Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa0Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0

Aston Villa 0-0 Crystal Palace

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Alan Pardew at Villa Park
Alan Pardew (left) was at Villa Park along with Palace chairman Steve Parrish (right)
  • Successive 0-0 home draws for Villa
  • Palace now winless in eight games
  • Villa 12th in the table, Palace 18th
  • Contract negotiations delay Pardew appointment

Prospective Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew saw the London club claim a goalless draw in a turgid encounter with Aston Villa.

There was precious little excitement during 90 largely chanceless minutes at Villa Park.

Villa created more opportunities, with Christian Benteke and Alan Hutton both testing Julian Speroni with shots.

Palace had the clearest opening, but Yannick Bolasie struck the crossbar after breaking past the home defence.

Aston Villa 0-0 Crystal Palace: Paul Lambert understands frustrations

Pardew - who is on the verge of taking the Palace reins from caretaker boss Keith Millen - will have been pleased with his potential new charges' discipline and determination, but will also now be aware of the serious work he has to do to keep the London club in the top flight.

Palace remain in the bottom three despite this draw, which extends their winless run to eight matches, dating back to the 3-1 home victory over Liverpool on 23 November.

With a bit more ambition and greater composure when it mattered, the visitors could easily have won.

Bolasie's chance was a clear one, earned through the awareness of the midfielder to steal the ball near the halfway line, but with just Brad Guzan to beat, the 25-year-old's finishing deserted him.

Pardew congratulated players - Millen

It was not the only time Palace opened the home side up, with only a last-ditch tackle from Ciaran Clark denying Wilfried Zaha a chance in the six-yard box.

With just 11 goals to their name, Villa are the lowest-scoring team in English league football this campaign and it is easy to see why.

They lack speed - of both thought and movement - in attack, making it easy for an opponent to stifle them ahead of the 18-yard box.

Their chief attacking weapons, Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor were starved of possession or given the ball in ineffectual areas.

Villa actually began the game well and twice forced Speroni to make low saves through close-range shots from Benteke and Hutton.

Their momentum was halted by a 15th-minute injury to Ron Vlaar and they failed to recapture it, with Benteke's first-time shot over the bar from inside the box and a Leandro Bacuna free-kick, which Speroni saved, the closest they came to scoring.

Villa's point lifted them above Everton into 12th position and they have a five-point cushion to the bottom three but need to significantly improve on a home record of just 15 wins from their last 63 matches.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

"The fans have been great but I understand their frustration. I'm sure if we had scored nobody would have batted an eyelid.

"They want to see their team win. I can't fault the lads for dominating the ball and trying to score.

"We have started a new way of playing and the lads are really comfortable with it. We just need the finishing touch and it will come."

Keith Millen (right) on the touchline at Villa Park
Caretaker boss Keith Millen has been in charge of Palace following the sacking of Neil Warnock
Ciaran Clark comes on for Ron Vlaar
Villa suffered a blow in the first half when Ron Vlaar was forced off with a knee injury
Yannick Bolasie hits the bar
Palace have failed to score in five of their last six away games, and each of the last four.
Andreas Weimann (right) heads the ball under pressure from Damien Delaney
Villa have failed to score in a league-high 11 of their 19 matches this season

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 5Okore
  • 4VlaarSubstituted forClarkat 15'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 23Cissokho
  • 7Bacuna
  • 24C Sánchez
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forGrealishat 64'minutes
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forColeat 83'minutes
  • 20Benteke
  • 11Agbonlahor

Substitutes

  • 6Clark
  • 12Cole
  • 28N'Zogbia
  • 31Given
  • 34Lowton
  • 37Robinson
  • 40Grealish

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Speroni
  • 3Mariappa
  • 6Dann
  • 27DelaneyBooked at 86mins
  • 34Kelly
  • 2Ward
  • 42Puncheon
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forBannanat 90'minutes
  • 28Ledley
  • 7Bolasie
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forGayleat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hangeland
  • 9Doyle
  • 10Campbell
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Thomas
  • 16Gayle
  • 25Bannan
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
29,047

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home14
Away6
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Crystal Palace 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

  4. Post update

    Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Barry Bannan tries a through ball, but Dwight Gayle is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Alan Hutton tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Barry Bannan replaces James McArthur.

  8. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Joel Ward (Crystal Palace).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

  11. Post update

    Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Julian Speroni.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  14. Booking

    Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Leandro Bacuna with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Joe Ledley.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Joe Cole replaces Andreas Weimann.