Jerks. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Aston Villa came within a hair of pulling out a dramatic late win at the Hawthorns, but some brave last-ditch defending from West Brom preserved the draw. With results elsewhere decidedly not in Villa's favor, the fear of relegation lives on as the gap remains at three points with Bolton still holding a game in hand. Though a draw is preferable to a loss, it's not the result Villa needed and with a win over Tottenham not looking especially likely the worrying looks set to come down to the last day.
Villa put up a good fight, but once again the finishing just wasn't there; Gabby Agbonlahor had three chances you'd expect him to convert and he didn't. Chris Herd and Charles N'Zogbia both had shots from the center of the box that went right to the keeper. Emile Heskey had another excellent game, but was still Emile Heskey when it came time to score. Luckily the Villa defense was immense today, Richard Dunne looking a bit rusty in the early going but settling in reminding us all what we've been missing these past few months. Villa did get a massive stroke of luck when Alan Hutton's blatant handball in the area wasn't given as a penalty by Mark Clattenburg, which would have been a certain sending off had it been called; though Villa had a few penalty shouts of their own, Hutton's was clearly the most egregious.
Each side had their periods of looking the better side, but a point is fair to both. It's just not the result Villa would have liked. The draw is their 16th of the season, and an inability to take full points from games like these is a major part of the reason they're in this mess. There are now just two chances remaining for Villa to buck that trend, and if QPR can manage to pull off a shock on the order of magnitude of the one Wigan engineered today, these last few weeks are going to be terrifying.