This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa

When I looked at Aston Villa's fixtures and I saw Fulham, what cams into my head was a draw. I'd be happy with a draw. So, I'm happy to say, I'm happy with the draw.

I was optimistic as always like many and I thought, yeah we could nick a win here. Well, that was before the game.
After the first half I was pretty impressed with how we were played and how Fulham weren't playing and in my mind I was still thinking, we can win this. I realised that I'd definitely jinxed it when the whistle blew for the second half. Fulham looked decent, yes not excellent or amazing but decent and better than us. They had obviously had a ticking off in the dressing room after their lazy first half performance.

The first half got off to a poor start, with N'Zogbia showing that he still hasn't discovered his defensive side of the game. Without following, Riisse (however you spell it), it allowed him to fire a shot over the bar. Oh dear! Not to worry, we then got our backsides into first gear and started to add a little pressure here and there. A variety of passing to mix it up, for once we looked stable defensively and broke on the counter superbly. However none of the three clear chances we had could be converted and push that gear up a few levels. The three noteable chances came from an Emile Heskey header which swept over the bar, a skipper Stan's shot just scraping the same bar and a James Collins' header from a flighted Charles N'Zogbia cross flying six yards wide.

The second half was started by Fulham and ended by a last ditch attempt from Villa. Even though Fulham were the better team in the second half and had all the better chances on goal, a revived partnership in Collins and Richard Dunne made sure there was no clear path through on goal. Even when Fulham managed to brake the defence and find gaps, hero Shay Given; making his first Aston Villa start in the Premier League; was there to firmly hang on.

I had both the stream on whilst listening to Bluenose Tom Ross and towards the end of sick of him saying Darren Bent's name. Repeating several time "One chance, that's all Darren Bent needs, one chance, he's a goalscorer..." We do have another two strikers on the pitch mate!

Conclusion: A well fought battle in the first half, a great point away from home against a good, well drilled side. Gabby cannot play wide. N'Zogbia isn't fit. Albrighton should start cause he's a little gem. Darren Bent needs more service and Shay Given has got to be one of the best buys for this season.

My man of the match goes to; drumroll please... James Collins, closely followed by Shay Given and Richard Dunne.

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