Saturday analysis: Chelsea's stunning title collapse puts classless Mourinho in a sulk
Aston Villa 0-0 Southampton
"It was a massive point after everything that's been happening," declared Paul Lambert after this drab goalless draw in the West Midlands. The Scot, who was forced to suspend coaches Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa in midweek, looked like a man who could finally rest easy. He did not care that this was yet another damp squib of a Villa display, only that his struggling side had ended a depressing four-game losing streak.
Villa improved as this game wore on, but after a first half which screamed "ARRRGGGH BENTEKE" the only way was up after the break. By half-time the hosts had completed just 80 passes and failed to muster an effort on goal; by the final whistle they'd enjoyed 31% possession but registered 6 attempts. And that's more than can be said of Southampton, who, with little to play for, knocked the ball around for the entire game (508/611 passes) and created squat diddly to show for it (3 efforts).
Villa, meanwhile, look hopeless without Benteke. They rely upon the Belgian's formidable aerial presence and hold-up play on a weekly basis, but injury meant Lambert plumped for Gabriel Agbonlahor over Grant Holt in his key man's place. Agbonlahor won only 3 of 13 aerial duels on a service-starved afternoon. For Southampton, meanwhile, England hopeful Luke Shaw did his World Cup chances no harm; the young left-back completed 39/43 passes, created 2 chances, was successful in 4 of 6 dribbles and won 5/6 tackles. Jot those ones down, Roy.