Late Jonathan Kodjia strike earns Aston Villa a draw

Jonathan Kodjia came to Aston Villa’s rescue to salvage a point in a 2-2 Sky Bet Championship home draw with Stoke.

Stoke twice took the lead but Kodjia demonstrated his value by winning a penalty and then notching the equaliser.

Joe Allen, who impressed for Stoke, opened the scoring two minutes into the second half and Benik Afobe hit the other from the penalty spot  13 minutes from time for the Potters.

But it was Kodjia who saved Villa to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Aston Villa missed Jack Grealish in midfield but it did not limit their attacking options with Scotland international John McGinn making an immediate impression.

Allen went close to giving Stoke an early lead but his close-range effort went into the side netting.

The Potters were clearly the more dangerous attacking unit and Orjan Nyland had to show great agility to keep out a goalbound shot from Cuco Martina.

Villa were kept in check and Tammy Abraham, who had scored eight goals in seven games, was closely shackled by Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland had to be on his toes to flip a free-kick from Conor Hourihane over the crossbar.

Axel Tuanzebe then failed to make clean contact with a header from Glenn Whelan’s left-wing corner.

But two minutes into the second half, Stoke caught Villa cold.

James McLean robbed Alan Hutton before sending over a cross which found the unmarked Allen to rifle past Orjan Nyland.

Kodjia was then introduced in the 66th minute and did not need long to make and impact as he was brought down in the box by Erik Peters and Abraham stepped up to convert the spot kick  in the 72nd minute.

Stoke regained the lead five minutes later when Ahamed Elmohamady needlessly tripped McLean and Afobe made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Kodjia then rescued a point when he deftly headed home a right-wing cross from Yannick Bolasie six minutes from time.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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