Report: Stoke 1-1 Villa

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Albert Adomah’s first goal of the season was enough for Aston Villa to take a solitary point from Stoke. Villa have failed to pick up a victory away from home in 2019. Adomah’s second-half strike was the first away goal Villa have managed since beating Swansea on Boxing Day.

Dean Smith handed Jonathan Kodjia a start alongside Tammy Abraham at the top of the pitch, as Villa reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. With John McGinn suspended and Henri Lansbury and Jack Grealish injured, Smith was low on options in the middle of the park.

Stoke strike early

Smith’s experiment didn’t exactly go to plan within the first exchanges. Sam Vokes opened the scoring for Stoke City within the first five minutes of play. As Kodjia allowed Sam Clucas to run beyond him on the left flank. The former Hull and Swansea man collected the ball inside the penalty box. Without hesitation, Clucas drilled across towards Vokes who cleverly guided the ball beyond Jed Steer with a neat backheel.

Deputising for the injured Kalinic, Steer failed to keep Vokes’ trickery away from the goal. Yet that’s something Joe Allen also struggled to prevent. Tammy Abraham shifted the ball away from the Welshman on the halfway line, before striding towards goal. The twenty-one goal man passed to Anwar El-Ghazi who had enough space to work in as Bruno Martins Indi fortunately slipped. The Egyptian could only frustratingly fire his strike over Jack Butland’s bar.

Villa dominated the share of possession moving into the latter stages of the first half. However, they failed to make any goalscoring chances to reflect their dominance.

All level

Players congratulate Adomah on his goal against StokeYet, with their first notable attack of the second period, the away side made their presence known. Adomah grabbed his first for over six months. Impressive running from El-Ghazi caused Stoke’s defence to retreat before the wide-man rolled back towards Kodjia on the edge of the Stoke box. Though, as the Ivorian failed to connect with the cross, it fell to Adomah who waited on the penalty spot to bury beyond Butland. He confidently slammed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

After equalising on the hour mark, Villa almost turned the game on its head within minutes of drawing level.

Butland heroics

El-Ghazi was again involved as he and Kortney Hause linked on the left wing. The young defender hooked a cross towards Abraham at the near post. The Chelsea loanee connected with the ball in front of Martins Indi to force Butland into a heroic save, as he stretched across his goal.

As Villa came in search of their first away win for almost two months, Tyrone Mings almost got his second for the club at the death. Glen Whelan’s long ball from inside his own half found the centre-half attacking the far post. His looping header was matched by Butland’s acrobatics in the Stoke goalmouth, as he pushed the ball over this crossbar.

A point for both sides was little help for either side’s fading playoff hopes. Villa will now turn attention to hosting Frank Lampard’s Derby at Villa Park, before travelling to St Andrew’s for a Second City derby.

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