Villa watch the playoff spots inch away one draw at a time as Villa turn in their 15th draw of the campaign - this time a 1-1 stalemate at Stoke City. Frustrations continue to mount as Villa dominated the proceedings but failed to find the winning goal in the second half.
The afternoon started poorly for the visitors. Just three minutes in Alan Hutton went down with a knee injury and limped off the pitch. In the ensuing moments, Stoke City took advantage of a 10-man Villa with Sam Clucas attacking the space vacated by Hutton and laying a cross for Sam Vokes to clip into goal. Jed Steer got a hand to the ball, but the momentum of the shot carried the ball slowly across the line as almost as soon as it started, Villa found themselves down a goal.
Villa responded reasonably well and worked their way back into the match. Villa’s attack stepped up and dominated possession. But while racked up possession, they continued to struggle to deliver the end product in the final third. El Ghazi sent a gilded opportunity over the bar in the 39th minute and the Stoke defenders held off some decent crosses in their own box. But despite the dominance, Villa found themselves with nothing to show for their efforts. Genuine frustration started to show as Villa headed to the locker room down 1-0 at the half.
Villa came out the brighter of the two sides and we’re rewarded with a goal of the season candidate in the 62nd minute. El Ghazi took off on a run from inside his own half down the left and raced away from the Stoke defense. His cutback from the wing to Kodjia missed its mark but Albert Adomah ran onto it and smashed his shot into the lower right corner to tie the game.
Villa stayed on top throughout the second half with Stoke doing very little to challenge the Villa goal. A second goal from the hosts never looked like it was coming and Villa set out to take all three points. But Stoke held.
Conor Hourihane sent a dangerous free kick just over the bar in the 84th minute. Tyrone Mings’s running header in extra time was tapped over the bar by Jack Butland and Villa failed to set another shot on goal as the final whistle blew.
Villa, now 11th and nine points off the playoff spots, host promotion rivals Derby County at Villa Park next Saturday.