Heart-warming Bent

Striker's instincts saved lacklustre Villa, says Le Tiss

Le Tissier: Bent the hero

Le Tissier: Bent the hero

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Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke City
Soccer Saturday analysis

Matt Le Tissier watched another Darren Bent goal give Gerard Houllier a timely boost.

The Aston Villa manager is currently in hospital following another heart scare and was forced to leave assistant Gary McAllister in charge.

For a while it looked as if it would have an adverse affect on the Villa players, not least when Kenwyne Jones rose highest to head home a trademark Rory Delap throw with 20 minutes gone.

Villa huffed and puffed and eventually levelled through Bent's smart header two minutes before the break, his sixth goals in 12 Premier League games since his £18million move.

Le Tissier believes the point is enough to keep them in the Premier League next season - thanks to Bent's predatory instincts.

"They're now sat just below mid-table and I think they've probably got enough points to ease any relegation fears - I think 41 is probably just enough now," he told Soccer Saturday.

"You can't really blame the keeper for it but that was probably only the significant effort Darren Bent had all game; but it's one chance, one goal."

Matt Le Tissier

Quotes of the week

"It was one of those goals. He was 16 yards out when he headed it, there wasn't a massive amount of pace on it, he just glanced it in with a bit of technique and it's in off the post.

"You can't really blame the keeper for it but that was probably only the significant effort Darren Bent had all game; but it's one chance, one goal.

"It was good for Aston Villa from that point of view but they weren't particularly impressive today, I have to say. Stoke probably created the better chances and on the balance of things you might have though they were a little unfortunate."

Le Tissier had some sympathy for Stoke, who cast off the idea that they would already have one eye on the FA Cup final with a typical display.

They put the Villa backline under pressure whenever they could and were unlucky to see two goals wiped out by an assistant's flag.

"Ricky Fuller got the ball, after coming on as a sub, in the back of the net but it was a marginal offside, Jon Walters then put one in the net but he wasn't the one in the off-side position," explained Le Tissier.

"Jones was a handful and when Rory Delap was throwing those balls into the area he was around. (Richard) Dunne and (James) Collins did well today but the one they let him go for, he did score.

"He got substituted in the end, but he certainly played his part in getting a point today."

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