A first goal of the season from Albert Adomah secured a point for Aston Villa against Stoke this afternoon. Here’s five talking points from the game at the Bet365 Stadium.
Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)

Albert Adomah’s side-footed strike meant Aston Villa walked away from the Bet365 stadium. Here’s five talking points from the game:

Possession game starting to bear fruit

For the first time in a while Villa had substantially more possession than their opponents. Dean Smith’s side completed nearly 200 more passes than the Potters and the 4-4-2 system allowed a faster transition from defence to attack. Conor Hourihane, who had a 90% pass accuracy, was crucial to this. 

A mixed bag from Jed Steer

It seems Steer is the latest victim of this seasons goalkeepers curse. Sam Clucas’ low cross was diverted goal-ward and the 26-year-old couldn’t get a strong enough right hand to the ball to stop it going in. Apart from the goal, Steer had a good game in terms of distribution and is usually a reliable choice between the sticks.

Are you Bolt in disguise?

Tony Daley, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Adama Traore. Villa have had their fair share of pacey players in the past, and today Anwar El Ghazi showed why he deserves to be added to that list. The Dutchman blistered past two Stoke players before cutting the ball back to Adomah for Villas equaliser. If only El Ghazi showed a bit more consistency to his game.

Is Jonathan Kodjia better off the bench?

Kodjia has scored some important goals for the Pride this campaign. However, the Ivorian struggled to get into the game today and had to drop very deep to collect the ball at times. At the moment it looks like he’s more use to Smith off the bench especially when games are stretched with Villa looking for someone to hold the ball up. 

A upturn in away fortunes 

A point away to Stoke is no mean feat, but Adomah’s leveller was Villa’s first on their travels since the turn of the year. Its the first time we’ve deserved all three points away from home in 2019 too. It’s no coincidence this has coincided with us taking the game to our opponents rather than sitting back and waiting for them to attack. Our next away game? Birmingham City. Perfect.

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