MON says Villa's draw at Stoke was reasonable - but was it?
By Villa reporter
Saturday 13 Mar 2010 18:01:00
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A point at Stoke is not a terrible result – and yet it somehow doesn’t seem good enough for Villa as they slip further behind Spurs in the race for the prize of fourth place.

It was probably about the right result on the balance of play, although James Milner was inches away from a late winner when he curled a 22-yard free kick agonisingly wide. The draw leaves Villa six points behind Spurs but with two games in hand.

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Villa boss Martin O’Neill said: ‘We would love to have won the game but it was never going to be easy. Stoke are always very difficult, so maybe it was a reasonable outcome. There weren't many chances in the game and the wind didn't help matters.’

James Collins headed wide from a Stewart Downing corner wide on 16 minutes and Stoke defender Robert Huth headed over a Glenn Whelan corner in stoppage time. In truth there was little else for either side to get excited about in the first half.

Collins and Richard Dunne were solid in the face of Stoke’s many high balls into the box and Brad Friedel did not have a decent save to make all afternoon.

Ashley Young and Milner both went close for Villa after the break, while Huth missed a great header when connecting unmarked with Matthew Etherington's centre.

Ricardo Fuller forced a save from Friedel after coming on a sub, but no-one could break the deadlock.

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