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Villa wrap up Portugal trip with goalless draw

Hoping that a preseason friendly would be a distraction from the Delph situation? Too bad.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

I think it's safe to say that most of the footballing world was focused on Fabian Delph's now confirmed move to Manchester City, and not on Villa's preseason friendly against Sporting Braga. I think I speak for many Villa fans when I say that I was desperate to stop hearing about Delph for a while, and I was really hoping that Villa would perform well and make us all feel a little bit better. I was mistaken.

The first-half saw Villa on top. Gabby Agbonlahor and Carles Gil looked the most lively, Gil playing Gabby through on a number of occasions. They've seemed to develop quite a connection over the past week. Agbonlahor couldn't finish any of his attempts, though he did have one shot come back off the crossbar. His pace was evident, and he made a number of good runs...but, he's really got to work on his finishing. Gil was excellent again, on the ball more than any other player. He's just so smooth.

The second-half started...and then it finished. While Mark Bunn remained in goal, Villa fielded ten new players, who then proceeded to engage in one of the most forgettable 45-minutes of football I've ever seen. Sure, it's only the second game of preseason, and it's all about fitness...but almost nothing happened. Braga dominated possession, but didn't create many chances, and Villa showed none of the attacking threat they did in the first half. N'Zogbia hit the outside of the post off a free-kick in the 78th minute, Libor Kozak almost deflected a free-kick into his own net, and Mark Bunn made a great save in the 85th minute to maintain the draw.

Again, no major injuries, which is the most important factor in these preseason games, so I suppose Sherwood will be happy enough. But, as a fan hoping to be distracted from the Fabian Delph fiasco, the friendly was a huge disappointment.