Grandin stops the rot against 10-man Villa

Blackpool 1 Aston Villa 1

After five defeats on the trot, Blackpool will welcome this point with open arms, but their failure to put away an Aston Villa side down to 10 men after Jean Makoun's mindless sending off after 70 minutes will nag at Ian Holloway and his side this morning.

While on the face of it they did not do enough to win either in terms of overall performance or chances created – indeed they might well have lost had Villa showed a touch more prowess in front of goal in the first period – if they're to stay in this division Blackpool need to start picking up points at home, preferably in bunches of three.

As things stand, Hollway's side have collected 17 of their 29 points on their travels, a figure, admittedly,skewed by the fact that they've played 14 away games as opposed to 12 at home, but in those numbers lies a truth. Nobody in the division has collected fewer points at home than Blackpool this season and with seven of their remaining 12 games at Bloomfield Road, it is a record they will need to improve upon.

At least they cannot torment themselves with the memories of missed opportunities once Makoun left the pitch. Villa, who started brightly and threw considerable caution to the wind in an exciting first period, effectively shut up shop once their numbers were reduced. Blackpool hardly had a sniff, for which much of the credit must go to Richard Dunne and James Collins who defended like the old warriors that they are in those closing stages. "I was proud of the efforts of my players," said Gérard Houllier. "It's not easy to be down to 10 men away from home but we worked hard. I'm proud of them."

The Villa manager will probably view this as a game that should have been done and dusted by half time. In that first period he encouraged a liberal policy of throwing men forward and the strategy paid off with Gabriel Agbonlahor's opener. When a Blackpool attack broke down and the ball was cleared towards the halfway line, Agbonlahor and Darren Bent found themselves out-numbering Ian Evatt. Once Bent flicked the ball past the Blackpool centre-half on the halfway line, Agbonlahor was afforded a free run at goal from a good 40 yards out. Too much time can often cloud a striker's thinking, particularly Agbonlahor's, but the Villa striker rounded Richard Kingson with ease before slotting the ball home.

"I thought that was a brilliant goal and I felt they were capable of tearing us apart in the opening 15 minutes," said Holloway of the opening exchanges. However, a defensive lapse allowed his side back into the game. A Charlie Adam corner from the right was whipped in towards Villa's near post, a spot, you'd imagine, Houllier might have detailed somebody to occupy given the midfielder's prolific left foot. If he had, nobody listened and the unmarked Elliot Grandin was able to nod the ball downward past Brad Friedel without a defender coming within two yards of him.

After that, Villa had their chances. Ashley Young, who was a little off- colour following his efforts with England in midweek – as was Bent who was substituted on 57 minutes for not looking "lively" according to his manager – threaded a clever ball past David Carney on the edge of the box into Stewart Downing's path on 19 minutes. One-on-one with Kingson, however, the winger went for power rather than subtlety and the Blackpool goalkeeper deflected the ball clear with his feet. Downing would go on,before the interval, to put a ball across goal when he should have shot, and curl an effort off Kingson's right-hand post after cutting in from the right.

That, though, was as good as it got for Villa. Makoun was sent off for stupid tackle on DJ Campbell with at least one leg off the ground. Howard Webb's decision to show the red card wasn't disputed by Houllier, and the referee's assistant, Sian Massey, at the centre of the Gray-Keys storm, was handed praise by both managers. "She's good at what she does," said Houllier on the assistant referee's Premier League return.

Attendance: 16,000

Referee: Howard Webb

Man of the match: Adam

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?