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Gallery: Images from Stoke clash

The Boss: Garde on Stoke loss, lack of attacking power and battling on AVTV HD: Bacuna/Garde verdicts
Gallery: Images from Stoke clash

There was definite improvement from Villa here at the Britannia Stadium but not enough as we were defeated 2-1 by Stoke City.

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We were beaten 6-0 at home to Liverpool in the previous game and there was hope of a good result here with the scores tied at the break, following a resolute first 45 minutes from Rémi Garde's men.

But as Garde said in his post-match press briefing, the claret and blues fragility came to the fore in the first 15 minutes of the second half as the Potters took advantage of low confidence levels.

Marko Arnautovic's double just after the break ultimately gave the hosts the points.

The Austrian opened the scoring with a penalty after Ashley Westwood brought down former Villa loanee Phil Bardsley.

Arnautovic then set up his second with a looping header which he then chested in.

Leandro Bacuna scored a late goal for us on 79 minutes, smashing home after sub Rudy Gestede played the ball into the midfielder's path.

But it was too little too late as Garde's side couldn't find that all-important leveller here in Staffordshire.

Villa remain eight points from safety - Stoke's second victory in succession moves them up to eighth.

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By @AVFCOfficial 27th February 2016
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