Stoke City 1-3 Aston Villa – Match Preview

Britannia StadiumSummary: Aston Villa scored twice in the final three minutes to earn a rare away victory that lifts them out of the relegation zone and increases Stoke’s own relegation worries. Gabriel Agbonlahor fired Villa into the lead early onand they lead until Michael Kightly levelled with 10 minutes left. But in a frantic finale to the game Matthew Lowton restored the visitors’ lead with a brilliant goal before Christan Benteke wrapped up the win in stoppage time.

Stoke City 1-3 Aston Villa: Key moments

Two minutes: Stoke have a penalty shout turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg after Jon Walters’ cross appears to strike the arm of Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker.

Nine minutes: GOAL! Lowton combines with Jordan Bowery down the right flank and picks out Agbonlahor, who rolls the ball into the net at the second attempt after his intial effort is blocked.

Thirty minutes: Villa threaten again and Weinmann is a post widths away from doubling his sides advantage. Some neat build-up play sees the ball find its way to the Austrian attacker only for his low side-footed effort to rebound back off the woodwork.

HALF TIME

Eightieth minute: EQUALISER! Salvation for Stoke as substitute Kightly slams home from 12-yards after being played through by fellow sub Charlie Adam following his exchange with Walters.

Eighty seventh minute: GOAL! It’s heartbreak for the home supporters as Lowton puts Villa back into the lead with a contender for Goal of the Season. Bringing a cleared corner under control with his chest the defender hammers a stunning 30-yard volley past Asmir Begovic and into the top corner.

Ninetieth minute: GOAL! Thats the game wrapped up for Villa. As Stoke push forward in search of an equaliser Benteke springs clear and profits from the gaping holes at the back and finish past Begovic and ensure Paul Lambert’s men will end the day outside the bottom three.

Good day for….Matthew Lowton: It was an excellent afternoon for young full back as he capped off a solid defensive performance with a wonder strike that effectively won the game for Villa.

Bad day for….Matthew Etherington: By contrast this was one to forget for the veteran winger who was hauled off at half time following an under-par first 45 minutes.

Tony Pulis said…“It is important we stay in the Premier League. We need a point a game and it is important the lads stay confident. We have United, Tottenham, Norwich at home and then tough games away from home too. We have played well away so it is a good test for everyone at the football club now.”

Paul Lambert said…“It was thoroughly deserved. We looked terrific from the off. I thought we defended really strongly and football-wise I thought we were excellent. Every time we went forward I thought we looked threatening.”