John Carew came off the substitute's bench to keep Aston Villa's Champions League push on target with a second-half winner to give them a 1-0 victory over battling Stoke at Villa Park.
The Norway international struck his fourth Barclays Premier League goal of the campaign after replacing the injured Emile Heskey midway through the first period.
It secured a fourth successive win for Martin O'Neill's side and completed a rewarding week after away wins over Manchester United and Sunderland.
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