2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season

Aston Villa 0-0 Millwall

Promotion-chasing Aston Villa were held to a goalless home draw by Millwall on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts' attacking limitations were exposed by the battling Lions, who remained without an away win this term.
Villa had won their previous two home games, but rarely looked like they would chalk up a third success.
Millwall, encouraged by an impressive home win over Sheffield United in their previous outing, played with a lot of commitment following a hesitant start and fully deserved their point.
Villa, looking for fourth win in five games, began with cool assurance, with little pressure exerted by the Lions. Their casual approach failed to create any real problems for Millwall's defence, although Keinan Davis wasted a good opportunity by aimlessly lofting the ball over the bar.
The opening had been created by Albert Adomah, Villa's goalscoring revelation in recent weeks. Adomah, following a slow start, suddenly got into the game with a couple of goal attempts sending out a message to the Millwall defence that he was the danger man.
Millwall were deploying a defensive formation, with Lee Gregory their lone forward, and relied on snappy breaks to boost their victory hopes.
The game-plan almost paid dividends when Mahlon Romeo broke down the right, but a hasty headed clearance by Chris Samba averted a dangerous situation.
Encouraged by the ease with which they were later able to attack Villa's defence, Jed Wallace raced through the middle only to be thwarted by home goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Villa's goalscoring reliance upon Davis was evident but his finishing on this occasion against the tough-tackling Lions left a lot to be desired.
Frustration began to creep into Villa's play as their lack of directness was exposed by a Millwall side which became more confident, with Steve Morison their driving force.
Villa continued to play across the field, which played into Millwall's hands, with the result the Lions were not really under any serious pressure in the first half.
Jack Grealish was brought on just before the hour mark as Villa boss Steve Bruce attempted to inject a spark, and he did show a willingness to shoot only to be denied by a smart save by David Martin.
It was, however, Millwall who played with more determination. Aiden O'Brien emerged as a growing threat on the left flank, giving Alan Hutton a busy afternoon before the Scotland international was substituted 20 minutes from time.
Villa had a major let-off in the 75th minute when Gregory raced through and grazed the bar with his cross-shot, but there was to be no winner.

English League Championship Standings

1 Norwich City 33 +23 63
2 Sheffield United 33 +24 61
3 Leeds United 32 +17 61
4 West Bromwich Albion 33 +25 60
5 Middlesbrough 32 +12 54
6 Bristol City 31 +10 53
7 Derby County 31 +7 51
8 Nottingham Forest 33 +8 47
9 Birmingham City 32 +9 46
10 Aston Villa 33 +4 44
11 Preston North End 33 +3 44
12 Hull City 32 +3 44
13 Swansea City 32 +3 44
14 Blackburn Rovers 33 -7 43
15 Sheffield Wednesday 32 -11 41
16 Brentford 31 +7 40
17 Stoke City 33 -7 40
18 Queens Park Rangers 32 -9 39
19 Wigan Athletic 32 -14 34
20 Millwall 31 -11 31
21 Reading 33 -15 29
22 Rotherham United 33 -20 29
23 Bolton Wanderers 33 -30 26
24 Ipswich Town 33 -31 20