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Premier League

  • September 15, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 34005

Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea City: Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj's impact on display as Villians get a shutout

Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea City: Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj's impact on display as Villians get a shutout


Thanks to the strong defensive efforts of U.S. internationals Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa records a shutout.

United States internationals Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj help Paul Lambert secure his first win as Aston Villa boss as two of his summer signings scored to help secure a 2-0 victory against Swansea at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

Matthew Lowton's excellent first-half volley and a late goal from Christian Bentenke was enough to give the Villians their first victory since March, and inflict a first Premier League defeat on Swans manager Michael Laudrup.

The game started with both sides sharing half chances and plenty of attacking intent, with Villa working hard to press all over the pitch to disrupt the visitor's passing style.

And after a spate of corners for both sides it was the Swans who had the first real chance of the game on the 10-minute mark. A dangerous corner was swung in from the right and captain Ashley Williams met it with a perfectly timed header, however Villa keeper Guzan - who again kept Shay Given out of the starting XI - was equal to his effort before he again saved well from Nathan Dyer's follow-up effort.

Five minutes later and the hosts grabbed the lead. A dangerous corner was cleared by the Swans, but only to the left-hand side of the penalty area where Villa right-back Lowton chested down the ball down and lashed a left foot volley beyond an unsighted Michel Vorm to notch his first ever Premier League goal.

There was a nice touch from all sides of the ground in the 19th minute, as a minute's applause was given for Villa captain Stilian Petrov as he continues his recovery from acute leukaemia.

Swansea continued to play their usual free-flowing style as the half wore on but were unable to create any clear-cut chances against a well drilled and hard working home side.

And it was Villa who almost grabbed the game's second goal when Andreas Weimann had an effort well saved by Vorm. The Austrian received the ball in the area after neat build up play, and following a cute exchange with Darren Bent, his shot was kept out by a full stretch Vorm at his near post.

Villa looked to be coasting into the break with the lead, however Swansea nearly grabbed themselves an equaliser moments before the interval.

An incisive ball found the lively Dyer in space down the right-hand side and he fizzed the ball across the six-yard box, however Danny Graham, couldn't get a connection with the goal gaping.

Lambert's side came out after the break playing in much the same fashion as the first half, and almost doubled their lead when after a succession of corners Leon Britton was forced to head off the line to deny Weimann a goal when the youngster swiveled in the penalty area and smashed his shot towards the corner of the net.

Come the hour mark and Villa remained in control of the game, but had to be cautious of Swansea's pace on the counterattack as Laudrup's side attempted to get back into the game.

Bentenke came on to the pitch soon after for Villa and enjoyed a lively debut following his move from Belgian side Genk.

But the 21-year-old should have put the game beyond doubt with five minutes left when he failed to connect inside the six yard box following a knock-down by Bent.

However, minutes later Bentenke did make it count when he latched onto a long punt forward which was missed by Williams, and lobbed the ball over a helpless Guzan.

Ex-Villa sriker Luke Moore later came off the bench for Swansea, but he was unable to take any chances that fell his way, as his side slipped to a deserved first defeat of the season.

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