Player Ratings: Stoke City 0-1 Aston Villa

Sports Mole rates and slates the players involved during this afternoon's Premier League game between Stoke City and Aston Villa.

Aston Villa began their Premier League season with a valuable 1-0 win over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Forward Andreas Weimann notched the game's only goal by scoring five minutes after the break.

Stoke were lacking their usual hostile home atmosphere and failed to create the chances to get back into the game.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the players involved.



Stoke City

Goal

Asmir Begovic: The Bosnian stopper failed to prevent Richardson creating a chance as he flew from his goal during the first half. In the second, he was unable to stop Weimann's shot despite getting a hand to it. He's certainly had better days. (5/10)

Defence

Phil Bardsley: A decent debut from the former Sunderland right back, who looked positive whenever he attacked. Took a knock during the first half and did well to continue. (6/10)

Ryan Shawcross: Not his usual solid self at the heart of Stoke's defence, and will surely benefit once Robert Huth returns to fitness. (5/10)

Marc Wilson: Beaten by Weimann for the goal, after the German appeared to have lost his chance. On a positive note, looked fairly comfortable in possession from the back. (6/10)

Erik Pieters: Made one superb defensive header as Villa threatened during the first half, but failed to support the attack like his opposite number Aly Cissokho. (5/10)

Midfield

Glenn Whelan: Another who looked at ease on the ball, but lacked the creative spark to make anything happen from the middle of the park. (6/10)

Steven N'Zonzi: Was at the mercy of a poor Ashley Westwood tackle early on. Linked well with Whelan and Marko Arnautovic during the first half. (6/10)

Stephen Ireland: Totally anonymous for much of the game. In the hole behind Diouf, he should have been linking the play from midfield to attack, but did very little to justify selection next weekend. (4/10)

Bojan: A tough debut for the Spaniard, with big things expected of the ex-Barcelona star. Showed some positive touches during the first half but disappeared somewhat after the break. (5/10)

Marko Arnautovic: Guilty of looking for the spectacular goal when often a simpler pass was on, the wide-man had one of his quieter days as Stoke struggled to create. (5/10)

Attack

Mame Diouf: Often isolated up front, the big man tried to cause problems but was often let down by a poor touch. Inevitably replaced by Peter Crouch in the second half. (5/10)

Substitutes

Peter Crouch: The striker replaced Diouf up front with 20 minutes left. Tried hard to link up with his teammates better than his predecessor. (6/10)

Charlie Adam: Introduced with seven minutes remaining. Only notable contribution was winning a free kick which Stoke wasted. (5/10)



Aston Villa

Goal

Brad Guzan: Slightly troubled by a bouncing Bardsley effort in the first half, but was mostly untested after that. (6/10)

Defence

Aly Cissokho: Looked a far better prospect than he did while with Liverpool last season. Dealt with Bojan well and supported numerous attacks for his side. (7/10)

Ron Vlaar: Easy to see why the Dutchman has been touted as a solution to Manchester United's defensive problems with a solid display such as this. Such an important player for Villa with his superb blocking. (8/10)

Philippe Senderos: Tipped to fail by many, but made a good start alongside the solid Vlaar. Can he maintain this level of performance? (7/10)

Alan Hutton: Seemingly in from the cold, the Scot was okay if not spectacular for Villa. Nowhere near as threatening as Cissokho on the other flank. (6/10)

Midfield

Fabian Delph: Showed some nice passing, particular in his linking with Cissokho. Sometimes guilty of looking for the a more adventurous pass rather than the easier option. (6/10)

Ashley Westwood: Rightly booked for a poor tackle early on, hindering his ability to continue putting his foot in. Another who showed a decent range of passing. (6/10)

Charles N'Zogbia: Very disappointing upon his return to the lineup. Doesn't look to be half the player who shone for Wigan Athletic a few seasons ago and was correctly replaced. (4/10)

Kieran Richardson: Extremely positive debut by another of Villa's lambasted signings. Worked tirelessly down the right and showed some good creativity at times. (7/10)

Attack

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Should have scored following good work from Richardson. Didn't get another chance after that but worked as hard as usual. (6/10)

Andreas Weimann: Looked as if he'd missed his chance after taking a poor touch. Work the ball back well, however, drilling his finish into the corner to win the game for his side. (7/10)

Substitutes

Leandro Bacuna: Got involved in one Villa attack which saw him slice an effort over. (5/10)

Jack Grealish: Young midfielder came on for only his second appearance. Showed some nice touches and linked up well with Agbonlahor. (6/10)


 Andreas Weimann of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Aston Villa at Britannia Stadium on August 16, 2014
Read Next:
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