After Aston Villa went up 1-0 in the 10th minute through a shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor, Blackpool equalized four minutes later through a header by Elliott Grandin. Despite the sending off of Jean Makoun in the 70th minute, the visitors managed to hang on to the 1-1 draw. The point for Blackpool ended the Tangerines' dismal run of five straight losses, while the Villa have managed just two points from their last three games.
The visitors got off to a great start through the run of Agbonlahor, who might not be as fast as he used to be (lay off the weights, dude) but still managed to beat two defenders and run around Blackpool keeper Richard Kingson to slot the ball into the far corner. But with the weakness of the Aston Villa defense, it seemed inevitable that the Seasiders would equalize, as they did just four minutes later. Grandin, unmarked at the near post, headed home Charlie Adam's corner.
Despite a flurry of end-to-end football for the rest of the first half, neither team could convert their chances. Blackpool came out determined in the second half, but neither Luke Varney or DJ Campbell could stop their shots from going wide. In the 70th minute, Howard Webb showed no hesitation when showing Villa newcomer Jean Makoun a red card after a late challenge on Campbell.
To preserve the point, Gerard Houllier brought in U.S. International Michael Bradley, giving the midfielder his debut in claret and blue. As expected, Blackpool kept up their attack, pinning the visitors in their half for most of the remaining twenty minutes. Yet it was Aston Villa that very nearly won the match. Ashley Young, who'd perhaps spouted off his mouth too many times to referee Webb, was denied a penalty shout in extra time, and then failed to put away Stewart Downing's cross in the last move of the game.
The draw puts Aston Villa behind their crosstown rivals Birmingham City at 15th place, with Blackpool just behind in 16th.