Nicolas Anelka was denied a dramatic late winner by the woodwork as Aston Villa maintained their impressive home record by securing a goalless draw against Chelsea.
Anelka could have earned the Blues only their second league win in the last 12 visits to Villa Park but his downward header from Ashley Cole's header bounced up and against the crossbar.
It would have been rough justice on Villa who had done enough to earn at least a share of the spoils - and should themselves have won the game in injury time as Nigel Reo-Coker shot wide when one-on-one with keeper Petr Cech.
Branislav Ivanovic came close to breaking the deadlock after 77 minutes when he powered his header against the near post from Florent Malouda's corner.
But then the woodwork came to Chelsea's rescue when Ashley Young's free-kick hit the back of John Terry's head and then deflected off Ciaran Clark onto a post.
Anelka headed against the bar from Ashley Cole's cross in the last minute of normal time. Then, with almost the last kick, Reo-Coker found himself in space but lacked the necessary composure and shot wide, ensuring the match ended goalless.