Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham
Aston Villa remain precariously placed in the battle against relegation after being held to a draw by Fulham.
Both teams had wasted chances before Charles N'Zogbia deservedly put Villa ahead when he curled in a shot.
But the home side's Fabian Delph glanced Bryan Ruiz's corner into his own net to gift Fulham an equaliser.
Delph had a chance to atone for his error only for the midfielder to sky a far-post shot after the visitors failed to clear an Andreas Weimann cross.
The anxious faces among the Villa crowd as the final whistle closed in were a sign of the trouble their side are in as they lie only three points above the drop zone.
Villa may feel they did enough to beat Fulham but had to settle for a draw ahead of testing games against league leaders Manchester United and fellow strugglers Sunderland.
The Cottagers reached the 40-point mark, which should be enough to secure their safety, after a game in which their keeper Mark Schwarzer stood out.
It had not started well for the home side as they suffered a setback prior to kick-off when striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, who had three goals in his last four games, was ruled out with a thigh injury.
But there was plenty of intent and industry from Villa early on, with their efforts finally culminating in a first real chance after nearly 25 minutes.
Weimann whipped in a cross for fellow striker Christian Benteke, who steered a side-footed volley narrowly wide.
During a spell of Villa pressure, N'Zogbia's first-time shot from a Benteke cross was also palmed away by keeper Schwarzer.
The home side were showing plenty of ambition but the visitors almost took the lead on the counter-attack.
Midfielder Eyong Enoh left Jordan Bowery in his wake and pulled a ball back which Dimitar Berbatov drove wide from just inside the area.
However, Schwarzer was still the busier keeper and the Australian was again called upon when he palmed a long-range N'Zogbia strike over his goal.
The keeper again frustrated the Midlands side when he parried away a Weimann shot before, down the other end, Fulham's Ruiz slid a piercing pass through to Berbatov.
But the Bulgarian striker, who only had Brad Guzan to beat, was denied by the outside of the home keeper's post.
The miss was punished when N'Zogbia latched onto a poor Brede Hangeland clearance before bending a left-foot shot past Schwarzer.
However, the lead was short-lived as Delph - trying to clear Ruiz's corner at the near post - inadvertently headed into his own net.
The midfielder could have salvaged his blushes late on but sent a far-post shot over from close range as the spoils were shared.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:
"I thought we were great. We should have been a few goals up at half-time and their goalkeeper made some vital saves. I could not fault the lads for effort.
"[In terms of Fabian Delph's own goal] you can never fault anyone for trying to do the right things.
"It [the point] keeps the momentum there. I played under a great manager once and he said if you can't win a game then don't lose it. I think you can sense in the stadium the fans are behind us."
Fulham boss Martin Jol:
"I thought they were the better team. In the first half, we were a bit hot and cold. The chances they had were created by us.
"If you look at the match, they had won three of four coming into the game, so I can live with a point.
"Our first priority was 40 points and we have achieved that."
- 22 Guzan
- 04 Vlaar
- 27 Bennett
- 32 Baker
- 34 Lowton
- 10 N'Zogbia (Sylla - 68' Booked )
- 15 Westwood
- 16 Delph
- 20 Benteke
- 21 Bowery (Holman - 69' )
- 26 Weimann (Bent - 76' )
- 01 Given
- 06 Clark
- 08 El Ahmadi
- 14 Holman
- 18 Sylla
- 24 Dawkins
- 09 Bent
- 01 Schwarzer
- 04 Senderos
- 05 Hangeland
- 15 Richardson Booked (Riise - 90' )
- 27 Riether
- 14 Karagounis (Petric - 63' )
- 16 Duff (Manolev - 10' )
- 28 Emanuelson
- 33 Enoh Booked
- 09 Berbatov
- 11 Ruiz
- 38 Etheridge
- 03 Riise
- 18 Hughes
- 25 Manolev
- 12 Frimpong
- 10 Petric
- 20 Rodallega
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +2:27
The ball is swung over by Matthew Lowton, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.90:00 +1:27
The ball is delivered by Matthew Lowton, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.90:00 +1:02
The ball is sent over by Fabian Delph, clearance by Philippe Senderos.90:00 +0:31
Corner from the right by-line taken by Ashley Westwood, clearance by John Arne Riise.89:09 Substitution
Substitution John Arne Riise is brought on as a substitute for Kieran Richardson.88:53
The ball is crossed by Brett Holman, Shot by Christian Benteke from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.86:39
Direct free kick taken by Ashley Westwood.86:39 Booking
Booking Kieran Richardson goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.86:35
Kieran Richardson concedes a free kick for a foul on Yacouba Sylla.84:40
Yacouba Sylla produces a cross, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.84:10
The ball is crossed by Yacouba Sylla, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.83:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Yacouba Sylla. Matthew Lowton restarts play with the free kick.82:18
Joe Bennett has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.81:36
Philippe Senderos gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Bent. Ashley Westwood restarts play with the free kick.80:29
Mladen Petric challenges Nathan Baker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.78:21
The ball is delivered by Joe Bennett, save by Mark Schwarzer.77:19
Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Westwood.76:56
Brett Holman takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.75:22
Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Darren Bent comes on in place of Andreas Weimann.75:22
The assistant referee signals for offside against Dimitar Berbatov.74:26
The ball is sent over by Fabian Delph, save by Mark Schwarzer.72:45
Andreas Weimann produces a cross, Close range strike by Fabian Delph goes over the bar.70:45
Yacouba Sylla produces a cross, save made by Mark Schwarzer.70:26
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Westwood.70:10
Brett Holman takes a shot. Blocked by Eyong Enoh.69:23
Bryan Ruiz sends in a cross, Shot from close range by Mladen Petric misses to the right of the goal.68:20
Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.68:20 Substitution
Substitution Brett Holman comes on in place of Jordan Bowery.68:20 Booking
Booking Yacouba Sylla goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.68:10
Yacouba Sylla challenges Eyong Enoh unfairly and gives away a free kick.67:18 Substitution
Substitution Charles N'Zogbia goes off and Yacouba Sylla comes on.67:01
Sascha Riether produces a cross, Urby Emanuelson produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.65:01
Bryan Ruiz provided the assist for the goal.65:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Fabian Delph - A Villa 1 - 1 Fulham Fabian Delph heads into his own net. Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham.64:44
Corner taken by Bryan Ruiz from the right by-line played to the near post.64:27
Kieran Richardson delivers the ball, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Bennett.64:10
Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.63:18
Eyong Enoh concedes a free kick for a foul on Andreas Weimann. Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.62:01
Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.62:01 Substitution
Substitution Mladen Petric replaces Giorgos Karagounis.62:01
Bryan Ruiz challenges Joe Bennett unfairly and gives away a free kick.61:32
The ball is crossed by Charles N'Zogbia.60:01
Short corner taken by Sascha Riether from the right by-line.59:50
The ball is delivered by Sascha Riether, clearance made by Ron Vlaar.59:06
Ashley Westwood concedes a free kick for a foul on Giorgos Karagounis. Giorgos Karagounis restarts play with the free kick.57:28
The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Westwood from left channel.57:28 Booking
Booking Caution for Eyong Enoh.57:21
Foul by Eyong Enoh on Joe Bennett, free kick awarded.56:21
Centre by Joe Bennett, Fabian Delph takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.54:33
Assist on the goal came from Andreas Weimann.54:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Charles N'Zogbia - A Villa 1 - 0 Fulham Charles N'Zogbia fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham.53:09
Brede Hangeland produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.52:31
Giorgos Karagounis takes a short corner.52:20
Giorgos Karagounis produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Ron Vlaar.49:48
Dimitar Berbatov produces a right-footed shot from just inside the penalty box and strikes the post.49:02
Inswinging corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, Dimitar Berbatov manages to make a clearance.48:50
Shot by Ashley Westwood from 20 yards. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.47:41
Stanislav Manolev challenges Ashley Westwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.46:55
The ball is swung over by Sascha Riether, Ron Vlaar manages to make a clearance.45:23
Ashley Westwood produces a cross.45:15
Andreas Weimann sends in a cross.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +2:13 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.45:00 +1:19
The offside flag is raised against Andreas Weimann. Giorgos Karagounis takes the indirect free kick.45:00 +0:34
Dimitar Berbatov challenges Nathan Baker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joe Bennett takes the direct free kick.44:58
Andreas Weimann produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.43:46
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the left by-line to the near post, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.43:33
Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save.43:20
Foul by Fabian Delph on Eyong Enoh, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Eyong Enoh.42:38
The ball is delivered by Urby Emanuelson, Effort from the edge of the box by Dimitar Berbatov goes wide of the left-hand upright.41:54
Inswinging corner taken by Bryan Ruiz from the right by-line played to the near post, Christian Benteke manages to make a clearance.41:42
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Blocked by Nathan Baker.40:25
Stanislav Manolev concedes a free kick for a foul on Ron Vlaar. Bradley Guzan takes the direct free kick.38:48
Christian Benteke fouled by Stanislav Manolev, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Bennett restarts play with the free kick.33:53
The referee blows for offside. Philippe Senderos takes the free kick.33:17
The offside flag is raised against Andreas Weimann. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.31:32
Long range shot from Matthew Lowton misses to the left of the target.31:21
Ashley Westwood takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Giorgos Karagounis makes a clearance.30:53
Christian Benteke crosses the ball, Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save.29:56
The ball is crossed by Jordan Bowery.27:28
The ball is delivered by Stanislav Manolev, Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.25:56
Charles N'Zogbia produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.24:42
Dimitar Berbatov challenges Andreas Weimann unfairly and gives away a free kick. Fabian Delph takes the free kick.23:55
The ball is swung over by Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke produces a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.23:50
Matthew Lowton produces a cross.23:18
Ashley Westwood takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.21:58
Inswinging corner taken by Bryan Ruiz from the right by-line played to the near post, Ron Vlaar makes a clearance.21:51
The ball is delivered by Sascha Riether, Ron Vlaar makes a clearance.21:09
The ball is delivered by Joe Bennett, save by Mark Schwarzer.20:07
The ball is swung over by Charles N'Zogbia, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.19:16
The assistant referee signals for offside against Christian Benteke. Philippe Senderos takes the indirect free kick.16:12
Giorgos Karagounis fouled by Charles N'Zogbia, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Philippe Senderos.15:00
The assistant referee signals for offside against Andreas Weimann. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.14:12
Kieran Richardson crosses the ball.13:46
A cross is delivered by Andreas Weimann, Philippe Senderos manages to make a clearance.12:07
Unfair challenge on Andreas Weimann by Eyong Enoh results in a free kick. Fabian Delph takes the direct free kick.10:37
Dimitar Berbatov fouled by Fabian Delph, the ref awards a free kick. Giorgos Karagounis takes the free kick.9:42 Substitution
Substitution Stanislav Manolev comes on in place of Damien Duff.7:53
The assistant referee flags for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Ron Vlaar.6:52
A cross is delivered by Andreas Weimann, Philippe Senderos manages to make a clearance.4:23
Effort on goal by Fabian Delph from 25 yards. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.3:34
Foul by Damien Duff on Matthew Lowton, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Lowton.1:20
Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance by Brede Hangeland.0:21
Nathan Baker fouled by Dimitar Berbatov, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Nathan Baker.0:00
The match gets underway.
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