This was one of those days when neither manager was going to complain about a stalemate and the missed chances that, with a touch more ruthlessness in front of goal, could easily have turned one point into three. "It was maybe fitting it was a point each," Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea City manager, said. "We maybe weren't at the top of our game, which was understandable, but I thought we had enough good moments to have got something. But it would have been difficult to celebrate after such shocking news."
Gary Speed's death cast a shadow over a game that nothing Swansea and Aston Villa produced over the 90 minutes was ever going to remove. In the end a sombre day delivered a low-key match as Swansea and Villa completed a fixture that will be remembered in years to come only as the day Welsh football lost one of its favourite sons. Six of the players taking part had played either under or alongside Speed and, of those, nobody deserved more credit than Shay Given.
The Villa goalkeeper was in tears beforehand but he finished the game and also produced a superb save to deny the Swansea substitute Leroy Lita in the 81st minute, racing from his line to smother at his feet. Lita had squandered another decent chance moments earlier, when he screwed a left-footed shot inches wide after using his body to roll James Collins, although Villa would have been entitled to have felt hard done by had either of those efforts had gone in.
Despite spending much of the first half without the ball, Villa looked the more likely to score. That was until Michel Vorm stuck out a leg to deny Gabriel Agbonlahor in the 19th minute and the Swansea keeper thwarted him again in the second half, turning the striker's swerving shot behind. Chris Herd had a late chance to pinch Villa's first away win of the season but his close-range header drifted wide, leaving both teams to share a point on a day when the result of a football match could not have felt more insignificant.