Aston Villa holds on in 1st half before 2-1 defeat to Stoke

STOKE, England (AP) Bottom side Aston Villa conceded two second-half goals from Marko Arnautovic as Stoke won 2-1 Saturday in the Premier League.

Villa manager Remi Garde made only one change from its 6-0 league defeat to Liverpool but his team was competitive - for the first half at least against mid-table opposition.

Five minutes after the restart at Britannia Stadium, Ashley Westwood caught Phil Bardsley with a high boot and Arnautovic blasted the penalty down the middle.

After 56 minutes it was 2-0. Arnautovic's header looped up in the air but the Austrian reacted quickest to chest the ball over from a yard out.

Leandro Bacuna shot into the far corner of the net with 11 minutes remaining but Villa, which remains eight points from safety, couldn't find an equalizer.

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