UK time is: 05:12:24
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Stoke City 2 - Aston Villa 1

Britannia Stadium

21st December 2013, 15:00

Attendance: 26,003

Adam Shines In Potters Victory

I can`t believe I`m saying this, but clinical finishing was the difference between Stoke and Aston Villa at Saturdays game at the Britannia Stadium. Home goals from the inspired Charlie Adam, and Peter Crouch cancelled out Libor Kozak`s leveller in the second half. Stoke came into the game only losing once all season, and that was in September. On the other hand, the Villains were looking to end a run of losing in the last 2 games.

In a first half void of any real Stoke chances, Aston villa took the initiative. Early efforts from Nathan Baker and Aleksandar Tonev were easily dismissed by Bosnian international Asmir Begovic. After these early efforts came the controversial moment of the match. An awful touch from Stoke defender Marc Wilson freed Andreas Weimann to go one-on-one with Begovic, only for Wilson to hack the striker down. Villa pleaded for a red card, but referee Craig Pawson had already decided on a yellow. Pawson had decided Weimann was running away from goal, leaving the home side feeling relieved, and the visitors aggrieved. It was a decision which could have easily gone in Paul Lambert`s way, had the game been played at Villa Park.

The second half was an entirely different game. A dismal Marko Arnautovic was taken off, in place of Charlie Adam. In my eyes, Adam was the difference in the game. Hughes` inspired substitution certainly paid off on the 50th minute, as a long ball forward was nodded down to the Scotsman`s feet, and he turned and fired home past Guzan to give the home fans something to shout about.

Stoke`s lead only lasted 16 minutes, when Kozak capitalised on a defensive howler from Erik Pieters. The Dutchman has been as solid as a rock in Stoke`s defence this season, however he went to head a ball back to Begovic, and it fell short to the hungry Kozak who slotted past the Stoke keeper with ease.

Normality was resumed though 4 minutes later, when a wonderful cross from Geoff Cameron wasn`t dealt with by Guzan, and it left Peter Crouch with the freedom of Stoke on Trent to slot home easily from 2 yards. The Potters were back on top, and it was a goal that Crouch deserved. The talismanic striker won every ball in the air, his passing was a joy to behold. Myself and editor Lloyd Reddin agreed that Crouch has been a different player since scoring against Manchester United in the 3-2 loss at Old Trafford, and this game cemented that claim.

Crouch could have also had a second with a cheeky backheel, but his effort struck the post as the Villa players shouted at Sian Massey for an offside call. The day however, was Stoke`s. Leaving Villa in trouble, losing 3 games on the bounce before Christmas.

Star Player

Charlie Adam:
The Scotsman was the difference for the Potters in this game. He injected a new lease of life into the Stoke team, and offered lots of different avenues for Stoke to explore. Aston Villa unfortuantely weren't ready for his impact on the game,

Player Ratings

Ref Watch

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Craig Pawson had a fantastic game. Extremely fair to both sides, and the only real talking point was to do with Marc Wilson's tackle. Fantastic work from the Assistants as well, can't think of a single decision that either of them got wrong.

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Tom Barker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 23 2013

Time: 10:46AM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. lloyd_17 2

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Stoke 1 - 0 Newcastle
Chelsea 3 - 0 Stoke
Stoke 1 - 0 Hull City
Aston Villa 1 - 4 Stoke
Stoke 3 - 1 West Ham
Norwich 1 - 1 Stoke

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
7. Man Utd 33 17 6 10 18 57
8. Southampton 34 13 9 12 5 48
9. Newcastle 34 14 4 16 -14 46
10. Stoke 34 11 10 13 -10 43
11. West Ham 34 10 7 17 -9 37
12. Crystal Palace 33 11 4 18 -15 37
13. Hull City 33 10 6 17 -6 36

Breaking League News

Ref Watch: Webb to officiate Cardiff v Stoke
Stoke : 15/04/2014 22:04:00
Begovic wins Chelsea man of the match poll
Stoke : 15/04/2014 21:44:00
Mel - No Fear Ahead Of Man City Trip
WBA : 15/04/2014 19:50:00
Speroni Hits 100 Clean Sheets
Crystal Palace : 15/04/2014 19:27:00
Arsenal v West Ham - Line-Ups
West Ham : 15/04/2014 19:04:00
Ireland pens 3-year Stoke contract
Stoke : 15/04/2014 18:47:00
UNCONFIRMED - Arsenal vs West Ham Team News
Arsenal : 15/04/2014 18:27:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM vs. Newcastle
Suggested By:  
Begovic 1%
Cameron 0%
Shawcross 9%
Wilson 0%
Pieters 0%
Whelan 0%
N'Zonzi 0%
Arnautovic 81%
Ireland 0%
Odemwingie 9%
Crouch 0%
Adam 0%
Walters 0%