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Swansea 1-0 Aston Villa: Anaemic attack unable to get it done

Aston Villa travelled to the Liberty Stadium on Boxing Day and came home with nothing to show for it.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It was a game of missed chances. Early on, Gabby Agbonlahor came very close to putting Aston Villa a goal up but his shot went just wide. Very late in the day, Swansea keeper Lukas Fabianski made an incredible save to deny Christian Benteke's header which would have made it 1-1.

Both teams were denied appeals for penalties after it looked like the ball had struck the hands of various defenders. They were probably legitimate, but it was a very wet day. The referee may end up taking some blame, particularly for what constitutes a foul in his book.

Jores Okore gave away a cheap free kick just outside the area twelve minutes in. Gylfi Sigurdsson fooled Brad Guzan by shooting basically straight at him, rather than over the wall, and it was the only goal of the game. It was a good strike, but Guzan will regret moving one step to his right just moments before the Iceland international struck the ball.

Benteke narrowly missed scoring from a free kick of his own. Even so, the lack of someone who can properly hit a set piece in the Villa lineup in the absence of Ashley Westwood is glaring. Maybe Leandro Bacuna needs to get a shot in the starting eleven.

Andi Weimann replaced Aly Cissokho for the second half. He had his moments, but it was a very Weimann-esque performance, typified by a great slaloming run which ended with him kicking the ball straight to the keeper. He may get the call to start against Sunderland on Sunday, after Agbonlahor picked up his fifth booking of the season and will incur a one-match suspension.

Villa had a lot of the ball during the first half, and a decent amount during the second compared to how they usually fare against Swansea. The cutting edge is still lacking, even with Fabian Delph in the lineup. Jack Grealish got 15 minutes, but it's apparent that he could be a difference maker, and should at least get 30 minutes or so in one of these games. There's just one day off between now and the Sunderland match. Sunday's match is a game where the three points should be available after the Black Cats conceded three goals to Hull City, who had scored just twice in their previous nine matches.

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