Managers content after spoils are shared between Ipswich and Villa

Mick McCarthy and Roberto Di Matteo were content with a point after Ipswich and Aston Villa played out a 0-0 draw at Portman Road.

Ipswich: Managers content after spoils are shared between Ipswich and VillaIpswich: Managers content after spoils are shared between Ipswich and Villa

A largely drab encounter only burst into life during a dramatic eight minutes of injury time when the home side laid siege to Villa’s goal but saw two efforts cleared off the line and the woodwork struck.

Di Matteo insisted his side had not been lucky despite failing to register a shot on target during the whole match.

He said: “I don’t think it was a boring 0-0. We were resilient and defended well against the threat of Ipswich.

“We were better on the ball in the first half as we tried to create a bit of danger and we had some half chances.

“The second half was a bit more difficult but it was a good solid performance at a place that is always difficult to play at.

“Although we changed our shape and some of the personnel, every player did their job and it was a good solid performance.

“A point away from home is always a good point and I am pleased with how we fought until the end.”

Villa started brightly but it was Ipswich striker Brett Pitman who almost broke the deadlock when his near post shot was smartly turned around by Pierluigi Gollini before Tom Lawrence was denied a certain goal by a brilliant block from Nathan Baker.

The visitors’ best chance came in the second half when Jordan Ayew latched onto a poor back pass by Luke Chambers but he was thwarted from tapping into an empty net by a brilliant goal-saving tackle by Adam Webster.

Then during eight minutes of injury time Freddie Sears twice went close from long-range free-kicks and Leon Best and Cole Skuse had chances cleared off the line.

It was left to Sears to almost grab the three points right at the end but his curling effort hit the outside of a post.

McCarthy said: “I think it was a fair result and I was pleased with the performance and how we played against an expensively assembled team of very good players.

“We could have won it at the end but if that was my side, I would have said ‘great defending’ so you have to give Villa credit.

“My players gave everything and I can trust them to do that and leave nothing behind in every match. That is a really nice thing for a manager to know week-in, week-out.

“We may not always play well but it is never because we haven’t tried.”

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