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Unfair challenge on Joe Bennett by Steven Nzonzi results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Bennett.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Bennett by Ryan Shawcross. Joe Bennett takes the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Joe Bennett by Michael Kightly results in a free kick. Ron Vlaar takes the direct free kick.
Charlie Adam concedes a free kick for a foul on Charles N'Zogbia. Charlie Adam booked. Ron Vlaar restarts play with the free kick.
Christian Benteke scores a goal from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-3 Aston Villa.
Goal scored by Matthew Lowton from outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-2 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Charles N'Zogbia.
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia, Charlie Adam makes a clearance.
Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
(Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Darren Bent coming on for Andreas Weimann.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Lowton on Charlie Adam. Strike comes in from Cameron Jerome from the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Kenwyne Jones by Ashley Westwood results in a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia is brought on as a substitute for Jordan Bowery. Direct free kick taken by Geoff Cameron.
Michael Kightly gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-1 Aston Villa.Assist on the goal came from Charlie Adam.
Foul by Robert Huth on Bradley Guzan, free kick awarded. Ryan Shotton leaves the field to be replaced by Charlie Adam. Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.
Gabriel Agbonlahor goes off and Yacouba Sylla comes on.
Shot by Kenwyne Jones. Blocked by Nathan Baker.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome by Matthew Lowton. Direct free kick taken by Dean Whitehead.
Unfair challenge on Andreas Weimann by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. Ryan Shawcross receives a yellow card. Ashley Westwood crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Asmir Begovic.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shotton on Christian Benteke. Ryan Shotton shown a yellow card. The ball is crossed by Ashley Westwood, Jordan Bowery takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Robert Huth. Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.
Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Andreas Weimann, free kick awarded. Joe Bennett takes the direct free kick, The ball is delivered by Geoff Cameron.
Fabian Delph fouled by Steven Nzonzi, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.
Centre by Cameron Jerome, save by Bradley Guzan.
Ryan Shawcross challenges Ashley Westwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Fabian Delph from own half, save by Asmir Begovic.
Andreas Weimann is caught offside. Asmir Begovic takes the indirect free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Walters on Fabian Delph. Cameron Jerome replaces Marc Wilson. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Westwood from own half, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.
Unfair challenge on Ryan Shotton by Christian Benteke results in a free kick. Geoff Cameron takes the free kick.
Andreas Weimann sends in a cross.
Jordan Bowery takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
Michael Kightly joins the action as a substitute, replacing Matthew Etherington.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christian Benteke by Ryan Shawcross. Joe Bennett takes the direct free kick.
The ball is swung over by Marc Wilson, Nathan Baker makes a clearance.
Dean Whitehead has an effort at goal. Ron Vlaar gets a block in.
Dean Whitehead challenges Ashley Westwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ron Vlaar.
Kenwyne Jones is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Ron Vlaar takes the free kick.
Foul by Christian Benteke on Robert Huth, free kick awarded. Ryan Shawcross restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Ryan Shotton, Bradley Guzan makes a save.
Joe Bennett challenges Jonathan Walters unfairly and gives away a free kick. Centre by Dean Whitehead, Header from deep inside the area by Ryan Shawcross goes over the bar.
Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Asmir Begovic, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Gabriel Agbonlahor goes into the referee's book for dissent.
The ball is sent over by Ryan Shotton, save made by Bradley Guzan.
Christian Benteke challenges Ryan Shotton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Geoff Cameron.
Ashley Westwood concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
The ball is swung over by Ryan Shotton, save by Bradley Guzan.
Effort from just inside the area by Andreas Weimann hits the post.
Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Geoff Cameron. Free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.
Geoff Cameron gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Jonathan Walters. Geoff Cameron restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, Ron Vlaar makes a clearance.
Effort from the edge of the area by Gabriel Agbonlahor goes wide of the left-hand post.
The official flags Christian Benteke offside. Ryan Shawcross takes the indirect free kick.
The ball is delivered by Joe Bennett, Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the left by-line, Christian Benteke takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
Effort from 20 yards by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
Effort from the edge of the area by Jordan Bowery goes wide of the right-hand upright.
The ball is crossed by Matthew Lowton, Goal scored by Gabriel Agbonlahor from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Stoke 0-1 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Matthew Lowton.
The ball is swung over by Dean Whitehead, clearance by Nathan Baker.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Dean Whitehead played to the near post, clearance made by Joe Bennett.
Shot from deep inside the area by Kenwyne Jones goes over the bar.
Outswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the left by-line played to the near post.
Marc Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Fabian Delph. Direct free kick taken by Ron Vlaar.
Pulis not feeling the pressure
Stoke manager Tony Pulis is adamant he is not under pressure despite his club's slow slide into this season's relegation scrap.
Approaching seven years in charge of City, Pulis is facing increased flak from the fans following a miserable run that has seen them win just one of the last 15 matches in all competitions.
From a position of comparative safety after a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Boxing Day, the Potters have since taken just six points from a possible 36 in the Barclays Premier League.
Although still 13th in the top flight, City find themselves only four points above a relegation zone topped by Aston Villa who they face at the Britannia Stadium.
Another defeat would not only thrust Stoke firmly into the thick of the battle to beat the drop, but also place Pulis in the firing line with supporters who have become disenchanted with his management.
Asked if he felt under any pressure of late, Pulis replied: "No. If anything I'm working my socks off to make sure the players don't feel the pressure.
"We're at home this week, so we'll have the supporters behind us, and the players know if they put in a shift they will have the backing of 28,000 people really getting behind them."
But given the fickle nature of club chairmen up and down the country, with managers losing their jobs at an alarming rate this year, Pulis knows there is no guarantee for himself, even if Stoke stay up.
"You sometimes despair at what goes on, but then you should never be surprised at what happens in football," added Pulis.
"I've a great chairman (Peter Coates), this is a great football club, I've been here a long time, earned a lot of respect from everybody here, and I want to stay."
All Pulis demands from the fans is they get behind the players rather turning any anger on him.
"Our supporters have made the Britannia the place it is and I know they will carry on doing that because they love their club so much," said Pulis.
"What they think of me does not matter now. It's what they think of their team that counts."
Winger Matthew Etherington is Pulis' only injury doubt ahead of the game with a back and groin problem.
Meanwhile, Paul Lambert is backing Aston Villa's crop of youngsters to hold their nerve in the Barclays Premier League survival battle and believes the pressure is on Stoke.
Lambert has seen Villa climb put of the relegation zone on four previous occasions this season and takes heart from the performance levels and confidence shown by his players in recent weeks.
He said: "When you look at the table, from 11th place down only four points separate the teams down to us. That's nothing. It's basically just one game.
"Everybody has to play some really hard fixtures. It's how you hold your nerve. We try to keep the place upbeat and we don't look like a team that is playing with nerves.
"You have to have a strong mentality so the pressure doesn't get to you and see it through. If you do that, that's half the battle.
"I have not spoken about relegation or anything like that. I think that breeds negativity. Form gives you confidence and we are playing well enough to get results.
"The thing for me is that they are confident in having the ball. It is not as if they are frightened by it and just want to launch the ball up the field. They are certainly play with a bit of freedom."
Central defender Ciaran Clark remains Villa's biggest injury concern with the shoulder problem suffered on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Stoke 1-3 Aston Villa: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Lowton stunner helps Villa to win
A stunning late strike from Matthew Lowton and an injury-time Christian Benteke goal boosted Aston Villa's survival hopes 3-1 at the expense of free-falling Stoke.
The Potters had looked like slowing their recent slide as Michael Kightly cancelled out an early Gabriel Agbonlahor effort.
But Lowton hit an unstoppable 30-yard volley to restore Villa's lead after 87 minutes and Benteke made sure of the points in injury time.
The victory will give Villa, having started the game in the bottom three, a huge lift but a crisis is growing for the Potters.
Defeat left Pulis' men just one point above Villa and with only one win in 13 games.
Pulis had changed his attack in the hope of halting this alarming dip, dropping Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome to the bench and pairing Jon Walters and Kenwyne Jones up front.
Yet aside from the opening moments, it was not a change that appeared to work as Villa bossed the first half and should have had more than a 1-0 lead at the break.
It could have been different had the hosts been awarded the penalty they wanted after barely two minutes when Walters smashed the ball into Nathan Baker's arm from close range.
Referee Mark Clattenburg deemed the contact unintentional, much to Potters boss Tony Pulis' obvious disgust on the sidelines. Whether awarding a spot-kick or not might have been harsh on Baker, it was still a let-off for the defender, whose shaky start continued as Jones muscled past only to blaze over.
Stoke looked up for the fight at that point but their optimism was pierced after just nine minutes as Lowton and Jordan Bowery combined from a throw-in to cut through the home defence.
Lowton reached the byline all too easily and pulled back for Agbonlahor in front of goal and the striker rolled in at the second attempt after his initial effort was blocked.
The goal came against the run of play but it completely changed the game's momentum and Stoke had an escape when Robert Huth backed off and Bowery fired into the side-netting.
Benteke shot at Asmir Begovic as Villa maintained the pressure and he seized possession soon after to race clear and find Agbonlahor, who side-footed wide.
The anxiety among the home fans was obvious and alarm bells were ringing again when Andreas Weimann broke clear and struck the post with a low shot Begovic may have brushed with his fingertips.
Agbonlahor ran into more space after Stoke gave the ball away just before the half-hour but the striker took a heavy touch attempting to round Begovic and was booked after a theatrical late fall.
Stoke managed to toughen up before the break but created no meaningful opportunities and were booed off by a concerned crowd at half-time.
Those worries may have increased after the restart as Benteke managed to find Bowery but Begovic was not troubled by his long-range shot.
Bowery beat Marc Wilson to create another opportunity but failed to hit the target.
A badly misplaced pass by Wilson brought more boos but it soon became apparent the Republic of Ireland international was injured and he hobbled off.
Pulis took the opportunity to strengthen his attack but ignored the claims of former England pair Michael Owen and Crouch on the bench and sent on Jerome.
That brought a change of shape but it was some time before it started to yield greater end product as Villa continued to dominate play in an increasingly scrappy contest.
Jones eventually managed to find an opening but his powerful shot struck Baker on the side of the head and the Villa defender needed a moment to regain his composure.
Jones found space in front of goal after play restarted but fluffed his shot after being picked out by Jerome.
Stoke reverted to type in the hope of troubling Villa as a long Ryan Shotton throw gave Brad Guzan some concern but the goalkeeper was impeded.
Nevertheless, it was Stoke's best spell of the game and, with confidence growing, Walters raced away down the left.
He fed inside to Charlie Adam, who had been on the field just a matter of minutes, and he turn teed up half-time substitute Kightly to stab home.
The equaliser transformed the atmosphere and the crowd finally began to find their voice.
But it was not to last as Lowton dramatically swung the game back in Villa's favour with a superb volley three minutes from time.
The defender chested down an attempted clearance from a corner outside the box and fired back into the top corner.
Home hopes were deflated and as the game ran towards injury time, Benteke raced through and calmly stroked the ball past Begovic for the third.
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