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STOKE CITY v ASTON VILLA RECAP: Arnautovic brace sees Potters past struggling Villa

Stoke City moved into eighth place on the Premier League ladder with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Marko Arnautovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot shortly after half-time, following a foul by Ashley Westwood on Phil Beardsley in the box.

The Austrian found the back of the net for a second time just five minutes later, chesting in his own looping header from close range.

Leandro Bacuna managed to get a goal back for the visitors with 11 minutes remaining, but that was the only moment of joy for Villa, who remain entrenched in the relegation zone.


Stoke City: 2 (Marko Arnautovic (PEN) 51'/56')
Aston Villa: 1 (Leandro Bacuna 79')
Britannia Stadium, Stoke on Trent (27,703)


Stoke now have back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Villa, after losing their three matches prior to that. The Potters remain well and truly in the hunt for a Europa League spot, with only five points separating them and fifth-placed Manchester United.

Villa went the entire 90 minutes without winning a corner for the second week running, which is a damning indictment on their lack of potency in the attacking third.


Stoke host Newcastle United at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday, while Aston Villa are home to Everton on Tuesday.



Stoke boss Mark Hughes was pleased with his side's second half performance:

"We needed to be a little more dynamic in the second half and we were. At 2-0 we were quite comfortable and cruising to a conclusion… Every time we have had a little blip we have bounced back very quickly and we have done that today."

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde bemoaned his side's lack of quality:

"The first 45 minutes we were OK and defended well. We tried to do our best but we started the second half too poorly and when you are 2-0 down it is over. When you are bottom of the table it is difficult to play with full confidence. The fans were behind the team. We don't have enough quality properly."

*Thanks to Opta

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