Left it late to prove fitness after suffering from an infection whilst on international duty with Denmark, but had to be at full stretch to turn away a dangerous Albrighton cross at his near post and then again to deny Collins and Downing before the break. Could have done little about the opening goal.
Couldn't cope with the pace and trickery of Albrighton in the first half, and it was from his flank that Agbonlahor launched the cross for Downing's diving header. Every Villa wide man had a go at him throughout, and for good reason.
Has to fight the urge to hoof it long at any opportunity if he is ever to fulfil his manager's ambition of captaining his country. Nearly allowed Reo-Coker to slip through on goal following miscommunication with Sorensen.
Match winner with the last act of the game. The German defender made an excellent tackle as Warnock looked to dink one in from the byline and did a better job of coping with Albrighton and Ashley Young than Collins did, but he left Downing free at the far post to head home.
His first contribution, a measured through ball to release Jones, was exactly what the Potters will want to see more of. Missed a couple of short passes, but looked solid on his debut before being replaced by Pennant.
Stoke's Mr Steady. The former Sunderland man can often appear anonymous, but it's to his credit that he does his job with the minimum of fuss, although he allowed Petrov too much time on the ball too often.
Kept Luke Young largely on the back foot, and was a reliable out ball for his team-mates on the counter. Delivered some quality crosses from dead ball situations and put in the assists for both goals.
Belied his 'limited' tag with an early burst into the box and followed it with some deft dribbling that had Warnock on the floor, but less effective when moved into the middle to accommodate Pennant and replaced by Whelan.
Clever link-up play in the opening minutes but should have scored when one-on-one with his first chance of the game. His height and aerial prowess made him a menace in the air, and he finally made it pay off with the equaliser.
A surprise starter playing in behind Jones, and the Irishman had a good start, linking well with his big partner. Replaced by Fuller after fading in the second half.
Denied Jones with a superb stop when the big man was one-on-one, but looked troubled from a second half Delap throw. Came off his line to bravely block Walters and made a terrific near post save from Fuller.
Dealt well with long throws, but struggled against the pace and power of Jones at times, and was a bystander as the big Trinidadian leapt for the equaliser.
Was the first man into the book with a needlessly late challenge and looked ill at ease up against Delap in the first half, but ably supported his side going forward as they took the ascendancy.
Very fortunate not to have conceded a penalty after handling from a throw-in and should have scored from close range but smacked his shot straight into Sorensen.
Held up Etherington when the former West Ham winger looked like breaking through on goal in the opening exchanges and kept Albrighton covered, but was largely a defensive presence with Etherington menacing down his flank.
He and Reo-Coker sat back and allowed Stoke onto them in the early stages, but his presence forced the play to the outside. The base of almost every Villa move.
Struggled against Jones when Stoke played the long ball, but pressed with typical boundless energy and supported attacks whenever the opportunity arose.
His diving header for the opener was one that a world-class striker might treasure; perfectly angled and with just the right amount of power to swing beyond Sorensen. Combined with Petrov to help Villa retain possession in the second half.
Wasn't quite on the same wavelength as Agbonlahor and missed a free header with the goal gaping. Nearly hit lucky as his rolled cross came close to slipping in at the far post prior to the break. A threat throughout.
Tricky. The 20-year-old had Danny Collins twisting and turning early doors and looked lively and dangerous whenever he had the ball, but he was quiet in the second half.
Interchanged with Ashley Young to great effect, dropping away from the centre-backs and finding space for crosses. Peeled away and delivered a perfect cross for the opener and should have had a second assist had his England team-mate not nodded wide. Replaced by Heskey late on as Stoke cottoned onto his pace.
- 1 A. Begović
- 3 D. Higginbotham
- 28 A. Wilkinson
A wild free-kick from way out was his only contribution to the game as he came on late.
First real contribution was to prevent Downing from delivering a cross, which showed the sort of industry that Tony Pulis expects of all of his players. His pace and crossing ability could be a real boost to a side featuring several aerial threats.
- 7 E. Guðjohnsen
Clever reverse ball freed Etherington down the left to set up the equaliser, and his dribbling confused the Villa backline. Came close with a thumping left-footed effort that Friedel palmed wide.