A predictably subdued affair following the announcement of Wales manager Gary Speed's death, with neither side able to break down the other.
Swansea City held Aston Villa to a 0-0 draw in a game heavily affected by the death of Wales national manager Gary Speed at the age of just 42.
The home side dominated the first half, but failed to have a clinical opportunity on goal, with Villa going close following a deflected shot from Gabby Agbonlahor that was saved well by Michel Vorm.
The Swans were forced to bring on Leroy Lita in the second half after an injury to Danny Graham and the striker could have won the game on two occasions, denied by both his lack of accuracy and the efforts of Villa keeper Shay Given.
The game began following a minute’s silence that quickly turned into spontaneous applause, in respect to Speed.
It was an aggressive start from both outfits, as Fabian Delph quickly found himself with a yellow card to his name after a terribly late challenge early on, with his teammate Scott Sinclair attaining his own caution following a similarly clumsy tackle on Villa’s Chris Herd. Alan Hutton was also carded in the first 15 minutes.
Swansea bossed the possession in the early minutes, with the home enjoying 75 percent of the ball and constantly threatening the Villa defense through the high stationed fullbacks and the ever present agility of Sinclair.
It took 20 minutes for the visiting side to mount its first attack on the Swans’ goal, with Agbonlahor taking advantage of Angel Rangel’s miss kick, allowing the England international to burst into the box from the left side and pop off a shot, with the effort deflecting off a defender, leaving Vorm to make an improvised save with his legs.
Villa won a subsequent succession of corners following some encouraging play after seeing little of the ball, but the midlands outfit could not convert its opportunities into shots on goal, with Swansea able to clear up on each occasion with ease.
However, stubborn defending at both ends ensured the two outfits went into the break on even terms. The home side was holding onto the ball well before halftime, but its opponent found itself gradually getting into the match and offering an attacking incentive for the traveling fans to shout about.
Agbonlahor had the first true chance after the break, as the forward cut in from the left and had a curling effort denied by Vorm, who made a less than convincing save, with the ball popping out of his grasp and out for a corner.
It became apparent that Villa was getting into the game more and more as it progressed, but the Swans were not giving up on their own attacking engagements, as the home team continued to push through the midfield in an attempt to get the ball to Lita.
It was Graham’s replacement that should have given Swansea the lead after being put through on goal by Gower, but the striker pulled his shot wide after turning well on the ball. Just moments later, it was Lita again with a great chance, this time his effort was denied with a great save from a so far untried Shay Given.
Villa began to push as the game came to its concluding minutes, with the visiting side winning a flurry of corners and free kicks to test the Swansea defense until the end. However, the Swans hung on to restore their fearsome home status on what was a sad day in Wales.