Aston Villa defeated Stoke City at the Britannia on the opening day of the Premier League. Goals from separated the two sides in what was really a competitive affair despite the final result.
The first 45 minutes of the match lacked chances on both ends as Stoke looked the brighter side, but only managed one real chance on the Villa goal but the effort Brad Guzan from Charles N’Zonzi from the right side of the box set up by Marko Arnautovic. From then on, it was mainly half-chances for Stoke City.
Aston Villa started with a dullness about them as Stoke City were piling pressure on their back four, but the Villains defense held strong, making interceptions and clearances to calm things down. Once they settled down, and perhaps their nerves settled too, the Villains looked sharp.
The visitors moved the ball around well, got some decent chances in, but just lacked that striker up front to bang them in. This is where they are going to miss Benteke for the first few weeks of the season.
Andreas Weimann scored five minutes after the restart as his low shot from the right side of the box goes behind Begovic and gave the Villains the lead early in the second half. The Austrian drove the ball well and the Stoke ‘keeper made the initial stop, but he just could not get enough power behind it and it nestled into the left side of the net.
That goal really woke up the hosts as they were pressing again, but Paul Lambert’s men were not buckling. They played very sound defensively as it looked like the Potters were running out of ideas and the fans were getting very frustrated.
Aston Villa had the last real chance in the match with three minutes before regular time ended as substitute Leandro Bacuna shot from the right side of the box with his left foot. But it was too high and missed the goal to the left.
In a nutshell, that was the entire match. Build up play looked good on both ends from time to time, but both Aston Villa and Stoke City missed opportunity after opportunity. If they want to get to even mid-table come seasons end, that will have to improve greatly over the coming weeks.
|Stoke City||Aston Villa|