Aston Villa 0-0 Crystal Palace: Flaccid Villa all ball and no penetration
A match between a visiting team unwilling to lose and a hosts apparently unable to win unsurprisingly ended in a goalless draw.
With Palace perfectly content to sit back and concede possession, Villa hogged the ball but didn't quite know what to do with it. In the first half they enjoyed 73.5% possession and amassed 297 passes to the visitors' 81; by the final whistle they had racked up 593 passes (508 completed) but only managed three shots on target. Palace had none (and only completed 192 passes), but they still get a point.
As Alan Pardew watched on from the Villa Park stands, Palace stood firm in the face of what passed for Villa's onslaught and could even have won, had Yannick Bolasie not hit the crossbar after slaloming through a backline weakened by the injury-enforced withdrawal of Ron Vlaar.
Palace remain winless in eight but Villa remain witless in possession, having failed to score in 39 of the 96 league games during the last two and a half seasons. Their season's total of 11 goals is the lowest in English football, and the only two Premier League teams ever to have scored so few after 20 games were both relegated.
- Aston Villa haven't conceded a first-half goal in 8 of their 10 home league games this season.
- Crystal Palace have scored 1 first-half goal in their last 7 Premier League matches.
- Since the start of 2012/13 Aston Villa have failed to score in 39 Premier League games – 5 more than any other team.
- Carlos Sanchez recorded the most passes (117) and touches (133) by an Aston Villa player in a Premier League game since the start of the 2003/04 season.
- Villa recorded their 96th Premier League goalless draw, 17 more than any other team.
- Aston Villa have scored two goals their last six league meetings with Crystal Palace combined.
- Only two teams have scored fewer goals after 20 games of a Premier League season than Villa’s 11 this term (Manchester City and Derby, both 10, in 1995/96 and 2007/08 respectively).