Normally a cool customer between the sticks, the Bosnian almost cost his side a first-half goal after rushing off of his line to meet Richardson. Could have done better with the goal and will be disappointed to concede in the opening game.
Made a crucial clearance in the first half after a wicked ball came into the Potters’ box, but otherwise didn’t make a huge impact on the game. Struggled to get forward due to Arnautovic’s presence, which forced most of Stoke’s attacks down the right flank.
Comfortable alongside Shawcross, the Irishman wasn’t caused too many problems by Villa’s forwards in the first half. He kept things simple when needed and cleared a number of crosses, the majority coming from Villa’s left-hand side. As they game went on, he was exposed to the pace of Villa’s forwards and couldn’t stop Weimann from scoring at close range.
Full of running down the right as expected, the Scotsman exposed Cissokho positionally on more than one occasion, but struggled to provide any quality crosses for Diouf to attack. Carved out the chance of the first half after cutting in and bending a shot towards the far corner, only for Guzan to get down and save well. Not quite as convincing defensively but a decent debut for the former Sunderland man.
Looked calm and assured at the back for Stoke, proving his aerial dominance over Agbonlahor from the kick-off. Didn’t clear the ball to prevent the goal which ultimately cost Stoke the game.
A very quiet opening game from the Irishman. Lacked the bite and physicality to break up Villa’s counter-attacks. Whilst he played a part in Stoke’s maintaining of possession, he failed to produce any positive moves or influence the Potters search for an equaliser.
Hurtled into a few early challenges and did well in the first-half to get his side passing the ball. Played a stunning pass on 60 minutes into the path of Bardsley and powered forward on a few occasions, but otherwise couldn’t make the impact required to salvage something for his team.
Looked to link up with Bojan, Arnautovic and Diouf but struggled to provide any genuine creativity for his team. His neat passing wasn’t enough against the energy and industry of Villa’s midfield.
As you’d expect, his touch was exquisite and he found space at will. Showed off his passing ability with some wonderful through-balls early on but struggled to get any testing shots away. Dropped deep to collect the ball when perhaps he would have been more effective in and around the box. Faded as the game progressed and was denied a debut goal by a phenomenal block from Ron Vlaar.
A disappointing debut from the forward but you have to feel for the new boy - he was left completely isolated for the majority of the game, with no midfield runners supporting him. Outmuscled by Vlaar and Senderos and often lacking the touch or pace in attack, the striker was replaced by Crouch after 70 minutes.
Like Ireland, the Austrian failed to make any real impact on the game. His delivery was decent but there was a criminal lack of numbers in the box at times. We’ve seen him produce skilful and exciting displays in the past, but today he lacked the speed and imagination to force a goal for the home side.
Made smart saves from Bardsley in the first half but was otherwise untested. Aside from poor distribution, the American looked comfortable and will be pleased with his clean sheet.
Couldn’t influence the game going forward but looked strong and quick in defence. His energy and commitment nullified the threat of Pieters and Arnautovic down the right flank. A promising return for the Scot.
Showed his strength and power in the first half after winning a number of one-on-one battles with Bojan and Bardsley. Whilst positionally poor at times, the former Liverpool man looked eager to get forward and whipped in a few teasing crosses. A positive performance from the Frenchman.
Looked at home next to Vlaar and, whilst not as eye-catching as his Dutch colleague, the Swiss defender repelled most of Stoke’s crosses and made light work of Diouf’s attacking threat.
A decent debut for the former Fulham player, who showed fantastic impetus and drive to win the ball from Begovic and set up Agbonlahor for what should have been Villa’s opening goal. His pace was essential to the away side’s counter attacks and he can be pleased with his contribution today.
A man-mountain at the heart of the Villa defence. The World Cup star proved how valuable he is to Paul Lambert’s side. Whilst he was aerially dominant and physically superior to Diouf, it was his last-ditch block against Bojan that fully displayed his strengths as a defender.
Whilst he can be accused of carelessness with his passing, the former Leeds man was full of running and energy, flying into tackles and nullifying the threat of Stoke’s attacking midfielders.
The quietest of Villa’s attacking midfielders, the ex-Wigan player provided a strong outlet for his side when breaking with pace. He lacked the quality to carve out any chances of value but tested the Potters’ back line with his speed. Replaced by Grealish after 70 minutes.
Quiet at times but vital to Villa’s efforts today. Strong in the tackle, quick around midfield, the 24-year-old set the tempo for his side’s constant pressing and rapid counter-attacking style.
A typically energetic performance from Weimann, whose goal was the difference after 90 minutes. As part of the rapid counter-attacking Villa side, he provided width and pace going forward. Struck the ball well to bag the goal and ran himself into the ground to secure the win for his side.
As you’d expect, his pace was a constant problem for the Potters back line, but he will rue the open-goal miss that could have given his side an earlier lead. Struggled in the air against Shawcross but offered enough pace going forward to justify his selection.