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

runs.

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

Delph.

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

Lambert.

Six of the last eight meetings between these Midlands rivals

have now ended as draws, including four of the last five played at

Villa Park.

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

any punishment.

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

turn.

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.

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Aston Villa

Team Statistics

Stoke City

0 Goals 0
0 1st Half Goals 0
2 Shots on Target 0
4 Shots off Target 2
7 Blocked Shots 0
3 Corners 2
8 Fouls 15
4 Offsides 3
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 1
81.9 Passing Success 73.1
19 Tackles 12
63.2 Tackles Success 66.7
55.9 Possession 44.1
45.6 Territorial Advantage 54.4
452 Total Passes 350
23 Total Crosses 28
156 Lost Balls 179
48 Recoveries 49
58.5 1st Half Poss. 41.5
53.9 2nd Half Poss. 46.1