NBC on Yahoo Sports

Stoke City 0-1 Aston Villa: Weimann bags the winner for Villa

NBC on Yahoo Sports

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Aston Villa battled to a 1-0 away victory versus Stoke City on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium.

On the opening day of the campaign you could be forgiven for thinking it was fall, as the wind swirled around the pitch and both teams struggled to knock the ball around.

The only goal of the game came in the 50th minute, as Villa’s Austrian forward Andreas Weimann bundled his way through two challenges and then smashed an effort into the far corner to nag all three points for Paul Lambert’s side.

Bojan Krkic impressed for Stoke but the Potters failed to carve out any real chances throughout a closely-fought encounter, as Villa recorded their first away win in the Premier League since January 1, 2014.

Hefty challenges crashed in early on from both sides as this Midlands derby took no prisoners. Villa pressed high up the pitch and Aly Cissokho whipped in some dangerous deliveries from the left flank which the Potters were forced to deal with. Stoke showed little promise going forward and Villa looked more dangerous with Gabriel Agbonlahor’s pace causing Stoke’s back four plenty of problems. Agbonlahor should have scored after Kieran Richardson nicked the ball off of Asmir Begovic and played it across to Villa’s striker but some brave last-ditch defending saved the day for Stoke.

In the swirling wind in Stoke, both teams struggled to get their foot on the  ball in an even first half.

After the break Villa didn’t waste any time going in front as Weimann found the ball on the right side of the box, settled the ball and then drove his effort towards the bottom corner. The Austrian’s shot had too much power on it for Begovic to handle and it slammed into the net to put the visitors ahead.

Villa pushed for the second goal as they were well on top. Captain Ron Vlaar headed just over when under pressure as Stoke struggled to get anything going in attack. Peter Crouch was brought off the bench for the final 20 minutes and his flick on played in Marko Arnautovic but the Austrian dragged his effort wide.

Despite Bojan getting on the ball and trying to break Villa;s stubborn defense down, the Birmingham-based club held on to get their season off and running.

-- Joe Prince-Wright, ProSoccerTalk.com

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Bilic vows not to sell Payet on the cheap

      Bilic vows not to sell Payet on the cheap

      (Reuters) - Manager Slaven Bilic kept his cards close to his chest but insisted West Ham United will not be pressured into selling unsettled midfielder Dimitri Payet for a cut-price fee. Bilic went public about Payet's desire to leave West Ham last … More »

      Reuters - 52 minutes ago
    • Bilic vows not to sell Payet on the cheap

      Bilic vows not to sell Payet on the cheap

      (Reuters) - Manager Slaven Bilic kept his cards close to his chest but insisted West Ham United will not be pressured into selling unsettled midfielder Dimitri Payet for a cut-price fee. Bilic went public about Payet's desire to leave West Ham last … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
    • Bayern look to tighten grip on fifth straight title

      Bayern look to tighten grip on fifth straight title

      Bayern Munich travel to Freiburg on Friday as the Bundesliga leaders, but the champions know they must kick it up a notch following the winter break if they are to earn a record-extending fifth straight title. Bayern secured top spot going into the … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
    • UEFA president says travel tricky for fans at Euro 2020

      UEFA president says travel tricky for fans at Euro 2020

      Soccer fans will face ''a challenge'' when traveling between games at the continent-wide 2020 European Championship, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Thursday. The tournament will be held in 13 cities across Europe to mark its 60th … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
    • Arsenal extend Mertesacker's contract as defender nears return

      Arsenal extend Mertesacker's contract as defender nears return

      (Reuters) - Arsenal have triggered an option to extend Per Mertesacker's contract despite the centre back not playing a single game for the club so far this season due to a knee problem, manager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday. The 32-year-old … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 37 minutes ago