FT: Swansea 2 Aston Villa 2

Thanks for all your comments today folks! Don't forget, you can always follow me on Twitter: @RazMirza to send me your views so speak to you all soon!

FULL-TIME: What a start to the new year as the points are shared at the Liberty Stadium. Wayne Routledge opened the scoring for Swansea, but Villa hit back thanks to goals from their frontmen. Andreas Weimann restored parity a minute before half-time and then Christian Benteke thought he had won the game with an 84th minute penalty. But the Swans stole a point in the fourth minute of stoppage time with Danny Graham firing his shot through a crowd of players and past Brad Guzan.

Unbelieveable finish to this game as Villa block crosses and shots before the ball bounces up kindly to Graham at the second attempt and he fires his fierce right-foot shot through a crowd of players and past Brad Guzan into the back of the net. Paul Lambert holds his head in his hands in disbelief.


The ball is too long for Michu as it frifts out of play for a goal kick. Paul Lambert is walking around the touchline looking at his watch!

We're into five additional minutes at the end of this match as Chico Flores claims Christian Benteke has taken a swipe at his face with an elbow.

Mark Halsey calls across Lowton and Michu, but it was defintely Herd who grabbed the striker.

The visitors are really digging in now. They're a side that have grown in confidence in this match as Chris Herd grabs Michu around the neck!

Villa play a bit of keep ball with the visiting fans enjoying what they've seen in this second half.

@jonocrutchley Tweets: "Don't you wish your striker was Benteke."

I have to mention just before that goal that Benteke saw his header cleared off the line and the Swans have made more clearances off the line than any other side this season - 8 now!

SUBSTITUTION: Jordan Bowery replaces Marc Albrighton as Villa make an immediate change.

Benteke sends Michel Vorm the wrong way and Villa are ahead at the Liberty Stadium!


PENALTY GIVEN!!! Nathan Dyer brings down Andreas Weimann and Mark Halsey points to the spot.

Swansea dominated the first-half, but Villa have come back well in this second period with Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke causing the hosts plenty of problems. The Belgian striker wins his side a corner.

SUBSTITUTION: Yet another injury for Villa as Westwood is replaced by Barry Bannan.

Swansea decide not to hand the ball back to Villa and Guzan makes a fine stop from the angle. Ashley Westwood is off the field and hobbling down the tunnel.

SUBSTITUTION: Kemy Agustien replaces Leon Britton as Swansea make their final change.

Danny Graham's cross from the right finds Michu, as Ashley Westwood falls over under his challenge and is in need of some medical attention.

@jonocrutchley is getting excited: "Gotta be Villa goal soon. Come on Mr Benteke."

The Swans are pushing Villa back and anywhere will do for the men in claret and blue. Ben Davies wins the ball back from the giant figure that is Christian Benteke.

Wayne Davies emails in to say: "The next goal needs to come from the Swans as they have totally dominated this match... and it will come from Michu. Danny Graham has been so wasteful in front of goal, he will be transferred during the January Transfer Window."

We're in for a good finish to this game fans! I can feel a winner coming, but from whom?

As I say that, they create a chance as Christian Benteke finds Andreas Weimann, who turns, but sends his left-foot shot wide of the far post.

It's an intriguing game as Christian Benteke is caught in an offside position, but Villa are threatening.

Certainly a lot better than in the first-half Tom. Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark are looking a much tighter unit in the heart of defence while the midfield players are working harder in front of them to close the ball down.

Tom Blunt emails in to ask me a question: "How's the Villa defence looking now? More organised?"

SUBSTITUTION: And experience replaces youth as Brett Holman comes on for rookie Enda Stevens.

Chris Herd knocks the ball out of play as Paul Lambert gets ready to make his first change.

SUBSTITUTION: Goalscorer Wayne Routledge is replaced by Nathan Dyer as Michael Laudrup makes his second change of the match.

@MarkReading25 Tweets: "Sneak a win here and the season can start again for Villa!!"

Ki Sung-Yueng's right-footer it is that hits the wall and Villa clear their lines.

Marc Albrighton catches Ben Davies on the edge of the box, just to the left. This is made for a right-footer.

Wayne Routledge fails to keep the ball in play, but all the talk it about that penalty shout. Villa were a lucky lot!

SUBSTITUTION: A straight swap in midfield as Ki Sung-Yueng replaces Jonathan de Guzman for Swansea.

Chris Herd runs the ball out of play after being put under severe pressure and that gets a loud cheer from the home supporters.

PENALTY APPEALS!! Big shout for a handball against Joe Bennett as Angel Rangel looked to take the ball past him. Replays show the ball may have been just inside the box!

Lee Oliver is one angry Villa supporter: "To think there was even talk of Bent leaving puzzles me! We've struggled to score the last three and his goals are clearly what's required now! We need to buy Lescott in January to help sure things up at the back!"

Clark leaves the field, but is immediately back on and now knocks the ball forward looking for the run of Weimann, but the ball runs out for a goal kick.

Injury concerns for skipper Ciaran Clark after falling awkwardly as he challenged Michu in the air.

A quiet start to this second half as Michu climbs above his man to attack a high ball into the box, but Guzan collects.

At the other end, Matthew Lowton's dangerous ball into the box isn't anticipated upon by Andreas Weimann or Christian Benteke.

Danny Graham takes the ball down well, but drives his low drive wide of the far post.

Villa had gone five unbeaten before their thrashing at Chelsea and they're now three without a single point. The boys from Birmingham are halfway towards a point today.

Jonathan de Guzman's free-kick from the right is collected well by Brad Guzan, despite taking a hefty knock in the process.

@jonocrutchley Tweets: "Lets see some more goals villa one in four now come on the villans!"

Wayne Routledge whips one in from the left, but Danny Graham takes his eyes off the ball at the back post.

By the way, there were no changes at the break as Christian Benteke looks to get in, but his lack of control lets him down.

Complacency is something Swansea suffer from at times, especially as they're so used to keeping possession of the ball so well.

There's a lack of atmosphere at the start of this half. I think the home fans are still in shock after the way that first-half ended!

Villa get the second half underway at the Liberty Stadium then.

Great comments. Keep them coming in! Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

@FrazerMeldrum says: "YES! Super Andy to the rescue, a much needed goal!"

@LiamJLKnight Tweets: "Hoping that the Swans aren't gonna regret squandering all those early chances! Villa are there for the beating! 3-1."

@Chris_Moore94 Tweets: "Fortunate goal, still doesn't make up for the lack of composure in midfield! We look like a 13 year old Sunday team at times."

Brian Cook is back in touch to say: "Where on earth did that goal come from. With a team having 71% we should not have scored. New problem now we have 4 players on yellow cards. Suggest Paul Lambert brings on Stephen Ireland to try and slow things down. Surely, we can't be as bad in the 2nd half?"

Swansea are now 4/6 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet, who make Villa 6/1 and the draw 6/1. My pre-match prediction of a comfortable 2-0 home win today has gone out of the window, but a 2-1 win to the Swans is now 9/4 while a 3-1 Villa away win is 25/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.

HALF-TIME: We're level at the Liberty Stadium, but Swansea will be kicking themselves for not taking their chances. Wayne Routledge was put clean through by Pablo Hernandez to open the scoring after nine minutes. The impressive Michu struck both posts as the hosts dominated possession, but a minute before the break Christian Benteke fed Andreas Weimann and a mistake by Ashley Williams allowed the Austrian to fire his right-foot shot into the far corner.

YELLOW CARDS: Enda Stevens is booked for a late tackle and then Fabien Delph is shown a yellow card for protesting.

The ultimate sucker punch for Swansea as Villa score through the Austrian. He is put through by Christian Benteke and Ashley Williams fails to get a touch on the ball, which allows Weimann to slot the ball into the far corner past Michel Vorm.


@FrazerMeldrum Tweets: "I'm a villa fan and I am just praying for a win, Lambert.. do something, there is obviously something going wrong make some changes."

Now the busy Fabien Delph runs into Leon Britton for an obvious free-kick in midfield.

Christian Benteke heads the ball down to Andreas Weimann, but he goes over far to easily in the box. Nothing is given!

YELLOW CARD: Andreas Weimann is now booked after kicking the ball away. The Austrian striker is angry with the linesman after he felt he kept the ball in play and replays show that he actually did have a point.

YELLOW CARD: The Swans have lost a little bit of their urgency in the last few minutes as Mark Halsey calls across Ciaran Clark for his late challenge on Wayne Routledge earlier in the move.

Kerry Curtis defends Brad Guzan. She emails in to say: "It's not Guzan's fault what I've seen from him over last few games his kept score down. We have no midfield that's are problem." Good point well made Kerry!

Their overall possession in the match has been 70% and I won't mention a certain team in Spain which play in a similar way, because I've had a lot of flack for mentioning that in the past!

In the last five minutes, Swansea's possession has been an impressive 77%.

Swansea play more keep ball in the middle of the park now as they look for another opening.

Saying that, Wayne Routledge gives the ball away to Marc Albrighton, but he slips just as he looks to get his shot away.

The Villa midfielders are getting moved all about the pitch, but here comes Andreas Weimann down the right as he looks for Christian Benteke in the middle, but the ball is cleared.

Villa have looked slightly threatening in the last ten minutes, but they look vunerable on the counter as Joe Bennett denies Pablo Hernandez an effort on goal with a good tackle.

@Chris_Moore94 says: "Villa's performance is woeful! Unless they get some experience in the transfers, we can say bye to the Premier League!! 3-1 swansea."

‏@thecrowncsg Tweets: "Drop Guzan? He's been the best player for Villa this season!!"

This time de Guzman's delivery is poor and drifts out of play on the far side. Paul Lambert is on his feet urging his players on.

The home side are in full flow as they keep possession with some nice one and two-touch football. Jonathan de Guzman spreads the ball out wide and Swansea now win a corner.

Somehow Villa are still in this game. Swansea have struck both posts in the opening half hour and lead by a single goal at a jumping Liberty Stadium.

STUNNING SKILL!! Ashley Williams finds Michu who turns his marker with a superb piece of skill before smashing his shot against the upright. Pablo Hernandez fails to stick home the rebound, but that was simply magnificent by the Spaniard just inside the area.

Dave Birch is back in touch on email and he says: "Philbo...the fact Guzan has been our best player the last three games prob explains why Lambo hasn't dropped him!!!"

Mark Halsey brings the play back after Pablo Hernandez is caught by Fabien Delph.

รพ@tholder81 Tweets: "Doesn't matter who's in goal when you've got that defence and midfield in front of you."

Villa are vunerable down the middle. That is where the goal came from and there does seem to be a huge gap between the two central defenders at times.

Andreas Weimann chases the ball down and wins the corner. Michel Vorm holds a right up and under from an attempted shot from the edge of the box.

@StephenGrove agrees with Boysie. "Another bad day for Villa ahead, I'm surprised its taken this long for the first one."

@Boysie_Baldock is not a happy Villa fan. He Tweets: "This is a complete joke!! This is going to be a hiding and a half! Major defensive worries for us!"

Lovely applause around the ground for Villa's No.19 Stiliyan Petrov as he recovers from leukaemia.

Ciaran Clark fouls Danny Graham about 30-yards from goal. No yellow card though.

Christian Benteke shows good strength, aggression and determination as he curls his right-foot shot towards goal, but Michel Vorm saves easily.

Fabien Delph gets a talking to from referee Mark Halsey after a clear foul. A little too enthusiastic to say the least.

Andreas Weimann is close to finding his strike partner Christian Benteke. Almost a glimmer of a chance and they must remember, it is only 1-0 at the moment!

One-way traffic at the Liberty Stadium ladies and gentlemen. The Swans should already be three up while the Villa back four are being given very little protection.

@philbo62 Tweets: "Why does Lambert keep Given on the bench when Guzan has conceded so many goals in such a short space of time? It beggars belief."

Further chances go wasting by Swansea as Danny Graham somehow fires wide of the target.

OFF THE POST!!! Straight from the kick-off Swansea almost make it two but Michu hits the post, with Guzan beaten and Danny Graham can't put the rebound in.

Pablo Hernandez puts Routledge clean through and this time the former Aston Villa man makes no mistake as he take the ball around Brad Guzan before slotting the ball into the empty net. It had been coming!


Christian Benteke's knock down is turned towards goal by Andreas Weimann but Brad Guzan saves.

Villa's outfield ten are all 23 or under. Just Brad Guzan - aged 28 - is keeping the average age up in the Villa side.

Villa were cut right open like a knife through butter twice in a matter of minutes. Worrying early signs for Paul Lambert's men.

Here they come again as Pablo Hernandez finds Michu with a defence-splitting pass but he fails to find Graham in the middle.

GREAT STOP!!! Brad Guzan comes to Villa's rescue as Wayne Routledge is put clean through, but fires his low drive straight at the onrushing goalkeeper, who gets a strong left-hand to the ball. Danny Graham's cross from the right is then cleared.

Swansea are two points better off than they were last season as they come forward on the counter-attack.

Four points from two away games from Michael Laudrup's troops over the Christmas period and the great Dane will want three points against a side lacking in confidence today.

Mark Halsey blows his whistle and Swansea, in their traditional all-white colours get the game underway. Villa are wearing their claret and blue kit, with white shorts and the pitch is in fantastic condition. Must be that combination of fresh air and lots of rain in South Wales!

Brian Cook says: "After our last three matches I would love us to get something out today's game. However, I can't see it. Why does he not persevere with Stephen Ireland one of our more experienced players. Live in hope!"

Dave Birch emails me to say: "Hoping for a busy January transfer window from Lambert to hopefully get us out of this mess we're in. Hopefully he'll realise we won't stay up by buying players from leagues one and two. Desperately need players with prem experience. Don't think Lerner really wants to miss out on the extra tv money at the end if the season so I'm confident Lambo will get total backing. As for today's game our side looks so short on quality, can't see us getting anything from it.....3-1 Swansea."

@stu_mccarthy sounds like he had a good New Year's Eve! He Tweets: "I'm crashed out on my sofa, hungover, and the thought of Michu up against our Clark and Herd today is giving me the shakes."

Don't forget, as we approach kick-off, if you'd like to air your views on this match then email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.

@jarredlakin is confident of an away win today. He Tweets: "I reckon this is a great chance for villa to bounce back! Week off from Premier League action go into the Cup games with a bit if confidence."

Swansea are 4/7 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet who make Villa 9/2 and the draw 31/10. The Swans to win by three or more goals is worth a punt at 4/1, especially with Villa's poor defence of late while both Michu and Christian Benteke to score is a 6/1 shot. Danny Graham is a 7/1 shout to bag a brace at the Liberty Stadium while Marc Albrighton is 20/1 to score first. Swansea have lost only two of their last 11 Premier League matches, while Villa have conceded 15 goals in three games, so I'm going for a comfortable 2-0 home win today, which is 6/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.

Swansea striker Michu has passed a late fitness test on his ankle problem and starts against Villa this afternoon. Angel Rangel has shrugged of his calf problem to also make the starting line-up. Michael Laudrup has opted to keep Danny Graham up front after the striker scored against Fulham at the weekend. Meanwhile, Ben Davies, Chico Flores, Michel Vorm and Leon Britton are all restored to the side. Villa's Fabian Delph returns to the starting XI after suspension while Republic of Ireland youngster Enda Stevens is handed a start along with Marc Albrighton after an impressing as a second half substitute against Wigan. Brett Holman, Eric Lichaj and Barry Bannan all make way.

SWANSEA: Vorm, Davies, Rangel, Chico, Williams (c), Britton, De Guzman, Hernandez, Michu, Routledge, Graham.

SUBSTITUTES: Tremmel, Dyer, Monk, Ki, Agustien, Tiendalli, Schecter.

ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Clark (c), Bennett, Herd, Weimann, Delph, Stevens, Westwood, Benteke, Albrighton.

SUBSTITUTES: Given, Ireland, Holman, Bowery, Bannan, Lichaj, Carruthers.

REFEREE: Mark Halsey (Lancashire) - Matches 9, R2 Y19.

Here come the teams...

Manger Paul Lambert remains confident of turning things around and seems to have used some reverse psychology on his players heading into this clash. He said: "You've got to use that hurt and that feeling of being beat and you have to bounce back and that's something the lads will do. I see them every day and can judge what desire they have - and no-one was talking about that up until the Chelsea game. We fight and we keep going. I'm not going to beat them with a rod. You have to pick them up. They are the ones that are going to have to go again for us and we are going to have to lift them." Can you Villains see you side showing some of that fighting spirit today? Email me your views please. razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Meanwhile, opponents Aston Villa have leaked a staggering 15 goals in their past three matches to slump perilously close to the relegation zone in 17th. They'll want to forget about 2012 - a year in which they equalled their record number of Premier League losses (18) in a calendar year, and won just six games!

Laudrup is desperate to keep his star names in the January transfer window, but is aware that he can't force players to stay: "It's important to know when we go into a window, especially with players who are not playing, that everyone has a moment to think of themselves and if they are not happy in their situation we can find out. Would I be surprised if he (Danny Graham) wanted to go? Of course not; he wants to play, everybody wants to play." What are your thoughts on today's game at the Liberty Stadium Swans fans and would you be gutted to see the likes of Danny Graham leave if the big boys come calling? Send me your views please. Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.

I'll bring you the teams as soon as they're in! But this is a clash with two clubs of two opposing fortunes. The Swans have only won one of their last five home matches, but they are unbeaten in their last three Premier League matches after winning at Fulham and back to back draws against Manchester United and Reading. The side from South Wales currently sitting in mid-table, but victory could potentially send them two spots up to eighth position.

Swansea striker Michu will undergo a late fitness test on his ankle problem to determine his availability. The Spaniard missed the 2-1 win at Fulham but is in with a chance of being involved against the side from Birmingham, while Angel Rangel is also a doubt with a calf problem. Boss Michael Laudrup could decide to keep Danny Graham up front after the striker scored the opener at Craven Cottage while Ben Davies, Chico Flores, Michel Vorm and Leon Britton may all be restored to the starting line-up after being rested.

Villa midfielder Fabian Delph could to be restored to the starting line-up today after suspension. But Villa's lengthy injury list shows little sign of improving as they look to recover from three heavy defeats in which they have conceded 15 goals against Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan. Strikers Darren Bent (hamstring) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), winger Charles N'Zogbia (knee) and defenders Ron Vlaar (calf), Nathan Baker (hamstring) and long-term casualty Richard Dunne (knee) remain sidelined.

If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, then please email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Hello and a Happy New Year fans! Welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary of this Premier League clash between Swansea City and Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium.

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