Arnautovic double for Stoke sinks struggling Villa
REUTERS - Stoke City 2 Aston Villa 1
Aston Villa's desperate hopes of a lifeline at the bottom of the Premier League foundered on yet another miserable away-day on Saturday as Marko Arnautovic struck twice for Stoke City.
After a dismal first half low on quality, Arnautovic buried his fierce penalty straight down the middle and into the net early in the second half after Phil Bardsley had been brought down in the box by Ashley Westwood.
Within five minutes the Austrian international bundled in his second, winning a header and then chesting the ball over the line himself, before Villa gave themselves half a chance with a 79th-minute Leandro Bacuna reply.
The result left Remi Garde's men still seven points adrift after a game which epitomised why they are the league's lowest scorers. They have been unable to win an away league game all season since their opening-day victory at Bournemouth.
(Reporting by Ian Chadband; editing by Clare Fallon)