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  • Aston Villa 1-0 Stoke City: Carew winning scores

    Super-sub John Carew's second half header was enough for Aston Villa to earn a 1-0 win over Stoke at Villa Park and record their fourth straight Premier League victory.

    Martin O'Neill's in-form side improved their Champions League prospects with a hard-fought win over a Stoke team that will feel hard-done-by after they had a goal disallowed in the first half.

    Carew's header just after the hour mark relieved the frustration inside Villa Park, evidenced by the Norwegian striker knocking the corner flag straight into the crowd in celebration - narrowly missing a steward and several fans in the process.

    The visitors proved a tough nut to crack and started the brighter of the two sides. Despite the absence of Rory Delap from their line-up, they caused Villa problems with Mamady Sidibe winning his fair share of headers in and around the box.

    It was the hosts though that created the first real chance of the match after 16 minutes: former Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen had to be at his best to make a smart double save from Stiliyan Petrov and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

    Petrov's initial effort was parried by Sorensen, who then reacted with haste to stretch out an arm and block Agbonlahor's instant close-range follow-up.

    It was another 16 minutes before a further chance of note came along - and when it arrived it was shrouded in controversy, referee Lee Probert disallowing what appeared to be a perfectly good goal.



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