Resilient Stoke draw at Villa
Aston Villa were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Stoke City at
Villa Park as both sides extended their Premier League unbeaten
Defender Ryan Shotton was controversially sent off in
stoppage-time by referee Roger East for a second bookable offence,
but replays showed he made no contact on Villa substitute Fabian
Villa striker Darren Bent made his return to action for the
first time in six weeks midway through the second period, but was
unable to inspire Villa to the three points.
The Potters are now unbeaten in six after a solid defensive
showing while the hosts extended their run to four without a loss
and showed signs of continued improvement under manager Paul
Six of the last eight meetings between these Midlands rivals
have now ended as draws, including four of the last five played at
Stoke have registered eight clean sheets this season although
they could easily have fallen behind when skipper Ryan Shawcross
kept out Christian Benteke’s close-range volley after Ciaran Clark
had headed the ball back across goal.
The visitors were then incensed by a centre-circle challenge on
Glenn Whelan by Clark in first-half stoppage-time, but it escaped
Villa started the second half brightly and Asmir Begovic went
down to his left to cling onto Benteke’s volley after Matt Lowton
had flicked on a Barry Bannan cross.
Tempers were becoming frayed, but Benteke continued to ask
questions and some trickery inside the area created half a chance.
However, Robert Huth reacted quickly to block his shot on the
Shotton became the first player to be yellow-carded after 75
minutes after fouling substitute Stephen Ireland.
Then came his red card deep into stoppage-time, although there
was no time left for Villa to cash in on their numerical advantage
as City kept an eighth clean sheet this season.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||0|
|4||Shots off Target||2|
|58.5||1st Half Poss.||41.5|
|53.9||2nd Half Poss.||46.1|