For match photos, scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left; for match stats, click on the stats tab. Manager reaction below
Aston Villa halted their four-game losing streak in the Barclays Premier League by grinding out a 1-1 draw with Swansea City.
Gabriel Agbonlahor broke the deadlock in the seventh minute at Villa Park but the away side dominated possession for the remainder of the half, with Roland Lamah heading home a 36th-minute leveller.
Despite maintaining that pressure in the second period, Swansea were unable to net a winner and the spoils were shared, with the sides having drawn 2-2 at the Liberty Stadium on January 1.
Villa and the Swans have now both gone five top-flight games without a victory.
Paul Lambert made three changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace, with Ashley Westwood, Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Tonev coming in for Karim El Ahmadi, Marc Albrighton and Libor Kozak. Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, made seven alterations to the XI that suffered a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, with Lamah, Wilfried Bony and Pablo Hernandez among those included in the starting line-up. Striker Michu was absent following news he may be sidelined for up to six weeks after requiring ankle surgery.
Following an open start to the game, Agbonlahor grabbed his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season as Villa carved through the Swansea defence. Andreas Weimann knocked the ball beyond Chico Flores to send Agbonlahor clean through on goal, and the striker made no mistake in tucking away a neat finish past Gerhard Tremmel.
Hernandez had the away side's first opportunity 11 minutes later, poking the ball between the legs of Matthew Lowton before his low drive from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Brad Guzan. And Laudrup's side could have been level soon after, when Ben Davies nodded down from a corner but his effort bounced narrowly over the crossbar.
The Welsh side domincated possession as the half progressed, with Jonathan de Guzman sending a left-footed half-volley just wide 10 minutes before the interval.
But Swansea did equalise just a minute later when Lamah headed home at the back post from Davies' superb cross from the left - the on-loan Belgian's first Barclays Premier League goal.
De Guzman forced Guzan to tip over the crossbar from a 25-yard free-kick early in the second half as Laudrup's team maintained their pressure from the opening 45 minutes. However, for all of the visitors' possession, Guzan remained relatively untroubled for large parts of the half.
Agbonlahor fired a 70th-minute effort high and wide as Lambert's side went in search on a winner, but chances remained few and far between for the hosts.
Laudrup threw on Alvaro Vazquez in place of Bony in the closing stages, but he could not make an impact as both teams ended the year with a draw.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "It's a game we would have loved to have won. We're only 18 months into this project so there's a long, long way to go but that's a positive.
"When you're without some big players it's hard for us. I can't praise the lads enough for their effort. We are sitting not too bad at the moment. Last year was the toughest I have ever encountered, the results were horrendous. We knew we had to stick with it, and we never flinched from it and will not do so again."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup: "Normally when you get a point from an away game in the Premier League - especially if you're a mid or bottom team - you should be pleased. But I think after our first half we should have won the game.
"Even conceding an early goal, we came back, dominated completely, created chances, scored the equaliser and could have scored one or two more. Second half, I think we still dominated possession but without creating a lot of chances.
"I said to my players before the game that we had to control it and that we could win. Taking off my Swansea glasses, I still think you would say that we should have won this game."
|29 Jan 2014||v West Brom (H)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Sunderland (A)|
|03 May 2014||v Hull (H)|
|11 May 2014||v Spurs (A)|
|05 Apr 2014||v Fulham (H)|
|23 Feb 2014||v Newcastle (A)|