Mar 23, 2014 at 4pm UK at ​Villa Park
Aston Villa
1-4
StokeStoke City
Benteke (5')
El Ahmadi (8'), Benteke (52'), Albrighton (73'), Bacuna (80'), Baker (82')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Odemwingie (22'), Crouch (26'), Nzonzi (42'), Cameron (90')
Palacios (24')

Live Commentary: Aston Villa 1-4 Stoke City - as it happened

Peter Odemwingie of Stoke shoots past goalkeeper Brad Guzan of Aston Villa to score a goal during the Barclays Premier League match on March 23, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Stoke City's comfortable 4-1 victory over fellow mid-table side Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Mid-table sides Aston Villa and Stoke City both came into today's game on good form looking to move further clear of the sides below them battling relegation.

Villa were looking for a third straight home win for the first time in over six years but went down to clinical Stoke, who scored four times for the first time this season.

Read how it all unfolded at Villa Park below.


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3.01pmAfternoon folks! The 10th and final Premier League game of the weekend takes place at Villa Park as mid-table sides Aston Villa and Stoke City face off.

3.02pmTeam news is just reaching us so let's waste no time and get straight to it...

3.04pmVILLA XI: Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor

3.04pmVILLA SUBS: Steer, Sylla, Holt, Clark, Albrighton, Bennett, Robinson

3.06pmPaul Lambert makes just one change for Villa as Ryan Bertrand returns in place of Joe Bennett at left-back after being ineligible against parent club Chelsea last week.

3.07pmSTOKE XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Arnautovic, Palacios, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie; Crouch

3.07pmSTOKE SUBS: Sorensen; Muniesa, Guidetti, Shea, Wilkinson, Shotton, Ward

3.11pmStoke also make just one change as Wilson Palacios replaces the ineligible Stephen Ireland. Another thing to note, former Villa youngster Charlie Ward is on the Stoke bench for the first time at the age of 19.

3.15pmREFEREE WATCH! The man in charge today is Mark Clattenburg, who had a bit of a nightmare in last week's game at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Liverpool.

Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United is shown a red card by Referee Mark Clattenburg during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014© Getty Images

3.19pmClick here to see how the Premier League table looks going into this game. As you can see, these two teams split the league, with Villa just in the top half thanks to their superior goal difference.

3.24pmToday's first match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton has just come to an end, and what a finish! The visitors were 2-0 up but Spurs roared back into contention, eventually winning 3-2 thanks to a late Gylfi Sigurdsson goal. Our instant match report is already on site and you can read it here.

3.27pmThat win for Spurs takes them above Everton and into fifth place. Southampton remain ninth, one place ahead of Villa but they're still nine clear of Lambert's men in 10th.

3.31pmLAST TIME OUT! Back to the game at Villa Park. When these two last met just before Christmas it was Stoke who came out on top 2-1, with Peter Crouch scoring the winner.

Peter Crouch of Stoke City celebrates as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Aston Villa at Britannia Stadium on December 21, 2013© Getty Images

3.35pmToday's game is a third home game in a row for Villa, who have beat Norwich and Chelsea in their last two encounters to pull well clear of the bottom three. They last won three home games on the bounce back in October 2007.

3.39pm

3.42pmWhen asked by Sky Sports what Villa have been doing differently recently, Lambert says that nothing much has changed. Luck's just gone their way of late, he claims.

3.46pmStoke themselves should be in confident mood today after two wins and a draw in March. They have completed 8,674 passes this season already, which is more than any of the last five whole seasons.

3.50pmPREDICTION TIME! Unfortunately, the mid-tableness of this game isn't likely to spark a goalfest and I expect these two to cancel each other out. 1-1 it will finish. Trust me.

3.53pm

3.56pmFor more of Lambert's pre-match quotes, read our quick story here.

3.57pmCaptains Ron Vlaar and Ryan Shawcross lead the two teams out of the tunnel at Villa Park:


1 minKICKOFF! Both sides are in their home colours and it's Stoke in red-and-white stripes who get us underway.

1 minAlmost instantly the ball is hoofed upfield and bobbles out harmlessly for a goal kick. Hopefully not a sign of things to come.

4 minGood play from Delph down the left but his cross is over everyone in the middle. Bacuna is coming in at the back post though and should perhaps create something else but miscontrols.

5 minGOAL! VILLA 1-0 STOKE (BENTEKE)

5 minWell, that didn't take long did it?! The home side are smashed in front by Belgium's Benteke, who took one touch to control Delph's cutback before swiping into the roof of the net. Credit to Delph for rolling off the challenge of Cameron to get into the box. Poor defending from the Stoke man committing himself like that.

8 minBOOKING! Villa now also go ahead in the bookings count as El Ahmadi is rightly cautioned for a nasty scissor tackle on Crouch.

10 minDelph gets lucky on the edge of the area before Weimann stabs it back to him on the edge of the box. The ball rolls onto his weaker right foot so he decides not to shoot, instead clipping it deep towards Benteke, who is about to head home when Cameron nods out for a corner. Good stuff from Villa.

12 minPoor from Odemwingie as he delays his slide-rule pass into Arnautovic, who was offside by the time it was fed to him. The Nigerian could have easily rolled him in much earlier for a shot at goal.

15 minAfter a so-so start to the season, Benteke is now enjoying perhaps his best spell of the campaign with three goals in three games this month.

17 minVilla have had 58% of the ball early on, with Benteke's strike the one and only attempt on goal from either side.

19 minIntricate, quick passing from Delph and Bertrand on the left wing before the latter slaps a low cross along the six-yard line that doesn't get a touch off anybody.

20 minJUST OVER! Stoke have their first shot and it's inches away from being a wonderful equaliser from Odemwingie. He tricked his way past multiple challenges on the edge of the box before letting fly with his left, with Vlaar getting the slightest of touches on it to put it over.

21 min

22 minGOAL! VILLA 1-1 STOKE (ODEMWINGIE)

22 minStoke's pressure in the last few minutes pays off as Crouch beats Baker in the air, nodding it into the path of Odemwingie, who holds off the challenge of Bertrand before finishing low under Guzan into the net. Game on!

24 minBOOKING! The Potters level up the scoreline and the yellow-card count as Palacios flies in and wipes out Benteke with another terrible tackle.

26 minGOAL! VILLA 1-2 STOKE (CROUCH)

26 minGoodness me, that's my 1-1 pre-game prediction out of the window as former Villa man Crouch finishes Pieters's cutback from 10 yards. The left-back outmuscled Weimann in the area to get to Arnautovic's backheel before pulling the ball back for the unmarked Crouch. Four-minute turnaround from the Potters!

28 minNice stat from @OptaJoe on Twitter: "4 - Peter Crouch has played a hand in all four of Stoke's goals versus Aston Villa this season (2 goals, 2 assists). Thorn."

30 minVilla are currently down to 10 men as El Ahmadi has picked up an injury. It doesn't look like the Moroccan will be able to continue so Lambert is forced into an early change.

32 minAgbonlahor is given plenty of space 25 yards out so has a pop but can't test Begovic as he leans back and slices over the top.

33 minVILLA SUBS: One change is expected, but Lambert has to make two as Weimann has also picked up a knock. Yacouba Sylla and Marc Albrighton are the duo who come on for the hosts.

36 minI have to say that Stoke look dangerous on the break. Full-backs Cameron and Pieters look happy to get forward while the pace and skill of Arnautovic and Odemwingie will always provide a threat.

39 minCHANCE! Almost three for Stoke as Whelan's corner is flicked on at the near post by Wilson, but the defender can't get enough on it to trouble Guzan or the men on the line.

42 minGOAL! VILLA 1-3 STOKE (N'ZONZI)

42 minWhat a turnaround it's been from Stoke at Villa Park! They go two goals in front as N'Zonzi finishes low into the corner after some patient, impressive passing in the build-up. However, both Bacuna and Baker could have cut out the attack.

45 minVilla look desperate for one goal back before half time and they're seeing plenty of the ball but just can't break down Stoke's stubborn defence.

45+1 minThree goals and a couple of substitutions mean that there will be THREE minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

45+3 minHALF TIME: VILLA 1-3 STOKE

4.51pmThe Potters have a comfortable lead at the break thanks to three goals from three shots on target.

4.53pmChristian Benteke put Villa ahead inside five minutes but they couldn't push on and may have been killed off by goals from Peter Odemwingie, Peter Crouch and Steve N'Zonzi.

4.56pmIf you're only just getting in and want a quick update on the first 45, read our half-time report here.

4.59pm

5.02pmRemember, Villa have already made two substitutions so Lambert has somewhat lost the element of surprise this second half.

46 minKICKOFF! No half-time changes from either manager and we're now back underway at Villa Park.

47 minHere's a great shot from the first half of Odemwingie holding off the challenge of Bertrand and shooting under Guzan to level the scores:

Peter Odemwingie of Stoke shoots past goalkeeper Brad Guzan of Aston Villa to score a goal during the Barclays Premier League match on March 23, 2014© Getty Images

50 minFair play to Stoke, you might have expected them to be a little timid at the start of the second half but they've continued to look menacing going forward.

52 minBOOKING! Villa goalscorer Benteke picks up a booking for screeching back at Clattenburg after he wasn't awarded a penalty. The Belgian went down very softly under challenge from Cameron. Correct call from the man in black.

55 minLambert will have wanted his players to start the second half right on the front foot but that hasn't really happened. Looking at the Villa bench, they only have substitute to make and Grant Holt is the most attacking-minded of those left on the bench.

59 minVilla's lack of intent at the moment has led to the crowd lullling. There's little atmosphere inside Villa Park at the moment.

64 minSHOT! Odemwingie almost has a second as he lets fly from outside the area. His shot is quite central, but still worries Guzan, who can only parry it in front of him before Villa clear.

66 minStoke will have chances on the counter and their latest is wasted by N'Zonzi as he drags a shot horribly wide when he could have slid in Odemwingie.

67 minToday's attendance at Villa Park is 30,292.

69 minStoke have done really well to maintain 51% of the ball. Villa simply haven't done enough in this second half so far.

73 minVILLA SUB: As expected, Lambert's final change is to bring on Holt for Ashley Westwood. Certainly a move of attacking intent but is it too late for the hosts?

73 minBOOKING! Moments before the change, Albrighton picked up a yellow card for a clumsy tackle on Palacios. That's now three Villa players in the book.

77 minSTOKE SUB: "There's only one Erik Pieters, one Erik Pieters!" sing the travelling Potters as the Dutch full-back is replaced by Marc Muniesa.

80 minBOOKING! Villa are becoming increasingly frustrated and Bacuna is the next to be cautioned for coming through the back of Odemwingie.

82 minBOOKING! Yet another yellow card for a man in claret as Baker becomes the fifth Villan in Clattenburg's book.

85 minVilla haven't looked like scoring all half but a goal now might just be the spark needed to stir a late comeback.

88 minBacuna has scored some sumptuous free kicks this season but his latest 30-yard effort whizzes harmlessly over the bar.

90 minGOAL! VILLA 1-4 STOKE (CAMERON)

90 minGame over! Villa fans flood out of their seats as Cameron seals it for Stoke, calmly sidefooting home after some great wing play by Arnautovic to set him up.

90+2 minFive minutes have been added on by the fourth official. This really is a bit of a surprise as Stoke have scored no more than two goals on the road this season and have one of the worst travelling records. Fully deserved, though.

90+4 minHughes has only had to make one enforced substitution today as well. Great toughness from the Potters.

90+6 minFULL TIME: VILLA 1-4 STOKE

5.55pmAn easy win in the end for Stoke then and certainly something you didn't see happening after they went behind inside five minutes. Credit to them though, they fully deserve the three points for their efficiency in front of goal.

5.59pmThree points for Stoke sees them leapfrog Villa and go into the top half of the table. It's probably about as high as they can go this season, though, as Southampton in ninth are eight points further ahead.

6.02pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for here. Thanks for joining Sports Mole and make sure you stick around for our extensive coverage of El Clasico tonight!

Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City beats Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins and Guy Demel of West Ham United to score their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at Britannia Stadium on March 15, 2014
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