Premier League - Swansea, Villa in subdued draw

Sun, 27 Nov 15:28:00 2011

Swansea City drew 0-0 with Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium in a Premier League match overshadowed by the death of Wales manager Gary Speed.

Swansea 0 Aston Villa 0

The tragic news of Speed's death less than 90 minutes before kick-off overshadowed the match, which went ahead despite late calls to postpone it.

Fans chanted his name during a minute of silence that turned into applause, with figures on both sides having close links to him.

Four of Speed's international players took the field - Swansea's Ashley Williams, Joe Allen and Neil Taylor, and Aston Villa's James Collins.

Speed's former Newcastle team-mate Shay Given broke down during the pre-match tribute, and had to compose himself rapidly before kick-off.

Swansea hogged possession early on, but failed to test Given seriously.

For all their slick passing, the home side lack penetration. On the occasions they delivered the ball into the box, they found Collins and Richard Dunne in imperious form, booming headers clear.

Though it was not a bad-tempered affair, some hefty tackles flew in, and referee Neil Swarbrick showed seven yellow cards.

Chances were at a premium, and the first fell to Emile Heskey, whose goalbound header ricocheted wide off a defender. From the resultant corner, Dunne sent a header over.

Villa were nearly gifted the lead by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who made complete mess of a Gabriel Agbonlahor shot, getting just enough on his punch to send the ball looping inches over the bar.

Collins then came to Villa's rescue when Scott Sinclair sprinted inside from the left and saw his shot blocked by the centre-back.

As time ran out, substitute Leroy Lita looked the likeliest to win it. He produced an excellent spin to evade Dunne, but fired into the body of Given.

The striker then fired wide, while at the other end there was nobody on hand to turn in a superb Agbonlahor cross from the end.

A draw was a fair result on an afternoon when the action on the pitch paled into insignificance in Wales.

Alex Chick - Twitter @alexchick81 / Eurosport

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