Cardiff remain in mire after Villa stalemate
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer`s side would have been in the bottom three on goal difference alone had they prevailed at the Cardiff City Stadium, but despite twice hitting the woodwork, they had to settle for a draw.
Villa might have snatched victory at the death, but Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall displayed stunning reactions to thwart visiting substitute Andreas Weimann in injury time.
The point left Cardiff second from bottom, two points from safety, while Paul Lambert`s Villa climbed one place to 11th.
Cardiff were without talisman Craig Bellamy, banned earlier in the day for three games after clashing with Jonathan de Guzman in the weekend loss to Swansea City, but they took the game to Villa regardless.
Indeed, after Fabian Delph had dragged an early shot wide of the Cardiff goal, the hosts largely dominated the first half, notably hitting the frame of the goal twice in the 14th minute.
First, Wilfried Zaha freed Fraizer Campbell for a shot that Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan diverted onto the post and when the ball came out to Craig Noone, he saw a deflected effort come back off the crossbar.
Cardiff lost Jordon Mutch to an apparent hamstring injury just beyond the half hour, with Magnus Wolff Eikrem coming on, but the home side continued to push, with Zaha denied a goal by an offside flag after volleying home.
Leandro Bacuna gave Cardiff a big scare when he shot narrowly wide following a one-two with Gabriel Agbonlahor, but Kenwyne Jones should have put the hosts ahead moments later when he headed straight at Guzan from a Kevin Theophile-Catherine cross.
Villa introduced Weimann with just over 20 minutes to play and the visitors began to look increasingly dangerous, with Marshall saving from Marc Albrighton and Delph.
Agbonlahor saw the whites of Marshall`s eyes from a Christian Benteke flick in the 82nd minute, but he took too long to size up his options and Theophile-Catherine darted in to dispossess him.
Weimann came even closer in the first minute of stoppage time, but after poking out his foot to connect with Benteke`s pass, he saw Marshall produce a breath-taking reflex stop to tip the ball over the bar.
AFP ------------------- ZEENEWS.com