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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Sunday, 31 October 2010

Aston Villa   0 - 0   Birmingham

Aston Villa and Birmingham players battle for possession
Birmingham extended Villa's winless streak in the league to four games

By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport at Villa Park

Aston Villa and Birmingham City shared the points after they fought out a dour midlands derby deadlock at Villa Park.

Gerard Houllier had set his sights on victory in his first confrontation with arch-rivals Birmingham since his appointment as Villa boss - and saw his side waste the best of the chances in an encounter that was high on endeavour but desperately lacking in serious quality.

Ciaran Clark almost grabbed a late winner for Villa when his close-range header was only inches wide, and Ashley Young came even closer seconds later when he hit the woodwork with City keeper Ben Foster beaten.

PHIL McNULTY'S BLOG

But Blues boss Alex McLeish will feel his side's defensive discipline and work ethic, with Roger Johnson outstanding, made them worth a point, and it was clear the visitors were happier with the result at the final whistle.

And Birmingham will also state a convincing case that they could have had more rewards, with referee Howard Webb ignoring a clear handball by Villa captain Nigel Reo-Coker in the first half.

Birmingham still nurse a sense of injustice after losing to a late penalty at Villa Park last season, and they clearly felt the fates were against them again here.

Villa boss Houllier gave Clark a midfield role in the absence of Stilyan Petrov, but after a bright opening the game swiftly became a war of attrition so often associated with derbies.

Emile Heskey was only inches away from getting a crucial touch on to Ashley Young's shot and Reo-Coker almost charged down Foster's clearance, the rebound dropping narrowly wide.

Houllier disappointed with Villa performance

But Birmingham's gameplan soon reduced Villa to too many long balls aimed in Heskey's direction as the early creativity all but disappeared from their play.

And the away side were rightly infuriated nine minutes before the interval when referee Webb, despite looking right at the incident, ignored Reo-Coker's obvious handling offence inside the Villa penalty area.

Chances were once more at a premium after the break, but Reo-Coker tested Foster with a shot that the Birmingham keeper was able to collect with the minimum of fuss.

McLeish introduced Cameron Jerome for the subdued Alexander Hleb with 19 minutes left, and his impact was almost instant as he outmuscled Richard Dunne - no mean feat - and worked his way into the area, only to hit his cross straight at Brad Friedel with Nikola Zigic unmarked and waiting for a simple finish.

Reo-Coker had been having an eventful afternoon in an uneventful game, and he was eventually successful in earning himself a booking for a flare-up with Craig Gardner, who had been shown a yellow card early on after the pair clashed.

Villa substitute Barry Bannan had been lively, and his 20-yard effort brought a fine diving save from Foster with only nine minutes remaining.

McLeish pleased with Blues display

John Carew was eventually introduced for Reo-Coker with nine minutes left, and his header set up a chance for Clark, who could only direct his finish wide under heavy pressure from Foster, sustaining a nose injury for his bravery.

Villa were ending the game the stronger side, and Ashley Young almost made the decisive contribution in the final minute with a rising drive that crashed to safety off the angle of post and bar.

It was the final act of a colourless game - although there was still time for Reo-Coker to re-enter the pitch looking for an argument after the final whistle. As with his earlier efforts, he had little satisfaction.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 0-0 Birmingham FT
(HT 0-0)

      Aston Villa

      Substitutes

      Birmingham

      Substitutes

      Ref: H WebbAtt: 40,688
      ASTON VILLA
      BIRMINGHAM

      Possession

      • Aston Villa 55%
      • Birmingham 45%

      Attempts on target

      • Aston Villa 3
      • Birmingham 6

      Attempts off target

      • Aston Villa 4
      • Birmingham 4

      Corners

      • Aston Villa 1
      • Birmingham 4

      Fouls

      • Aston Villa 13
      • Birmingham 11
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+4:40 The referee brings the game to a close.
      • 90:00+0:40 Cameron Jerome fouled by Barry Bannan, the ref awards a free kick. A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, Header by Nikola Zigic from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
      • Correction - 88:36 Ashley Young has an effort at goal from deep inside the penalty area that bounces off the post.
      • 88:36 Effort from deep inside the area by Ashley Young misses to the right of the goal.
      • Correction - 84:19 Close range header by Ciaran Clark goes wide of the left-hand upright.
      • 84:19 Header by Ciaran Clark from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
      • 83:35 Stewart Downing produces a cross, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
      • 81:41 Substitution Nigel Reo-Coker goes off and John Carew comes on.
      • 80:53 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sebastian Larsson, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Nikola Zigic misses to the left of the goal.
      • 79:48 Barry Bannan takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
      • 77:34 Nigel Reo-Coker fouled by Craig Gardner, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Warnock.
      • 77:34 Booking Nigel Reo-Coker is shown a yellow card.
      • 75:47 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emile Heskey. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.
      • 73:35 Stewart Downing sends in a cross.
      • 72:32 Emile Heskey takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
      • 70:47 A cross is delivered by Luke Young,
      • 70:47 Substitution Cameron Jerome comes on in place of Alexander Hleb.
      • 70:47 Booking Scott Dann is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
      • 68:50 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ashley Young, James Collins produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
      • 66:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexander Hleb by Ciaran Clark. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
      • 65:48 Centre by Ashley Young, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
      • 64:30 Nikola Zigic takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 61:50 Luke Young challenges Sebastian Larsson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Dann restarts play with the free kick.
      • 61:03 Stewart Downing delivers the ball, clearance by Sebastian Larsson.
      • 60:34 Stephen Carr produces a cross, save by Brad Friedel.
      • 58:43 Unfair challenge on Roger Johnson by Nigel Reo-Coker results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
      • 57:26 Substitution Barry Bannan on for Steve Sidwell.
      • 57:06 The ball is delivered by Stephen Warnock, Emile Heskey has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
      • 56:01 Ashley Young fouled by Stephen Carr, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young takes the free kick.
      • 55:22 Nigel Reo-Coker takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
      • 55:03 Ashley Young sends in a cross, clearance by Keith Fahey.
      • 53:00 Unfair challenge on Craig Gardner by Luke Young results in a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
      • 51:29 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
      • 50:59 The ball is crossed by Liam Ridgewell, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
      • 50:39 Emile Heskey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
      • 49:28 Barry Ferguson challenges Ashley Young unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Young.
      • 46:05 Keith Fahey takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+3:00 The match has reached half-time.
      • 45:00+2:32 Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Brad Friedel makes a save.
      • 45:00+1:37 Unfair challenge on Alexander Hleb by Stephen Warnock results in a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, Stephen Warnock gets a block in.
      • 45:00+1:37 Booking Stephen Warnock booked for unsporting behaviour.
      • 45:00+0:49 Liam Ridgewell concedes a free kick for a foul on Stewart Downing. Free kick taken by James Collins.
      • 43:41 A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Ashley Young.
      • 41:10 Ciaran Clark concedes a free kick for a foul on Alexander Hleb. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
      • 39:38 The offside flag is raised against Emile Heskey. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.
      • 38:32 Nikola Zigic challenges James Collins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
      • 38:32 Booking Nikola Zigic receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
      • 37:30 Headed effort from deep inside the area by Liam Ridgewell misses to the left of the goal.
      • 37:11 Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, clearance by Stephen Warnock.
      • 36:37 Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line.
      • 34:55 The referee gives a free kick against Emile Heskey for handball. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
      • 33:39 Shot from long range by Keith Fahey goes wide of the left-hand upright.
      • 33:28 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Steve Sidwell.
      • 33:04 Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, clearance made by James Collins.
      • 31:51 Keith Fahey takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 31:23 The ball is swung over by Liam Ridgewell, save by Brad Friedel.
      • 27:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Steve Sidwell. Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
      • 22:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Ridgewell on Ashley Young. Stewart Downing delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, save by Ben Foster.
      • 21:55 James Collins fouled by Nikola Zigic, the ref awards a free kick. James Collins takes the free kick.
      • 20:39 Ashley Young produces a cross, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
      • 20:16 Scott Dann concedes a free kick for a foul on Emile Heskey. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
      • 18:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by Ashley Young. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
      • 17:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell on Craig Gardner. Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 15:05 Keith Fahey takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 14:33 The official flags Emile Heskey offside. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
      • 12:15 Emile Heskey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Dann. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
      • 11:26 Craig Gardner challenges Nigel Reo-Coker unfairly and gives away a free kick. James Collins takes the free kick.
      • 11:26 Booking Craig Gardner is given a yellow card.
      • 9:24 Roger Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
      • 9:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emile Heskey on Stephen Carr. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
      • 6:31 Nikola Zigic concedes a free kick for a foul on Richard Dunne. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
      • 4:59 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson.
      • 4:52 The ball is delivered by Keith Fahey, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
      • Correction - 3:17 Craig Gardner takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in.
      • 3:17 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Richard Dunne gets a block in.
      • 0:20 The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
      • 0:13 The ball is crossed by Stewart Downing, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.
      • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      31 Oct 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 31 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 10 24 25
      2 Arsenal 10 12 20
      3 Man Utd 10 10 20
      4 Man City 10 3 17
      5 Tottenham 10 1 15
      6 West Brom 9 -2 15
      7 Newcastle 10 5 14
      8 Everton 10 2 13
      9 Fulham 10 1 12
      10 Bolton 10 -1 12
      11 Sunderland 10 -3 12
      12 Liverpool 10 -4 12
      13 Aston Villa 10 -4 12
      14 Birmingham 10 -2 11
      15 Stoke 10 -4 10
      16 Blackpool 9 -7 10
      17 Wigan 10 -11 10
      18 Blackburn 10 -3 9
      19 Wolves 10 -6 9
      20 West Ham 10 -11 6

      see also
      Houllier issues Reo-Coker warning
      31 Oct 10 |  Aston Villa
      Premier League as it happened
      31 Oct 10 |  Football
      Sunday's football photos
      31 Oct 10 |  Football



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