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Aston Villa vs Stoke City. Carabao Cup Fourth Round.

Villa Park.

Aston Villa 0

    Stoke City 1

    • S Vokes (26th minute)

    Aston Villa 0-1 Stoke: Sam Vokes heads Championship side into Carabao Cup quarters

    Report and match highlights as last season's Carabao Cup runners-up Aston Villa are knocked out; Stoke to host Tottenham in last eight

    preview image 1:55
    Highlights of the Carabao Cup fourth-round match between Aston Villa and Stoke

    Stoke reached the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after knocking out last season's runners-up Aston Villa with a fine 1-0 win courtesy of Sam Vokes' 26th-minute header.

    Villa have impressed during their opening two Premier League games, but lacked rhythm as Dean Smith made 11 changes to the side that beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Monday.

    Stoke were good value for their victory, handed to them by Vokes' flick-on at the near post from Jordan Thompson's corner, and he ought to have doubled his tally from close range in the second period.

    The hosts offered very little to trouble Adam Davies in the Stoke goal with Anwar El Ghazi coming closest to forcing penalties with a low drive as the Championship side prevailed to book a home date with Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

    Ahmed Elmohamady can't prevent Vokes' header from finding the net
    Image: Ahmed Elmohamady cannot prevent Vokes' header from finding the net

    Player ratings

    Aston Villa: Steer (6), Guilbert (5), Elmohamady (5), Hause (6), Taylor (6), Lansbury (5), Nakamba (5), Ramsey (6), Traore (6), Davisn(5), El Ghazi (6).

    Subs: Konsa (6), Watkins (6), Jota (5).

    Stoke: Davies (7), Collins (8), Souttar (8), Martins Indi (7), Thompson (8), Mikel (7), Tymon (8), Brown (7), Powell (7), Vokes (7), Campbell (7).

    Subs: Smith (6), Oakley-Boothe (6), Fletcher (6).

    Man of the match: Harry Souttar.

    How Carabao Cup runners-up went out

    This was the first League Cup meeting between Aston Villa and Stoke since October 1962, which Villa won 3-1 - but both sides made wholesale changes with their priorities lying elsewhere. Smith reverted to the same side that beat Bristol City 3-0 in the previous round, but the hosts lacked fluidity during the opening period.

    Stoke, who entered the tie unbeaten in their last seven away matches against Villa in all competitions, fired an early warning when Nick Powell cut in from the left and curled a shot wide before the former Manchester United player was wayward with his free-kick moments later.

    Vokes ought to have broke the deadlock when he rose to meet Josh Tymon's cross from the left but he was unable to direct his header on target. Powell then found his shooting boots as his first-time effort from the edge of the box forced Jed Steer into a fine save - but the visitors took the lead from the resulting corner.

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    Defender Kortney Hause was forced off with an injury in the second period
    Image: Defender Kortney Hause was forced off with an injury in the second period

    Thompson's near-post set piece was met superbly by Vokes' glancing header that Ahmed Elmohamady could not keep out on the line. The setback shook Villa into life as Frederic Guilbert's cross five minutes later was headed wide from point-blank range from Henri Lansbury. It was the closest they came to an equaliser before the interval.

    The Potters are yet to concede in any of their four games in the competition this season, and Davies was in the right place to fall on El Ghazi's shot as Villa looked to assert themselves at the start of the second period.

    Team news

    Aston Villa boss Dean Smith made 11 changes for their Carabao Cup game against Stoke. Jed Steer returned in goal with Henri Lansbury, Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore also starting.

    Stoke made eight changes as Bruno Martins Indi captained the visitors at Villa Park. John Obi Mikel started in midfield.

    There was a further blow for Smith 12 minutes into the second period when Kortney Hause was forced off with what appeared to be a groin injury and was replaced by Ezri Konsa, moments after Vokes had missed another fine chance from another wicked Tymon cross.

    Aston Villa were looking to reach the League Cup quarter-final in consecutive seasons for the first time doing so in 2009/10 and 2010/11 - but it was only after the introduction of Ollie Watkins with 19 minutes remaining that Davies was tested as the former Brentford striker forced a fine one-handed save from the edge of the box.

    Steer went forward for a corner in stoppage time as Villa desperately sought to take the game to penalties but Stoke held on to reach the League Cup quarter-finals for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign.

    Carabao Cup draw

    What the managers said

    Bruno Martins Indi holds off Bertand Traore during the Carabao Cup contest
    Image: Bruno Martins Indi holds off Bertand Traore during the Carabao Cup contest

    Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "First half, we were awful even though we had two open goals. We were better in the second half and I thought we could have had two penalties for a couple of shirt pulls. We were excellent at Bristol City and rightly lauded there but we made too many basic errors.

    "We still had chances but we didn't take them. It's a set-back, but in terms of our priorities, making 11 changes lets you know where we are at. It's certainly a blip and now we have got a tough game on Sunday. I have had these players long enough to know about them but the players who came in tonight certainly did not do themselves credit."

    Stoke boss Michael O'Neill: "When you keep clean sheets in games, it gives you a chance. It was a great header, it was Sam [Vokes] at his best with the subtle touch. It was a great cross from Jordan [Thompson] and I thought the youngsters really impressed. Harry [Souttar] has come back from being on loan at Fleetwood and has slotted in really well.

    "Josh Tymon and Jacob Brown, it was a young team tonight but the younger players have really helped us this season. They're ready to play, we trust them a lot more and the older players are happy to have them around. It's nice that we can forget about the competition until December, but we have to use nights like tonight to help push us on in the league."

    Match stats

    • Stoke have won each of their last three League Cup ties against sides from a higher division - their best such run in the competition.
    • Aston Villa failed to score for the first time in 10 League Cup matches, this after having scored 26 goals across their previous nine fixtures beforehand.
    • Having scored just one goal in his first 16 League Cup games, Sam Vokes has since scored four goals in his five appearances in the competition for Stoke City.

    What's next?

    Premier League

    Stoke have a Carabao Cup quarter-final to look forward to on December 22/23, with all four last-eight ties to be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

    Aston Villa host Liverpool in the Premier League on Super Sunday; coverage starts at 7pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event; kick-off 7.15pm.

    Stoke host Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday at 3pm.

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