The game itself was a complete bore draw to be honest and I'm certainly glad I did not pay to see a game where Pompey showed no ambition, but defended stoutly to keep Villa's many chances away from James' goal. The fact we had 4 shots and none on target shows you how committed we were to going forward.
For all of their corners and shots, Villa's best chance came early on when a square ball was met by Gardner in the box who struck at a big David James who made a great block. James was kept busy and also made a couple of good saves from Agbonlahor and Barry.
The way we defended away from home was a major positive today. Sol and Linvoy offered Carew little apart from an opportunity where he could have volleyed it after Stefanovic was nowhere to be seen. The pace of Agbonlahor and Young could not find a way through a stubborn Pompey team who got bodies back when not in possession (which was often!)
I'm disappointed that we showed no attacking intent all game and only played Kanu up front on his own. If we had showed more ambition then we might have got something from a pretty average Villa side today. On the other hand, with our awful record at Villa Park, a point on the face of it isn't such a bad result but with Reading winning at Bolton yesterday our chase for Europe hasn't been helped.
It could be a helpful point come the end of the season, though we can't afford any more slip ups. And if it wasn't for the performance of David James we would have probably been beaten once again.
Pompey Player Ratings
David James: 9 - Some excellent takes and saves to relieve the pressure.
Lauren: 7 - Strong defensively and at least attempted to get forward at times.
Sol Campbell: 8 - Wasn't beaten in the air and nullified Carew most of the time.
Linvoy Primus: 8 - Ditto Campbell.
Dejan Stefanovic: 6 - Lacked communication with James but still generally solid.
Gary O'Neil: 6 - Worked hard.
Richard Hughes: 6 - Solid and reliable as usual.
Niko Kranjcar: 5 - Couldn't influence the game.
Matthew Taylor: 5 - Anonymous considering he'd scored 3 goals in his last 3 games.
Benjani: 5 - Ineffective because he had no service. Went off at half-time.
Kanu: 5 - Did nothing with what little service he had.
Glen Johnson: N/A - Came on late.
Arnold Mvuemba: 6 - Didn't do too bad when asked to do a job.
Lomana LuaLua: N/A - Short cameo.