Andreas Weimann's flash of inspiration against Stoke wasted by Aston Villa

Aston Villa 1 Stoke City 1

Villa Park

Aston Villa edged seven points clear of the relegation zone last night yet it felt like two points dropped rather than one gained. Andreas Weimann, the 20-year-old Austrian, looked set to add another winner to his last-gasp goal against Fulham with a sublime finish but Robert Huth's equaliser for Stoke ensured Villa's 14th draw, the Premier League's highest total.

Huth's header was the 21st goal Alex McLeish's side have leaked from dead-ball deliveries during another campaign of underachievement, and the 20th Stoke have scored in such circumstances out of a total of only 32. Perhaps the impasse should not have been surprising, given that Villa's run is now only two wins in 13 games and that Stoke have just three over an identical period. Both clubs, however, can point to mitigating circumstances. This was Stoke's 51st match of a sapping season, 15 more than Villa, who have been severely depleted by illness and injury.

McLeish was disappointed another home fixture had gone by without a win and all the more so because he felt Stoke's goal should have been disallowed. "Huth had both hands on [James] Collins' shoulders so he couldn't get off the ground," the Villa manager said. "I also thought it was one of the softest free-kick awards I've seen all season."


Chief among the positives the Scot argued that Villa must accentuate was Weimann's goal. "It was a fantastic strike, truly inspirational," McLeish said. "It came out of nothing and he just manoeuvred himself into position for the curler. He's a great young prospect. Some players are great goalscorers, others are scorers of great goals. Andy showed he can be both."

His opposite number, Tony Pulis, also pronounced himself frustrated, claiming a late "winner" by Ryan Shawcross should have stood. The referee judged that Jermaine Pennant's corner kick had already drifted out of play. The Stoke manager added: "We lack a lot of things but one thing you can't criticise is our commitment. We've got six games left and our responsibility is to get as many points as possible, for ourselves and for the Coates family [Stoke's owners]."

A dull opening was enlivened by the applause that broke out in the 19th minute for Stiliyan Petrov – Villa's No 19 having begun his treatment for acute leukaemia – but neither team had established ascendancy before the hosts struck shortly after the half-hour.

As they built along their left, Stephen Warnock's short pass to Weimann found him working a sharp one-two with Stephen Ireland before shaping his body to lift an exquisite shot over Begovic from the edge of the 18-yard area.

As the younger, less physically imposing side, Villa inevitably found themselves on the back foot in the second half. Collins managed to get his head to most of Rory Delap's long throws, although the sight of Peter Crouch on the sidelines was a reminder of what Pulis had in reserve.

Agbonlahor's pace promised to earn Villa the breathing space of a 2-0 lead shortly before the hour mark. Burning off his marker in pursuit of a deftly volleyed through-ball by Barry Bannan, he slotted the ball past Begovic only to see it end up near the corner flag; the finish of a striker who has not scored in 17 Premier League matches.

Stoke deservedly levelled when Huth powered in Pennant's dubiously won free-kick, with Villa's woes compounded by injuries to Warnock (ankle) and Chris Herd (concussion). Pulis suggested Villa had "winnable" games remaining, although Sunday takes them to Manchester United.

Match facts



Scorers. Villa: Weimann 32. Stoke: Huth 71

Substitutes: Aston Villa Gardner 4 (Warnock, 59), N'Zogbia (Bannan, 74), Heskey (Herd, 88). Stoke Pennant 6 (Etherington, 62), Crouch 5 (Jones, 62), Fuller (Delap, 81).

Booked: Aston Villa Warnock, Lichaj, Collins. Stoke none.Man of the match Weimann. Match rating 6/10. Possession: Aston Villa 48% Stoke 52%.

Attempts on target: Aston Villa 3 Stoke 3.

Referee M Dean (Wirral). Attendance 30,100.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot