Aston Villa Club Focus – Point earned could be vital in race for survival

Another goalless display, another game of wasted chances, another missed opportunity. It has been a similar story throughout the season for Aston Villa, but the point earned away to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon could prove to be vital in their hopes for survival.

It was not the greatest game you will ever see, a Midlands derby very rarely is. Gritty and dogged defending were the key words in this encounter, nullifying creativity and flair. The type of game Alex McLeish loves to see, but not many of the fans so much. Both teams had their chances to win and if it was not for some excellent goalkeeping at both ends there may have been a break in the deadlock, but a point a piece was a fair result.

The point leaves Aston Villa on 37, just 3 points above the dreaded drop, but they still have control of their own destiny as manager Alex McLeish eluded to after the game:

“A point is better than none and that was a tough game. It was never going to be easy against a team who are on a crest of a wave and have a lot of experience. It is still in our hands and we still have two games to go. If we can win those games then that is 6 points. One of the players in our dressing room will get the goal that matters for us in the next two games. I am positive of that.”

McLeish’s faith in his players’ goal scoring ability may be mislaid, as they have only managed to score one goal in their previous four Barclays Premier League games. It is true that Villa may only need one goal to grab the points, but with a defence that has leaked goals all season they may need more than just the one. Their final two league games are against Tottenham at home next weekend and they then travel to Norwich on the final day of the season. Both of these sides love to attack and score goals, and have already scored over 100 league goals between them so far.

A more likely outcome for Villa in either game is a draw, something which they have achieved 16 times already this season, four more than any other team in the league. McLeish would say that a draw is better than a loss, that one point is better than none. Most Villa fans would tell you that in nearly every single one of those games if they had of really gone for the win then it would have been there for the taking.

Results have been favourable for Aston Villa over the weekend’s games, with only one team from the bottom five picking up maximum points, a very impressive display from Wigan providing those 3 points. This point may prove to be crucial, but they are far from safe as the relegation fight continues into its final stages.

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