Graham's late strike denies Villa an improbable victory
Swansea 2 Aston Villa 2:It is a result Aston Villa would have happily settled for before the game but frustration was etched on the faces of the visitors come the end, after Danny Graham rescued a point for Swansea with a goal in the fourth of five minutes of added time. The Swansea striker drilled home a volley from about 12 yards, after his first attempt was blocked, to deny Villa an improbable victory.
Swansea had looked like they were going to win at a canter when they went ahead through Wayne Routledge but Andreas Weimann’s 44th-minute goal galvanised a callow Villa team – at an average age of 23 years and 120 days, it was the youngest they have ever named in the Premier League – and Swansea were knocked out of their stride.
When Christian Benteke converted a penalty six minutes from time, after substitute Nathan Dyer needlessly brought down Weimann, Villa appeared to be on their way to a much-needed three points but in a dramatic finale Graham brought parity.
It is difficult to do justice to just how bad Villa were in the opening 15 minutes and Michu, Graham and Routledge were guilty of clear misses. AndMichu should have added a second in the 27th minute when he got away from Republic of Ireland international Ciarán Clark with a brilliant piece of skill but his clipped left-footed shot was flicked on to the post by Guzan. The loose ball dropped invitingly for Hernandez but the winger flashed his shot beyond the far upright.
Pinched a goal
At that point it was hard to see anything other than a comfortable Swansea victory but just before half-time Villa pinched a goal completely against the run of play. Benteke took the ball on his chest and turned before playing a pass that Ashley Williams should have cut out. Instead the ball ran into the path of Weimann and the Austrian drilled a low right-footed shot across Michel Vorm and into the far corner.
Villa looked much more solid after the interval, although Swansea were left aggrieved when Joe Bennett handled and a free-kick, rather than a penalty, was awarded. Bennett’s hand appeared to make contact with the ball just inside the area.
There was, however, no doubt about the penalty that was given at the other end. Dyer, who had cleared Benteke’s header off the line seconds earlier, tripped Weimann, who was running away from goal at the time, and Mark Halsey pointed to the spot. Benteke did the rest, before Graham levelled at the death.