Hello, and welcome to tonight’s Premier League meeting between Aston Villa and Burnley at Villa Park, I’m George Overhill and I will be taking you through the action.
Team news is in…
No Douglas Luiz and Matty Cash for the hosts tonight, both suspended after the Wolves win on Saturday.
Also no Ross Barkley yet. The on-loan Chelsea man hasn’t recovered sufficiently from a hamstring issue.
Ezri Konsa and Jacob Ramsey also replaced tonight.
So, first starts of the season for Marvelous Nakamba, Anwar El Ghazi, Ahmed El Mohamady and Kortney Hause for Villa.
The visitors are unchanged from the side that beat Arsenal at the weekend.
Both sides coming off 1-0 victories, but Aston Villa sitting comfortably in mid-table having played fewer games than all the teams around them.
Burnley, also with two games on five of the six teams above them, are looking to climb out of the relegation zone. Wins in both of those games would take them above Arsenal in 15th.
Players are in the tunnel…
We have applause in memory of former-Villa boss Gerard Houllier who passed away this week.Embed from Getty Images
Followed by the knee to re-iterate that Black Lives Matter.
0 mins – We are under way!
2 mins – A ball into the box from Bertrand Traore is cleared before Marvelous Nakamba relieves the pressure by committing a foul as the ball comes down.
3 mins – Villa captain, and famously most-fouled player in the league, Jack Grealish appears to be playing as a number 10 tonight.
4 mins – The man himself drives into the box and has a shot blocked. The ball is recycled and Aston Villa win the first corner.
5 mins – The corner is cleared to Traore on the edge of the box who fires a shot wide.Embed from Getty Images
6 mins – Grealish is unhappy to be penalised for a foul on Matt Lowton. The sliding challenge was probably just about a foul.
8 mins – Ollie Watkins gets into a good position inside the box and tries to clip a cross back across for a teammate but can’t find one.
Speaking of which, here was Burnley boss Sean Dyche on the Aston Villa top-scorer before the match…
12 mins – Burnley struggling to get out at the moment as Aston Villa keep driving forward with intent, without quite getting a dangerous shot away so far.
16 mins – Burnley are gaining a slight foot hold in the game now, but a Dwight McNeil cross is headed away relatively simply.
18 mins – Another cross in from Robbie Brady is well met in response by Tyrone Mings.
18 mins – First foul on that man Grealish as he attempts to carry the ball forward in midfield.
19 mins – Chance! A great run from inside his own half from McNeil gets Burnley into an attacking position, and the ball ends up being cut back to Ashley Westwood who bends one towards the far post that goes narrowly wide. Much better from the visitors.
So there should be something in this game for Burnley if they can get a bit more like that Westwood chance going.
22 mins – Great chance at either end! Bertrand Traore is found by a ball in from the left and looks like he is going provide the finish but a great block by Charlie Taylor prevents him before…
22 mins – Burnley go straight up the other end and nearly take the lead themselves via a good header from Chris Wood, but it is kept out by an acrobatic save from Emiliano Martinez.
26 mins – Jay Rodriguez finds himself free in space down the right hand side but he can’t find anyone but Martinez with his low ball across.
26 mins – Grealish has another shot blocked but Taylor is unable to prevent it going out for a corner.
27 mins – It’s taken short and Traore does well to drive past a couple of Burnley players into the box, but he loses momentum and his near post shot is easily gathered by Nick Pope.
After Slavan Bilic became the first managerial casualty of the season at West Brom this week it is worth noting that Sean Dyche is the longest serving manager in the Premier League, so that’s nice.
30 mins – Chance! A shot from El Mohamady on the edge of the box takes two deflections and is heading inside the far post but Matt Lowton is well placed to head it off the line.
32 mins – Robbie Brady is the first to go into Craig Pawson’s book as he leaves one on the achilles of Nakamba in midfield. VAR has a quick check whether it is worthy of a red but decides yellow is sufficient.
34 mins – A half chance for Villa but a right wing cross is glanced wide.Embed from Getty Images
36 mins – Burnley captain Ben Mee halts a dangerous looking run from Grealish with a foul on the edge of the area, and is probably quite lucky to avoid a booking himself.
37 mins – Close! Anwar El Ghazi, the match winner last time out, curves a great free kick that is heading into the postage stamp of the top corner, but a finger-tip save from Pope tips it onto the crossbar.
38 mins – Dwight McNeil then runs through most of the Aston Villa team and almost gets a shot away but Traore tracks back well to clear.
40 mins – Nakamba concedes a foul in a threatening area outside the Villa box. McNeil, Brady and Josh Brownhill are over it.
41 mins – Brady is the chosen one, but his effort is fairly straight forward for Martinez.
43 mins – Watkins finds himself in a good position in the box but passes it rather tamely at Pope. Watkins hasn’t been overly involved for a while now.
44 mins – Close! The big men are up from the back for another Villa corner, and this time they are actually aimed for. They might want to try that more often as Kortney Hause gets his head to the flicked-on ball but strikes the woodwork.
45 mins – So of course from the following corner they aim it somewhere else again, Grealish lurking outside the area goes for a Paul Scholes style volley which pin-balls around in the box before being cleared.
45 mins + 1 – James Tarkowski provides a brick wall for Grealish to run into on another threatening run, and appears to win the ball fairly, but Pawson gives the foul anyway.
45 mins + 2 – Half Time. The resulting free kick is headed behind for a corner, but the whistle goes for half time instead.
Overtime Online’s own Anthony Onifade enjoying Dwight McNeil’s performance so far.
Somehow we are without a goal still.
The hosts certainly have gone the closest in the first half, including hitting the frame of the goal twice, but Burnley have been looking dangerous on the break, particularly through that man McNeil.
Seven corners for Aston Villa, to Burnley’s 0, and most of them not put into the box. They nearly scored via Hause from possibly the only one they did swing into the middle so that might be their way to make the breakthrough. Not that I know better than Dean Smith obviously.Embed from Getty Images
Epic music ringing across an empty Villa Park as the players re-emerge. That should get them going.
46 mins – We are back under way!
Jim Beglin is talking about himself on the Amazon commentary, so some things never change.
Both teams are unchanged by the way.
48 mins – The action is mostly taking place in the middle third currently…
In other football news, Jurgen Klopp has won the Fifa best men’s coach award for the second year running, the first to do so. Well done him.
50 mins – A deep left wing cross is met by Robbie Brady who heads it against Matt Targett and wins Burnley’s first corner. Multiple players end up on the ground as it is swung in and Aston Villa are given a free kick.
52 mins – Grealish, driving forward yet again, slips in Traore who opts against the shot, but the cut back is scrambled away.
53 mins – Close! Ollie Watkins directs a header towards goal that has Pope stretching to keep it out. With a bit more power on the attempt that likely would have broken the deadlock.
54 mins – Villa have another attacking free kick just outside the area on the right hand side. Grealish is sizing it up.
55 mins – He swings it in at the far post and Lowton gets a head to it. The whistle goes for a free kick however, as El Ghazi is judged to have barged him. El Ghazi follows it up with another barge on Lowton in midfield to concede another foul.
56 mins – Those fouls got him going apparently. Burnley are sloppy in possession in their own half and the ball is quickly worked to El Ghazi, but the Dutchman curls one narrowly wide of the angle of the Burnley goal.
58 mins – Sean Dyche is looking very ruddy on the sideline as he bellows at his players on a cold night. They haven’t really reached the level of the first half performance since the break.Embed from Getty Images
60 mins – Again, Aston Villa’s forward players come forward looking dangerous but the finish is not quite there. Grealish and El Ghazi combine but a fairly tame shot is gathered low by Nick Pope.
Surely if things carry on this way the England keeper is going to be picking one out of his net before too long?
61 mins – Tarkowski, on the edge of the Villa area for some reason, knocks one down for Jay Rodriguez to blast one towards goal, but it is narrowly over.
62 mins – Yet another attempt from Anwar El Ghazi is deflected over for yet another Aston Villa corner.Embed from Getty Images
63 mins – It is swung in deep this time by Traore and Mee heads it out for another corner.
63 mins – Grealish aims it for the near post and Ahmed El Mohamady glances it over.
64 mins – Robbie Brady finds some space on the right and has a go with his left foot. The shot is simple for Martinez though.
65 mins – The first change of the night as Ashley Barnes comes on for Jay Rodriguez for Burnley.
66 mins – You’ll never guess what. Jack Grealish drives forward again and lays the ball off for El Ghazi to shoot. He doesn’t quite connect and Pope is able to gather once more.
68 mins – Aston Villa’s 11th corner finds Mings in the middle whose header goes over.
You get the idea…
72 mins – Aha! Something a bit different as the ball falls to Ben Mee inside the Aston Villa box who hits a rising shot on the turn, but it’s held by Martinez.
74 mins – El Ghazi goes on a strong run forward, cutting in from the left to find a good position centrally, but his shot doesn’t match the quality of the earlier effort and goes high and wide.
76 mins – Slight change up from the earlier pattern as this time El Ghazi feeds Grealish, but his shot doesn’t threaten Pope either and hits the side netting.
More news from the Fifa Best awards. England’s Lucy Bronze has won the Best Women’s Player award. She is the first English player to do so. Congratulations to the Manchester City right back.
77 mins – Back at Villa Park and Bertrand Traore has a shot well blocked around the penalty spot.
80 mins – It was more or less Traore’s last real involvement, he has been replaced by Keinan Davis for Villa.
82 mins – Not to be outdone, Burnley replace Chris Wood with Matej Vydra. He hasn’t scored in the Premier League since February.
83 mins – Ben Mee is penalised for kicking the ball into Ollie Watkins’ face, not on purpose, and not outside of play, so I’m not sure why that is actually a foul.
84 mins – Having gone off to have his nosebleed looked at, Watkins then comes back on without permission, appearing out of nowhere to receive a through-ball down the right. Craig Pawson is having none of it and gives Watkins a yellow card.
86 mins – Brady runs up somewhat of a blind alley down the Burnley right but is obligingly fouled to provide an opportunity to get the ball into the box.
87 mins – The opportunity is wasted as McNeil over-hits the cross straight out for a goal kick.Embed from Getty Images
88 mins – Chance! Jack Grealish is fouled (surprise) by Ben Mee to set up another attacking free kick. It is worked short and then clipped into the box to be met by the onrushing Mings, but his header goes narrowly wide.
Somehow this game is still goalless but don’t go anywhere because Aston Villa’s last three matches have had late drama. In fact, since the start of last season, no team has scored more winning goals in the 90th minute or later.
90 mins – Captain Grealish appears to be ready to immediately oblige, but after carrying the ball into the box he hits it over.
90 mins + 1 – Davis tries to get a cross in but it goes narrowly over as more of a direct shot.
90 mins + 1 – Robbie Brady is going off to be replaced by Erik Pieters. That will waste a bit of time.
We have two added minutes I should add.Embed from Getty Images
90 mins + 2 – Full Time. Burnley have a late free kick but it comes to nothing. Somehow, despite seemingly endless attacks Aston Villa fail to find a way through and it will be a point apiece.
Final Score – 0-0
Not a bad game for a goalless draw, but Villa will be ruing their inability to provide the finishing touches to any of those moves.
Sean Dyche will be the happier of the two managers for sure. His side climb out of the relegation zone into 17th place with that point. Aston Villa remain 11th.
This stat tells you pretty much what you need to know about tonight’s game…
Jim Rosenthal is putting a brave face on the fact that game had no goals in it, which is admirable.
Ahmed El Mohamady is speaking to Amazon Prime: “We had so many chances, we should have just scored any of them.”
Yes, well quite.
The next game for Aston Villa will be against the newly-Big Sam-led West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday.
Burnley will be hosting Wolves on Monday night.
Dean Smith has sidled up to the pundits to give his view on the game, which looks funny. He says he has “no idea” how they haven’t won tonight’s game. “We’ve had enough chances to win two games” adds the Villa manager while highlighting the importance of the clean sheet. Surprisingly cheerful in the circumstances, Jose Mourinho would be disgusted.Embed from Getty Images
You can’t really fault the build-up play from the Aston Villa front four today, but the finishing wasn’t quite there for them.
Anwar El Ghazi, in his first start of the season, got into good positions without hitting the target enough. He did come the closest to scoring for Villa in the first half however, when his free kick looked to be perfectly placed until Nick Pope managed to tip it onto the bar.
The Burnley goalkeeper, right on cue, tells us he’s pleased with another clean sheet, saying it “guarantees you a point, so it’s a good trait to have.”
Sean Dyche, sounding more gravelly than ever, calls Pope’s save from the free kick “a proper world-class save” and is also quite jovial.
“Yes I believe Santa is going to deliver us a fortune” he says in response to the idea that he might be buying a striker in January, giving us a nice bit of Christmas comedy.
Well, that’s it from me. An eventful game that managed to avoid providing us with a goal, against all the odds. Thank you for joining.