Robert Huth snatched an injury-time winner as Stoke came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium and get their season off and running.
Club-record signing Kenwyne Jones had earlier marked his home debut with an equaliser to Stewart Downing's 35th-minute header on an emotional night for City.
Manager Tony Pulis missed the first half after the death of his mother earlier in the day but returned after the interval, while new Villa boss Gerard Houllier was absent due to his commitments with the French Football Federation.
Villa took the lead as Gabriel Agbonlahor's 35th-minute curling left-footed cross to the far post caught Huth in two minds and he chose the wrong option as he stepped towards the ball only to see it sail over him. Downing timed his run and dive to perfection, planting a low curling header past Thomas Sorensen and in off the right post.
In the 80th minute Ricardo Fuller combined with Matthew Etherington on the left of the penalty area and the winger sent over the ideal cross for Jones to head home.
Deep into three minutes of injury-time Jermaine Pennant's free-kick dropped to Etherington and his shot was deflected in by Huth to secure the home side's first win of the season.