skip to content
Dean Whitehead gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Walker. Free kick taken by Ashley Young.
Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Kenwyne Jones goes off and Salif Diao comes on. Ashley Young takes the free kick.
Centre by Marc Albrighton, Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.
Marc Albrighton concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermaine Pennant. Asmir Begovic goes into the book. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ashley Young.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Ricardo Fuller. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
The official flags Ricardo Fuller offside. James Collins takes the indirect free kick.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is brought on as a substitute for Emile Heskey.
Emile Heskey concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Huth. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Ashley Young delivers the ball, save made by Asmir Begovic.
The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker.
Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Glenn Whelan, free kick awarded. Ricardo Fuller is brought on as a substitute for Rory Delap. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.
Shot from close range by Emile Heskey misses to the right of the target. (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Dean Whitehead coming on for Matthew Etherington.
Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line. A cross is delivered by Ashley Young.
Corner from right by-line taken by Ashley Young.
Marc Albrighton replaces Stewart Downing.
Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington.
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth. Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line played to the near post. Caution for Glenn Whelan. Corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, save made by Asmir Begovic.
Jermaine Pennant is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Richard Dunne. Glenn Whelan fouled by Emile Heskey, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington.
The referee blows for offside against Darren Bent. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
The ball is crossed by Kyle Walker, clearance by Marc Wilson.
Stewart Downing gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kenwyne Jones. Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
Marc Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Stewart Downing. The referee shows Marc Wilson a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Ryan Shawcross. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
Stewart Downing sends in a cross, clearance by Andy Wilkinson. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Young.
Robert Huth has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
Darren Bent scores a headed goal from just inside the area. Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke.Kyle Walker provided the assist for the goal.
The ball is sent over by Kyle Walker, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.
The referee blows for offside. James Collins takes the indirect free kick.
Unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
Glenn Whelan fouled by Stiliyan Petrov, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rory Delap.
Stewart Downing produces a cross, Robert Huth makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by James Collins on Kenwyne Jones. Direct free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
The ball is crossed by Kyle Walker, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Emile Heskey misses to the left of the goal.
Luke Young has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
Glenn Whelan concedes a free kick for a foul on Nigel Reo-Coker. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Walters on Stiliyan Petrov. Direct free kick taken by Stiliyan Petrov.
Glenn Whelan is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
Foul by Rory Delap on Darren Bent, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Young.
Kenwyne Jones scores a headed goal from close in. Aston Villa 0-1 Stoke.Rory Delap provided the assist for the goal.
Luke Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Stiliyan Petrov manages to make a clearance.
Marc Wilson challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stiliyan Petrov.
Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington. Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington. Corner taken by Jermaine Pennant.
Ashley Young challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jermaine Pennant restarts play with the free kick.
Shot from just outside the box by Stewart Downing misses to the left of the goal.
Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Rory Delap, the ref awards a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Luke Young, Marc Wilson makes a clearance.
McAllister eyes up eighth in table
Aston Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister believes finishing eighth in the Premier League is a realistic target.
McAllister - in charge while boss Gerard Houllier recovers in hospital after suffering chest pains - said he was not looking at the run-in as a potential relegation scrap.
Instead he is confident that 10th-placed Villa can finish the season on a high and give a boost to Houllier - starting with the home clash with Stoke.
McAllister said: "There are 15 points to play for, places in the Premier League up for grabs. We want to finish as high as we can.
"We've got to try and get a nice boost for the manager and keep this run going."
Tony Pulis' side will arrive at Villa Park also looking over their shoulder at the relegation fight.
But McAllister insisted Villa were only looking upwards.
He said: "We are not necessarily looking at it from the perspective of looking to get points for safety.
"We are looking to get as many points as we can. Whether we can get to eighth position I don't know, but that is a realistic target."
McAllister is confident he has sufficient back-up support should he remain at the helm following the Stoke match.
"We've only looked at this game. We've got plenty of resources here," he said.
"I've got Gordon Cowans (first team coach) and Rafa Gonzalez (goalkeeping coach).
"I can lean on Kevin MacDonald (reserve team coach) who has stepped into this position before as well Tony McAndrew (youth team coach). There are plenty of people for me to lean on."
Villa will be at full strength for the match with midfielder Fabian Delph having recovered from a groin injury.
Meanwhile, Stoke boss Tony Pulis has described Villa as "one of the great under-achievers this year" and claimed they are still coming to terms with the departure of Martin O'Neill.
O'Neill quit the Villa Park hot-seat on the eve of the season and neither caretaker manager McDonald nor the Northern Irishman's permanent successor Houllier have managed to achieve consistently good results with a highly-talented squad.
Villa do, at least, appear safe from relegation following last weekend's victory at West Ham but Pulis believes they should have done better.
He said: "They are one of the great under-achievers this year.
"Martin O'Neill is one of the top managers in this country and for someone to take over from Martin was always going to be difficult. They are big shoes to fill.
"And with Gerard Houllier being out of the game for a while it was always going to be a slow transition and it has taken them a bit of time to get going.
"I am sure they will be better next year, they are a great football club.
"There are clubs that are at a level above us at the moment and Villa are one of them but we will try to go there and win."
Pulis can choose from a full-strength squad for the short trip down the M6 and he admitted confidence was high.
"You can't knock them down with a bus at the moment. Everyone's flying," he said.
His only real selection poser comes in goal with Asmir Begovic pushing to replace Thomas Sorensen, who has played predominantly in the cup competitions this season.
Bent resuces Villa
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent repaid another slice of the faith shown in him by absent manager Gerard Houllier to rescue a point against Stoke in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
Houllier, who is recovering from chest pains in hospital, paid Sunderland an initial #18 million for Bent in January and here he scored his seventh goal in 12 games for Villa.
That cancelled out the opening goal from another former Black Cats forward in Stoke's Kenwyne Jones.
Villa have now taken eight points from the last four games to virtually ensure another season of top-flight football.
But FA Cup finalists Stoke would have been happy with a share of the spoils after losing their seven previous away games.
Stoke looked the more dangerous side in the first half and Villa were indebted to another fine display from keeper Brad Friedel.
The home side dominated the second period territorially but seldom looked like breaching the Stoke rearguard.
Stoke were first to settle and twice came close to taking the lead.
A long throw from Rory Delap was flicked back by Jones to Robert Huth, whose fierce shot on the half-volley from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by Friedel.
Then Friedel produced a superb reflex save to keep out Jones' powerful header from a Matthew Etherington corner.
The Villa fans were becoming frustrated at the length of time Rory Delap was taking over his long throws.
But it was from one of them that Jones broke the deadlock after 20 minutes.
The Stoke striker climbed above the Villa defence to deflect his header past Friedel into the corner of the net.
It was 31 minutes before Villa created a semblance of a chance but Emile Heskey could not keep his header down from Kyle Walker's right-wing centre.
Bent appealed in vain for a penalty after claiming he was pushed by Huth when attacking a cross from Nigel Reo-Coker.
It was largely against the run of play that Bent brought Villa back on level terms with another display of his knack in front of goal.
Walker supplied the cross from the right and Bent's glancing header from 15 yards out beat the dive of Asmir Begovic, via the post, after he had got in front of Ryan Shawcross.
Villa tried to build up some momentum at the start of the second half but Stewart Downing was crowded out on the edge of the Stoke box.
Richard Dunne had the chance to test Begovic after the Stoke defence backed off.
But he tried instead to find Heskey with a deft pass and the opportunity went begging.
Marc Wilson became the first player to be yellow-carded after 56 minutes for a touch-line challenge on Downing.
Glenn Whelan followed him into referee Chris Foy's notebook seven minutes later for time-wasting.
Begovic was relieved to see a deflected shot from Downing fly wide after he had been wrong-footed.
Heskey then slid in at the near post to make contact with a low Nigel Reo-Coker centre but his effort went wide.
Stoke substitute Ricardo Fuller had the ball in the net from a Jones flick-on but had strayed marginally offside.
Stoke tried to wind down the clock in the closing stages and Begovic was booked for time-wasting.
The visitors ended the game with 10 men after using their three subs when Fuller was stretchered off with what looked like an Achilles injury.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk