Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke
Aston Villa's struggles continued as Robert Huth cancelled out a stunning Andreas Weimann opener to earn Stoke a deserved point at Villa Park.
Making only his second start for the club, Weimann lit up a dour first half with a curling strike from 20 yards.
But the hosts rarely looked like doubling the lead and they were pegged back when Huth met Jermaine Pennant's free-kick with a powerful header.
Villa failed to find a winner and have won just once at home since 5 November.
They are only seven points above the relegation zone and the crowd - the smallest at Villa Park all season - made their feelings known towards boss Alex McLeish at full-time.
McLeish's side are looking up at 12th-placed Stoke, who will be happy with four points from Wolves and Villa in the space of three days.
Five of the last eight meetings between these sides - and each of the last three - have now ended in draws, and it is easy to see why.
While organised and solid at the back, both teams are plagued by a distinct lack of creativity and a regular goalscoring threat.
McLeish introduced Charles N'Zogbia and Emile Heskey late on, while Stoke counterpart Tony Pulis called upon Pennant, Peter Crouch and Ricardo Fuller - but chances were at a premium.
If only there was more quality of the sort produced by Weimann.
Back in Villa's line-up after an ankle injury, the Austria Under-21 striker played a one-two with Stephen Ireland before opening up his body and superbly beating Asmir Begovic from just outside the box.
It was a goal that should have sparked Villa into life but aside from when Jon Walters almost fired into his own net, the hosts carried little threat before half-time.
In fact, they were firmly on the back foot as Stoke went in search of an equaliser - Shay Given palming away Ryan Shotton's cross, Wilson Palacios seeing a drive deflected wide and Walters heading just over.
Most of Stoke's opportunities were emanating from Rory Delap throws or set-pieces, and they went close again shortly after half-time when Huth nodded wide from a corner.
Villa might have extended their lead when Barry Bannan sent Gabriel Agbonlahor racing clear but the forward shot well wide and his side were soon made to pay for that miss.
From the moment Crouch and Pennant entered the fray, Stoke appeared more capable of troubling their opponents and so it proved after Gary Gardner fouled Pennant.
The winger picked himself up to whip a free-kick on to the head of Huth, who powered home his second goal in as many matches.
Major incidents were few and far between thereafter and Ryan Shawcross's 89th-minute strike was correctly ruled out as Pennant's corner had gone out of play before swerving back in.
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish: "Goals talk and it will now be hard for me to leave Weimann out.
"It was a fantastic strike. We needed a bit of inspiration at that time and it was inspirational.
"It came out of nothing and was a wonderful goal from a great young prospect. He is a good finisher and we've seen it again with that goal."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis: "That's 51 games we've played now this season and the second we've had in three days.
"We lack a lot things but the one thing you can never criticise us for is a lack of effort.
"We were disappointed to be losing. It was a great strike by the kid (Weimann) but someone said it was their first effort on goal.
"I thought we missed some great chances and Huthy, although he's scored a great goal, should have scored off another set play in the first half. To come in 1-0 down at half-time was disappointing."
- 01 Given
- 02 Hutton
- 03 Warnock Booked (Gardner - 59' )
- 06 Collins Booked
- 30 Lichaj Booked
- 32 Baker
- 07 Ireland
- 25 Bannan (N'Zogbia - 74' )
- 31 Herd (Heskey - 88' )
- 11 Agbonlahor
- 26 Weimann
- 22 Guzan
- 24 Cuellar
- 10 N'Zogbia
- 35 Johnson
- 38 Gardner
- 40 Carruthers
- 18 Heskey
- 01 Begovic
- 04 Huth
- 17 Shawcross
- 30 Shotton
- 12 Wilson
- 18 Whitehead
- 24 Delap (Fuller - 81' )
- 26 Etherington (Pennant - 62' )
- 40 Palacios
- 09 Jones (Crouch - 62' )
- 19 Walters
- 29 Sorensen
- 20 Upson
- 39 Woodgate
- 16 Pennant
- 10 Fuller
- 25 Crouch
- 33 Jerome
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +4:56
Gabriel Agbonlahor challenges Wilson Palacios unfairly and gives away a free kick. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.90:00 +2:40
Foul by Eric Lichaj on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.89:21
Outswinging corner taken by Jermaine Pennant from the right by-line.88:28
Andreas Weimann takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.87:10 Substitution
Substitution Emile Heskey comes on in place of Chris Herd.80:03
Alan Hutton restarts play with the free kick.80:03 Substitution
Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Ricardo Fuller coming on for Rory Delap.80:03
Jonathan Walters gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Hutton.78:56
The referee blows for offside. Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.74:49
Shot by Chris Herd from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.73:21 Substitution
Substitution Charles N'Zogbia is brought on as a substitute for Barry Bannan.72:41 Booking
Booking James Collins goes into the referee's book for dissent.72:32
Foul by Robert Huth on Stephen Ireland, free kick awarded. Barry Bannan restarts play with the free kick.70:58
Jermaine Pennant provided the assist for the goal.70:58 Goal scored
Goal! - Robert Huth - A Villa 1 - 1 Stoke Robert Huth scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke.70:42
Gary Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermaine Pennant. Centre by Jermaine Pennant,68:37
Foul by Stephen Ireland on Wilson Palacios, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Robert Huth.66:35
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant played to the near post, clearance by Gary Gardner.61:12 Substitution
Substitution Jermaine Pennant replaces Matthew Etherington.
Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Peter Crouch coming on for Kenwyne Jones.58:05 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Warnock goes off and Gary Gardner comes on.55:10
Gabriel Agbonlahor has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.54:12
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Robert Huth misses to the right of the target.49:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Wilson by Barry Bannan. Matthew Etherington delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, clearance by Eric Lichaj.46:40
Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Barry Bannan crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save by Asmir Begovic.46:00
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Hutton by Ryan Shawcross. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +2:15 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +1:21
Matthew Etherington sends in a cross, Jonathan Walters produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.43:52
Wilson Palacios concedes a free kick for a foul on Andreas Weimann. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.43:07
Andreas Weimann challenges Dean Whitehead unfairly and gives away a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.40:28
Corner from the right by-line taken by Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.40:09
Wilson Palacios takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Warnock.38:31
The ball is crossed by Ryan Shotton, save made by Shay Given.38:03
Direct free kick taken by Wilson Palacios.38:03 Booking
Booking Booking for Eric Lichaj.37:54
Unfair challenge on Rory Delap by Eric Lichaj results in a free kick.37:16
Matthew Etherington concedes a free kick for a foul on Barry Bannan. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.34:47
Corner taken by Barry Bannan played to the near post, Shot on goal by James Collins from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.34:20
Corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan to the near post, Kenwyne Jones manages to make a clearance.34:12
A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock.33:01
Foul by Rory Delap on Stephen Warnock, free kick awarded. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.31:18
Assist by Stephen Ireland.31:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Andreas Weimann - A Villa 1 - 0 Stoke Andreas Weimann fires in a goal from just outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Stoke.28:09
Corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan, James Collins takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.27:03
Rory Delap takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.25:47
Corner taken by Barry Bannan from the left by-line, Asmir Begovic makes a save.22:31
Stephen Ireland is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by Robert Huth.21:02
A cross is delivered by James Collins, clearance by Ryan Shotton.18:51
Effort from deep inside the area by Kenwyne Jones misses to the right of the goal.17:23
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan, James Collins takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.17:10
Wilson Palacios gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Free kick taken by James Collins.14:40
Gabriel Agbonlahor challenges Ryan Shawcross unfairly and gives away a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.11:06
Rory Delap sends in a cross, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Hutton by Kenwyne Jones. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.10:39
Jonathan Walters sends in a cross, clearance by James Collins.7:19
Free kick taken by Wilson Palacios.7:19 Booking
Booking The referee shows Stephen Warnock a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.7:04
Ryan Shotton fouled by Stephen Warnock, the ref awards a free kick.2:46
The ball is crossed by Rory Delap, James Collins manages to make a clearance.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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