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PREMIER LEAGUE: All square between Swansea and Villa on sad day for Welsh football

Swansea City and Aston Villa have played out a 0-0 draw in a match devoid of many out-and-out scoring chances at the Liberty Stadium.

The match went ahead despite the death of Wales national team manager Gary Speed earlier in the day and the first half was played in a rather surreal atmosphere with players from both sides clearly affected by the tragic news.

Villa goalkeeper Shay Given in particular was visibly shaken prior to the match as he dealt with the loss of a close friend but it did not dampen his performance in goal as he kept a clean sheet to allow his side to return to ninth on the league table.

Swansea played pretty football as usual but were unable to pose a direct threat to Given's goal during the first half as Villa looked menacing at times on the counter attack through Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey but never really troubled Swans gloveman Michel Vorm.

Agbonlahor came closest in the opening 45 minutes when Vorm was called on to make a save from a tight angle inn in the 18th minute before the Dutchman managed to get away with a 'missed' save, if you will, when Agbonlahor unleashed from just outside the area from the left side with Vorm getting both palms to the shot to see it go spinning over his head and fortunately over the crossbar in the 56th minute.

Swansea substitute Leroy Lita was inches away when he received a deft ball from Mark Gower but upon turning James Collins, put his left-footed shot wide of the mark when anything on target could have beaten Given just under 20 minutes from time.

Darren Bent found space in the area with about ten minutes remaining only to see his flick with the outside of his right foot brilliantly saved by Vorm even though the flag was up for off-side moments before Given denied Lita when he was through on goal.

Nonetheless, the match ended goalless which saw Swansea's home record go to three wins, three draws and a loss but they have conceded just two goals as Villa remain winless away from Villa Park in nine outings.

Swansea City: 0 Aston Villa: 0 Liberty Stadium, Swansea - 20,404

Yellow cards:SWA - Scott Sinclair 8', Ashley Richards 42', Garry Monk 67' AV - Fabian Delph 3', Alan Hutton 14', Richard Dunne 37', James Collins 90+3'

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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