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Villa 0-0 Parma match report: Goalless in final friendly

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Villa 0-0 Parma match report: Goalless in final friendly


Villa completed their pre-season friendly schedule with a goalless draw against Serie A club Parma at Villa Park.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, sub Darren Bent was desperately close to a last-gasp winner with a powerful shot which thudded against the bar.

And manager Paul Lambert was able to assess the majority of his players on home soil before the Barclays Premier League gets under way at Stoke next Saturday.

The manager utilised 10 of his outfield substitutes, with only keeper Brad Guzan both starting and ending the game.

There was also a return to action for skipper Ron Vlaar for the first time since he helped helping Holland to victory over Brazil in the World Cup third place game.

After a gentle start, the visitors produced the first goal attempt when Raffaele Palladino's ninth-minute shot was saved comfortably by Guzan.

But Andi Weimann almost opened the scoring three minutes later when his powerful rising drive from the edge of the penalty area was tipped away for a corner by Antonio Mirante.

Philippe Senderos thought he had made the breakthrough on 15 minutes, the Swiss defender stooping to nod in a free-kick from Kieran Richardson, but a linesman's flag was already raised for offside.

Nathan Baker's crunching tackle on Palladino earned the centre-back a booking, Jonathan Biabiany heading the resulting free-kick not far overbefore testing Guzan with a firm drive which the keeper did well to hold at his near post.


Then Palladino fired into the side netting, and for a while Villa provided little threat, although Charles N'Zogbia's 41st-minute effort spiralled away for a corner following a block tackle.

Five minutes after the break, Alan Hutton's persistence on the byeline enabled N'Zogbia to set up Weimann for a shot that was blocked, while Ishak Belfodil's effort at the other end was deflected for a corner.

In Villa's next attack, Weimann's header from an Enda Stevens cross was clutched by Mirante, before Richardson's half-volley on the hour mark was only just too high.

Villa looked certain to go ahead in the 78th minute.

Despite being fouled, Hutton produced a fine pass which sent Gabby Agbonlahor racing down the right.

The striker tried to set up Fabian Delph, who was unmarked in front of goal, only for Paletta to slide in and divert the ball for a corner.

Agbonlahor then miskicked following Joe Bennett's low cross, while Delph sent a low drive wide and Karim El Ahmadi's dipping drive wasn't far off target.

And as the game went into stoppage time, Bent's thundering angled drive crashed against the bar after he had been set up by Jack Grealish.

Villa: Guzan; Hutton (Lowton 83), Senderos (Bent 64), Baker (Vlaar HT), Stevens (Bennett 75); N'Zogbia (Bacuna 75), Westwood (Herd 83), Delph, Richardson (Grealish 64); Weimann (Okore 64), Agbonlahor (El Ahmadi 83).

Parma: Mirante (Iacobucci 74); Ristovsky, Paletta, Lucarelli, Cassani (Bidaoui 74); Acquah, Mauri, Jorquera; Biabiany, Palladino (Amauri 60), Belfodil (Mendes 74).

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 9th August 2014
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