Soccer

Arsenal held to goalless draw at Aston Villa

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Associated Press
11/24/2012 5:35:44 PM
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BIRMINGHAM, England -- Arsenal endured its third 0-0 draw of the English Premier League season, allowing Aston Villa to climb out of the relegation zone on Saturday.

The Gunners are in sixth place, four points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea, which is still to play Manchester City on Sunday.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, it needed a fine save from Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to deny Villa substitute Brett Holman a late winner.

Some Arsenal fans at Villa Park chanted "You don't know what you're doing" at manager Arsene Wenger as Olivier Giroud was replaced with Francis Coquelin toward the end.

"I don't want to comment on that. I do my job and do my best for the club," Wenger said. "I leave it to you to judge. I try to be as good as I can be. Is it hurtful? Look, I have managed for 30 years at the top level and I have to convince you I can manage the team?

"How many games have you managed? I promise you if you manage one I will sit in the stands and chant, 'You know what you are doing!"'

Wenger didn't address the reasons for the substitution as pressure builds on him after failing to deliver a trophy since 2005.

"I will not explain every decision I make, you judge the game for the papers and I sit here and explain to you our game," the Frenchman said. "You are all great managers! I read the newspapers every day and I can tell you that you are always great managers!"

Wenger defended his decision not to play Jack Wilshere after the midfielder's long injury lay-off, given the wet and windy conditions.

"I decided that Jack was to be rested today and to not bring him on," Wenger said. "It's more dangerous to bring him on in weather like that when he's tired. It made sense for him not to play today."

United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan kept his third clean sheet of the season as Villa moved a point clear of the drop zone.

"It's a fantastic point, even though we're at home ... the lads defended well and we created some chances," Villa defender Matthew Lowton said.

Arsenal Aston Villa (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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