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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 34,607) 24th November 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: L Mason

A Villa Aston Villa vs Arsenal Arsenal


Aston Villa and Arsenal settle for a point apiece in goalless draw at Villa Park

Last Updated: 24/11/12 11:41pm

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There was to be no separating Aston Villa and Arsenal

There was to be no separating Aston Villa and Arsenal

Aston Villa collected their third clean sheet of the season on Saturday, with a goalless draw with Arsenal enough to lift them out of the relegation zone.

Paul Lambert was forced to watch a dogged display from his side from the stands, as he served a touchline ban, but he will have been pleased with the ease in which Villa were able to contain the Gunners.

He also saw substitute Brett Holman come within inches of snatching a much-needed three-point haul, with the Australian midfielder seeing a 25-yard drive touched onto the crossbar by Wojciech Szczesny.

Best of the Match

  • Man of the match: Gabriel Agbonlahor. Ran himself into the ground for the good of the Aston Villa cause.
  • Attempt of the match: Brett Holman rattled the crossbar with a stinging 25-yard drive which Wojciech Szczesny did well to get a fingertip to.
  • Moment of the match: Laurent Koscielny could have brought the game to life in the first half, but misfired badly from in front of goal.
  • Talking point: Can Aston Villa build on this point and steer clear of relegation danger? Have Arsenal got the firepower to push for a top-four finish?

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, will have been disappointed with Arsenal's inability to carve open a struggling opponent, with Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey wasting the best of the opportunities created by the visitors.

The Gunners have now taken only one point from their past three away games and would have fancied their chances of winning at a ground where they have been unbeaten since 1998. But they looked like unlocking Villa only spasmodically despite the runs forward of midfielder Ramsey.

Arsenal keeper Szczesny made the first save of the game in turning aside a shot from a narrow angle by Andreas Weimann before he dealt more comfortably with a long-range attempt from Barry Bannan and Christian Benteke headed wide from an Ashley Westwood corner.

Home keeper Brad Guzan made his first meaningful save after 29 minutes and the United States international reacted sharply to keep out a deflected shot from Ramsey.

Szczesny was fortunate to escape without even a yellow card when he caught the ball but then slid out of the box under pressure from Gabriel Agbonlahor. Andreas Weimann had the ball in the net after Ciaran Clark's shot from the resulting free-kick by Bannan dropped into his path but he had strayed offside.

Per Mertesacker produced a fine tackle to halt Agbonlahor's run as over-optimistic Villa fans appealed for a penalty.

Laurent Koscielny missed the best chance of the first half after 43 minutes. Olivier Giroud supplied the low cross and Koscielny found himself unmarked after a slip by Clark but he miscued his shot over the bar.

But Villa were still posing a threat to their opponents and Benteke had a header deflected past the post from Bannan's corner.

Szczesny came to Arsenal's rescue when he finger-tipped a fierce Holman effort onto the bar with 12 minutes remaining, while the visitors rarely looked like finding a winner.

Aston VillaTeam StatisticsArsenal
01st Half Goals0
4Shots on Target1
1Shots off Target7
4Blocked Shots4
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
75.4Passing Success87.8
53.3Tackles Success57.9
50.7Territorial Advantage49.3
346Total Passes596
23Total Crosses27
158Lost Balls147
371st Half Poss.63
36.42nd Half Poss.63.6

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 32 76
2 Arsenal 32 66
3 Manchester United 33 65
4 Manchester City 33 64
5 Liverpool 32 57
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 57
7 Southampton 33 56
8 Swansea City 33 47
9 Stoke City 33 46
10 West Ham United 33 43
11 Crystal Palace 33 42
12 Everton 33 41
13 West Bromwich Albion 33 36
14 Newcastle United 33 35
15 Aston Villa 33 32
16 Sunderland 32 29
17 Hull City 32 28
18 Leicester City 32 28
19 Queens Park Rangers 33 26
20 Burnley 33 26