A game rendered as meaningless as it was dull due to surrounding circumstances, Swansea City vs Aston Villa almost never went ahead at all. Still raw from the news of Gary Speed’s passing, the atmosphere of the game was tinged with grief and shock. A perfectly fitting if not perfectly orchestrated minute’s “silence” was observed before a game that only housed 6 attempts on target from either team.
Swansea looked the more solid outfit and were far more comfortable on the ball throughout; however it was the visitors that looked more dangerous, especially on the counter, with most of this being down to the tireless Gabriel Agbonlahor on the left wing. Within a team that lacks much attacking direction; one wonders where Aston Villa would find themselves in the table this season if their local hero would have joined the exodus of claret and blue talent last summer.
There were only a handful of clear cut chances throughout the game. Within the first few minutes, in a move typical of his performance, Agbonlahor cut inside from the left only to have a powerful deflected shot blocked by the feet of in-form Vorm. The game trudged on tamely and still largely in shock as the clock kept ticking on. Despite high levels of pressure from the Villans towards the closing minutes of the second half, Gabby Agbonlahor’s dipping long range effort- tipped over by Vorm’s jingly reflexes, was the only chance they had to show for their sustained possession.
The home side did not have a sniff of the visitor’s goal until deep into the second half when Sinclair linked up with substitute Leroy Lita to slice open the centre of the Villa defence. The forward thought his low drive would be enough to beat the visiting keeper Shay Given and secure a late winner for the Swans, however the emotional Irishman charged down the shot to keep the tie scoreless.
Despite a penalty claim for the visitors late on, the final whistle blew as Villa remain winless on the road all season, as the fans watching remained most subdued and reflective. In reality, the game was a mundane affair; however for one game only, the 20000 strong crowd did not seem to care.