Aston villa 0 Portsmouth 0 18.10.2008

October 18, 2008 | Filed Under: UK Box Update 
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The game finshed in a draw yet the main point of the game was a missle thrown at the ref’s assistant. 

England number one David James did not have to make a save until the 75th minute such was the protection he received from Campbell and Co.Gareth Barry and Stiliyan Petrov did their best to try to inspire Martin O’Neill’s side but their efforts proved in vain.

O’Neill handed first Premier League starts of the season to summer signings James Milner and Carlos Cuellar, who cost a combined £20 million.It was the first changes O’Neill has made to his league line-up this season after keeping the same side for the opening seven games with full-backs Luke Young and Nicky Shorey both axed.

Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel was called into his first meaningful action of the game after six minutes.

A right-wing cross from Glen Little was headed away by Villa skipper Martin Laursen but fell to Davis. He struck his half volley cleanly enough from the edge of the box but Friedel was alert and clung onto the shot away to his left.John Carew hooked wide for the home side before an inswinging Ashley Young corner picked out the Norwegian international, whose close-range effort was blocked by Glen Johnson.

Villa defender Curtis Davies came close to breaking the deadlock after 17 minutes after Laursen had headed a deep free-kick from Barry back across goal – but he was unable to get over his close-range shot.

The hosts had their let off after 28 minutes after Peter Crouch had laid the ball into the path of Armand Traore, whose fierce shot from the left side of the box rattled against the post.The rebound hit Friedel on the back and Davies failed to make full contact on his intended clearance, which fell to Defoe only four yards out. He looked certain to score but somehow hooked his shot high and wide.

The second period was uninspiring. In a rare moment of excitement, a long raking crossfield pass from Petrov found Young in a yard of space but he dragged his low shot wide.Davis was booked after an hour for sliding through the back of Reo-Coker but the game was crying out for some much needed quality.

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