Stoke City came from 1-0 down to secure a 4-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park yesterday afternoon.
Goals from Peter Odemwingie, Peter Crouch and Steven N’Zonzi and Geoff Cameron cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opening strike as The Potters climb into the top half of the table and win bragging rights in the Midlands Derby.
Villa welcomed Ryan Bertrand back to the starting eleven after he sat out of the game against parent club Chelsea, whilst Stoke also make just one change as Wilson Palacios came in for the ineligible Stephen Ireland.
The hosts were in front inside just four minutes when the lethal partnership of Fabian Delph and Benteke combined and tore through the Stoke defence with the Belgian firing a rocket past Asmir Begovic from inside the area.
Cameron found space down the right and put in a cross for Odemwingie but the striker couldn’t reach to put a toe on the ball. But The Nigerian made up for it moments later when Crouch headed down into the box and Odemwingie fought off Brad Guzan and Bertrand to poke the ball into the net, for his fourth goal of the season.
Erik Pieters turned assistor less than three minutes later when his cross found Crouch in the box and the former Aston Villa man slotted his shot easily past Guzan to give Stoke the lead for the first time in the game with his ninth goal of the campaign.
Stoke had turned the game around in just four minutes and Villa looked desperate to find their way back, Gabriel Agbonlahor tried a shot from 20-yards that was always dipping but sailed wide.
The Potters looked like they had put the game beyond Villa just before half-time when Stoke passed the ball 13 times in the build-up before it broke to Arnautovic who tapped the ball off the heels of Nathan Baker and into the path of N’Zonzi who fired the ball easily past a deflated Guzan.
Benteke tried to claim a penalty in the opening stages of the second half, when he went down in the box, but received a yellow card for his efforts.
Odemwingie tried his luck from range, but his shot was parried by Guzan, who did well to keep the ball away from Crouch who was lurking for the rebound.
Arnautovic was played through on goal in the closing stages but the offside flag went up as he hit the ball off Guzan on the edge of the area.
The Austrian capped off a great day out for Stoke fans in the final minute of time when he put in a cross from the left for Cameron to run in on and strike beyond Guzan for Stoke's fourth of the game and his second of the season.
The Potters are now just one win off the magical 40 point mark and are all but guaranteed Premier League football for a seventh consecutive season.
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