2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship

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 Wolverhampton Wanderers 43 +42 95
2 Cardiff City 42 +29 83
3 Fulham 43 +31 82
4 Aston Villa 43 +27 79
5 Middlesbrough 43 +19 69
6 Millwall 43 +15 69
7 Derby County 42 +18 68
8 Preston North End 43 +9 66
9 Sheffield United 43 +8 66
10 Brentford 43 +11 65
11 Bristol City 43 +10 65
12 Ipswich Town 43 -3 56
13 Norwich City 43 -8 56
14 Leeds United 43 -7 54
15 Queens Park Rangers 43 -11 53
16 Sheffield Wednesday 43 -8 50
17 Nottingham Forest 42 -15 49
18 Hull City 43 +2 47
19 Reading 43 -15 43
20 Bolton Wanderers 43 -30 40
21 Birmingham City 43 -31 40
22 Barnsley 42 -19 38
23 Burton Albion 43 -45 35
24 Sunderland 43 -29 34

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