ill or injured, and a complete lack of momentum going into the final weeks of the season, the importance of a result today away at West Brom simply cannot be underestimated.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 28 April 2012, 2:00pm
- The Hawthorns
- Attendance: 25,984
|West Brom||v||Aston Villa|
Aston Villa edged closer to Premier League survival after collecting a hard-earned point with a 0-0 draw against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
But it needed a controversial refereeing decision by Mark Clattenburg to deny Albion victory after Villa defender Alan Hutton clearly used his arm to block a goal-bound header from Liam Ridgewell.
But Clattenburg and his assistant failed to spot the incident and the visitors survived to earn their 16th draw of the campaign.
Alex McLeish's side deserved their share of the spoils on the balance of play and were again left to rue failing to be more clinical in front of goal
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Chris Herd and Charles N'Zogbia all failed to make the most of gilt edged chances and Albion's Ben Foster was the busier of the two keepers.
The return of experienced defender Richard Dunne after a two and a half month lay-off with a broken collarbone also brought a steadying presence to the Villa back four.
Villa 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 clearcut chance fell to Villa midfielder Chris Herd after 26 minutes.
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.
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 Jones, with his feet.
Warnock became the first player to be yellow carded after 36 minutes for bringing down Long who needed treatment before being able to resume.
Hutton followed Warnock into referee Mark Clattenburg's notebook after pulling back Jerome Thomas.
Brunt looked to handle a ball into the box from Hutton but Villa's penalty appeals were waved aside.
Albion were incensed when denied what appeared to be a clearcut penalty four minutes into the second half.
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 Clattenburg turned aside Albion's appeals.
Albion were looking sharper and Gareth McAuley headed just wide from a Brunt free-kick.
But 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 Heskey were booked in quick succession for challenge on 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 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.
Given produced a superb save with seconds remaining to keep out an Odemwingie volley from Thomas' cross.