Despite the lowest crowd of the season, I always felt that yesterdays fixture with Stoke City was a massive game for Aston Villa. I didn’t necessary believe it was a must win but I felt it could shape the way the rest of the season went.
It did, however, have a bore draw written all over it. Villa have only won 4 games at Villa Park this season, while Tony Pulis’s Stoke side have won as many on the road.
Alex McLeish was quick to praise Austrian striker Andreas Weimann following his goal in the 1-1 draw but then stated that every game was a cup final for the boys in Claret and Blue.
We are 7 points clear of the bottom three now and I firmly believe 1 more win between now and the end of the season (the earlier the better) will be enough to secure our Premiership future.
The home side took the lead just after the half hour mark with exchanged passes with former Man City midfielder Stephen Ireland before unleashing a stunning strike past Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic who had no chance.
Stoke City tend to have a never die attitude and they showed this yesterday as they fought to get themselves back into this fixture.
Jermaine Pennant swung the ball over from the right wing were big German Robert Huth climbed all over James Collins to head past Shay Given.
Replays later proved that Huth actually held Collins down and it could of so easily be given as a foul but it wasn’t to be. I suppose that’s the kind of luck you get when you are down towards the bottom of the table.
Nathan Baker picked up the man of the match award with another stunning performance as the England U-21 international continues to impress at the top level.
I felt there was plenty of time were Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth had their hands all over our players, but the referee seemed to let this go. Alan Hanson last night stated on ‘Manchester of the Day’ that this is something you have to expect when you play the Potters, but this should not be the case. But at the same time they are hardly going to change their approach when they constantly get away with it are they?
Villa have an easy trip to Old Trafford this weekend, on a day that could see Sir Alex Ferguson’s men pick up the title – Yay!