Aston Villa vs. Stoke City  1 - 1

Article

Premier League: Aston Villa 1 Stoke 1

9 April 2012 20:48

Aston Villa's winless run extended to a fourth match on Monday when they were held 1-1 at home to Stoke City in the English Premier League.

Andreas Weimann opened the scoring for the home side 32 minutes into the match at Villa Park with a fine effort from the edge of the area.

Stoke earned a draw in the second half when Jermaine Pennant's free-kick was nodded home by Robert Huth.

The visitors almost gave away a chance straight from kick-off as they gifted possession to Stephen Ireland, but the midfielder was unable to find Weimann.

Just past the half-hour mark, Villa took the lead through a stunning effort from Weimann.

The 20-year-old Austrian found himself in possession 25 yards from goal, and after a quick one-two with Ireland, he whipped a fabulous effort over Asmir Begovic and into the far corner.

James Collins almost had an opportunity to double the lead from a corner, but he was closed down quickly and rushed his shot, which flew over the bar.

Stoke went close shortly afterwards, as Shay Given dropped a high ball under a challenge from Jones, only for Chris Herd to clear.

And a desperate block from Stephen Warnock stopped Wilson Palacios from equalising, as the defender threw himself in front of a shot that was bound for goal.

Jonathan Walters also went close in first-half injury time, heading Matthew Etherington's cross onto the roof of the net.

The visitors came out after the break with more intensity, forcing Villa onto the back foot with a barrage of set-pieces.

Despite Stoke's efforts, the first real chance of the second half fell to Villa's Gabby Agbonlahor, who snatched his shot and dragged it across the face of goal.

Stoke manager Pulis rang the changes 15 minutes into the second period, bringing on Peter Crouch and Jermaine Pennant for Jones and Etherington.

It took a further 10 minutes before Stoke could really trouble the hosts, but when they did it earned them an equaliser.

Pennant delivered a wonderful free-kick into the six-yard box which was dispatched by Huth.

There were plenty of complaints from the home side, as the German centre-back appeared to be using James Collins as a platform to aid his leap.

Collins' remonstrations earned him a yellow card, and he was incensed a minute later when he was denied a penalty at the other end.

Ryan Shawcross seemed to have a hold of Collins' shirt, denying him from reaching Barry Bannan's free-kick.

With 10 minutes remaining, Pulis made his last throw of the dice, bringing Ricardo Fuller off the bench in place of Delap.

With five minutes there was a massive clash of heads between Huth and Herd, with the Aston Villa man stretchered off.

Weimann had a shot deflected that forced Begovic into an awkward save as the ball threatened to loop into the net.

Stoke had the ball in the net in the 90th minute as Shawcross volleyed in a knock-down by Huth, but the whistle had already blown for a foul by the German defender on Collins.

Weimann was sent through on goal during five minutes of time added on, but proved unable to snatch what would have been a dramatic late winner.

The draw leaves Villa 15th, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Stoke are seven points better off than Villa in 12th place.

Article

Premier League preview: Aston Villa v Stoke

9 April 2012 13:41

Peter Crouch can further his claim to a place in England's Euro 2012 squad when Stoke City travel to Aston Villa on Monday.

Stoke defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Saturday, with Crouch netting the winner in the English Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium.

Striker Crouch, 31, has netted eight goals in 26 league appearances this season, including a spectacular strike during a 1-1 home draw with Manchester City last month.

And Stoke manager Pulis believes the experienced front man would prove an asset to England at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

"I'd definitely take Peter to the Euros because he's a game changer and I don't think foreign sides like playing against Peter. We found that in Europe," he said.

"He gives you that aerial presence. Whoever is picking the team, and we don't know who that is yet, but Peter is a game changer and you need them in your side."

Next up for Stoke is a short trip to face fellow Midlands side Aston Villa, who earned a credible 1-1 draw away to Liverpool last time out.

Villa have struggled badly for consistency this season, and have managed just one win from their previous nine matches.

They are 16th on the table, six points clear of the drop zone, and by no means safe with seven rounds of the campaign still to come.

For Stoke, defender Andy Wilkinson is in doubt with a groin strain, while midfielder Salif Diao is yet to return from hamstring trouble.

Villa will be missing defenders Richard Dunne (shoulder), Ciaran Clark (knee) and Carlos Cuellar (thigh), while winger Charles N'Zogbia (knee) is in doubt.

The long-term absence of striker Darren Bent (ankle) continues to be felt, while midfielder Stiliyian Petrov has been forced to retire as he battles acute leukaemia.

Article

Premier League: Aston Villa 1 Stoke 1

23 April 2011 18:09

Aston Villa and Stoke City both edged closer to Premier League survival with a point each on Saturday.

It was a classic game of two halves, with Stoke dominating early on and Villa eventually playing their way back into the match.

Darren Bent cancelled out Kenwyne Jones' opener just before half-time and the home side perhaps deserved the win on the balance of play in the second half.

The visitors had all the early pressure, forcing a succession of corners, with only superb goalkeeping by Brad Friedel preventing them from taking a lead.

First Robert Huth picked up a loose ball after a trademark Rory Delap throw was only half cleared, but Friedel was alert to parry away the defender's volley.

Then, from the resulting Matty Etherington corner, Jones' goal-bound header was superbly clawed away by Friedel.

But the pressure finally paid off in the 20th minute when Stoke took the lead in familiar fashion with Jones rising highest to head home Delap's long throw.

Villa struggled to cope with Stoke's physical presence and it took half an hour for them to get into the game, even then only producing half chances for Luke Young who shot wide and Emile Heskey who headed over.

And when Bent did get into a scoring position, a last-ditch tackle from Ryan Shawcross denied him.

However, Bent grabbed the equaliser two minutes from half time, glancing a header from a Kyle Walker cross off the post and into the net.

The home side upped their game at the start of the second half. Stewart Downing had goalkeeper Asmir Begovic scrambling after his drive cannoned off Huth and out for a corner.

Then Heskey steered a low cross from Nigel Reo-Coker wide, before two substitutes combined, Gabby Agbonlahor heading Marc Albrighton's cross into the ground and the arms of Begovic.

Stoke substitute Ricardo Fuller did have the ball in the net late on, but the striker was ruled offside as Jones passed to him.

And it was to get worse for Fuller as he was carried off on a stretcher forcing his side to play added time with only 10 men.

Article

Premier League preview: Aston Villa v Stoke

22 April 2011 00:56

Aston Villa will be without hospitalised manager Gerard Houllier when they take on Stoke City in the English Premier League on Saturday.

After weathering a difficult period at the helm of the Villa Park outfit, Frenchman Houllier has overseen a minor revival in the team's fortunes of late.

They are unbeaten in three matches and have climbed to 10th in the table following a 1-0 win at home to Newcastle and a 2-1 victory away to West Ham.

Stoke City, who booked their place in the FA Cup final following a 5-0 thrashing over Bolton Wanderers last weekend, are their next opponents.

But Villa must tackle Tony Pulis' side without their manager after Houllier fell ill and was hospitalised on Wednesday.

The Frenchman, who is reportedly in a comfortable condition, will remain in hospital for several days while he undergoes tests.

Houllier previously underwent 11-hour, life-saving heart surgery while in charge of Liverpool in October 2001.

Assistant manager Gary McAllister is expected to take charge of the first team on Saturday.

Stoke are three places below Villa in 13th and two points worse off, but have played one match fewer than their hosts.

Prior to Sunday's unexpected demolition of Bolton, their last league outing ended in a 3-2 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur.

Villa may be without their manager, but they are not short of on-field options, with every member of the squad fit and available for selection.

For Stoke, defender Danny Higginbotham and striker Mamady Sidibe are out until next season.

Centre-back Abdoulaye Faye remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25