Aston Villa 2-2 Stoke: Jonathan Kodjia strikes late to earn Dean Smith's side a point
Entertaining clash at Villa Park ends in a draw as Jonathan Kodjia strikes late for Aston Villa.
Last Updated: 15/12/18 7:37pm
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 73rd-minute penalty, scored by Tammy Abraham, 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 in the 84th minute 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 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 an impact as he was brought down in the box by Erik Peters and Abraham stepped up to convert the spot kick.
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.
Dean Smith: "Kodjia can feel disappointed he has not played since the Nottingham Forest game. I decided to rest him but he took his chance against Stoke by winning a penalty and then notching his header for the equaliser. We badly needed something to happen and that is why he was sent on because they had the lead.
"Although we had a lot of possession in the second half we were finding it difficult to create anything clear cut. They became a threat on the counter attack with the pace of Allen and (James) McClean and that is why we decided to take off (Anwar) El Ghazi and send on Kodjia who did a great job."
Stoke assistant manager Callum Davidson: "We are disappointed we did not take three points as we played well enough to have won.
"But to come to Villa Park against a team in form and scoring lots of goals we managed to contain them and limit their chances. It is obviously important to continue our run. Christmas is going to be very important and a point away to a Villa team playing really well we have to be happy."