Sunday, 23 March 2014

Aston Villa 1-4 Stoke City match report Sunday 23rd March 2014

Stoke City produced a dominant display to easily see off a poor Aston Villa side 4-1 at Villa Park.

 Goals from Peter Crouch, Peter Odemwingie, Steven N'Zonzi and Geoff Cameron cancelled out an opener from Villa’s Christian Benteke to help Mark Hughes’ men into the top half of the Premier League table and guarantee their safety.

 A week after defeating Premier League leaders Chelsea, Villa were brought back down to earth with big bump as the Potters completely controlled three-quarters of the game.

Villa started brightest and scored with barely five minutes on the clock. Returning left back Ryan Bertrand picked the ball up on the left hand side and played it down the line into the path of last week's hero Fabian Delph. The young Englishman used his agility to shake off his marker and cut the ball back to the penalty spot where striker Christian Benteke took one touch with his right foot and smashed it home.

Villa were completely in control but injuries to Karim El Ahmadi and Andreas Weimman turned the match and on 22 minutes Stoke equalised. A typical long ball was headed down by Crouch into the path of Odemwingie and the former Baggies man chested the ball down and fired the ball past keeper Brad Guzan.

Villa were shell-shocked and four minutes later some good football in the centre circle found Marko Arnautovic on the left hand side. The Austrian played a clever back heeled pass down the line into the path of over-lapping Erik Pieters and the full back cut the ball back from the byline into the path of Crouch who opened up his body and finished smartly with his right foot.

 The Potters’ first half turnaround was complete on 42 minutes when Arnautovic again played a cross from the left which took a deflection off defender Nathan Baker into the path of N'Zonzi who finished coolly from the edge of the box.

Villa created very little in the second half and their best chance was a clear shout for a penalty after Benteke was bundled over in the box by Ryan Shawcross. Referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the decision and instead booked Benteke for his reaction to the decision.

Stoke killed off the game in the 90th minute when the dazzling Arnautovic skipped past Leandro Bacuna on the left hand corner of the penalty area, cut the ball back to the penalty spot where full back Cameron was waiting and casually slotted the ball home to cap off a solid performance.

After the game Paul Lambert admitted his side "... were second best" to their opponents and did not deserve to get anything from the game.

 Stoke manager Mark Hughes praised a solid performance from his team despite the fact he barely had enough numbers to fill his bench due to injuries.


No comments:

Post a Comment