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Sam Johnstone saves Aston Villa in goalless draw against Millwall

A freezing Villa Park was a skill tundra as far as the hosts were concerned, as the stunted creativity of Steve Bruce’s side made their promotion challenge shrivel a little. Millwall have not won an away match all campaign and were forced, by Jordan Archer’s illness, to start a debutant in goal, the 31-year-old David Martin making his first appearance for the club since joining as a free agent in the summer. If Villa’s plan was to test the goalkeeper’s match-sharpness, then they botched it. Villa’s goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone, ended up by far the busier here.

Martin might have been called into action on the half-hour, in fairness, but was spared from having to exert himself thanks to a superb tackle by Jack Cooper, who slid in to block Keinan Davis’s shot. The striker had been presented with the chance by Robert Snodgrass, who had delivered the sort of pass that might have impressed even David Sullivan’s children.

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