English Premiership

Arnautovic goals sinks Villa

2015-10-03 19:04
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

Birmingham - Marko Arnautovic secured successive wins for under pressure Stoke boss Mark Hughes on Saturday with the only goal at fellow Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.

It maintained Hughes's winning record at Villa Park as the visitors also claimed their first Premier League away win since February.

Arnautovic had a goal disallowed but the Austrian forward got the winner 10 minutes after the break to give Stoke their second win after last week's success over Bournemouth to move to 14th with nine points from eight games.

The pressure is mounting on counterpart Tim Sherwood as jeers rang out around Villa Park following a sixth defeat in eight games that left them stuck in the relegation zone.

Villa made two changes to the team that lost 3-2 at Liverpool last weekend with Jose Angel Crespo and Jordan Veretout coming in for Jack Grealish and Carlos Sanchez, who were on the bench.

Midfielder Ashley Westwood made his 100th Premier League appearance for the Birmingham club.

Hughes brought on Senegalese forward Mame Biram Diouf, who scored the winning goal against Bournemouth, in place of injured Xherdan Shaqiri.

Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye fired wide with Villa's best chance of the first half.

Arnautovic thought he had scored after 34 minutes off a cross from Spanish forward Bojan Krkic, but was ruled offside.

But the Austrian made no mistake on 55 minutes when he picked up a Glen Johnson through ball.

Micah Richards headed wide immediately after as Villa desperately searched for the leveller.

Grealish replaced Joleon Lescott at the break but he failed to spark the side with Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland saving Rudy Gestede's low drive on 66 minutes -- the first time he was tested by the hosts.

As the clock ticket down, Gana Gueye smashed a free-kick into the wall in stoppage time as Villa matched their worst ever start to a top-flight season going back 19 years.

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