That was a stunning display from Stoke, who showed great belief in their manager's philosophy despite falling behind to Benteke's opening goal. They kept passing patiently and simply outplayed an inexperienced Villa line-up, who lost their heads after the break, with five players seeing yellow throughout the game.
That's full time - and it's Aston Villa 1 Stoke City 4.
Stoke have controlled stoppage time - and the game in its entirety since they equalised. Peter Crouch is named Niall Quinn's man of the match.
GOAL! Arnautovic breezes past Bacuna down the left flank then pulls the ball back to Cameron, who makes no mistake with a sidefooted finish into the back of the net.
4-1 Stoke. Geoff Cameron.
The Villa fans are flooding towards the exits - must be gutted after such a fine start for them.
Shawcross gives away a free-kick after manhandling Holt. Bacuna stands over it but sends a 25-yard effort high and wide of the target. Begovic was never worried.
Arnautovic breaks clear in a one on one with Guzan, but sees the offside flag go up. Lucky escape for Villa there.
Palacios tries a direct pass for Odemwingie but Guzan reads it well and collects the ball easily.
Now Baker is booked for a foul on Nzonzi - but he's been flirting with that for a while and Clattenburg has had enough. That's five Villa players in the book now.
Stoke take their time over a free-kick, which Arnautovic sends over the crossbar from about 30 yards out.
Bacuna goes into the book for a rash tackle on Odemwingie. Stoke playing this perfectly as Villa can't get any momentum going.
Villa are camped in the Stoke half now and a free-kick is well cleared by the visiting defence.
We have a change for Stoke, with Muniesa coming on for the injured Pieters.
Pieters hobbles off the pitch and we're underway again.
Pieters is down and needs treatment after a collision with Albrighton. You sense he's trying to slow the game down.
Lambert makes his final throw of the dice, sending on Holt for the ineffective Westwood. Albrighton goes to the right, Agbonlahor to the left, so Villa will go two up front and be more direct.
Clattenburg finally penalises some strong Villa tackling, with Albrighton going into the book for a foul on Palacios.
Vlaar then gets away with one at the other end as he blocks Nzonzi from getting the ball in the box, only to see the Stoke man adjudged to have fouled him.
Villa win a corner which Vlaar challenges for and the ball heads narrowly over the bar - but the whistle blows.
If Stoke hang on here they'll leapfrog Villa into 10th spot and be eight points behind ninth-placed Southampton.
Nzonzi rides a tackle brilliantly but then steers a right-footed shot well wide from 25 yards out.
Albrighton delivers a great ball into the box but Benteke isn't in there having fed the winger and it comes to nothing.
Odemwingie cuts inside and has a crack from 20 yards, with Guzan parrying his fierce left-footed strike.
Clattenburg is letting some heavy challenges go in an attempt to let get the game going - this time Sylla crunches into Palacios.
So we have an hour on the clock and Stoke are using all their experience to keep control of the game. One goal from Villa and it could change in a heartbeat, though.
Baker has clearly been instructed to get closer to Crouch as he barges him over - better defending from the Villa centre-back, who gave the Stoke striker an easy ride in the first half.
Albrighton goes in hard on Palacios, who again just gets up and gets on with it. Villa need to settle down a touch.
Villa are finding it hard to keep their cool here as they're clearly frustrated about not getting that penalty.
Fair play to Arnautovic, Bacuna pushes him in the face on the touchline but the winger just gets on with it.
Nzonzi is penalised for a strong tackle on Bertrand, and the home fans ironically applaud Clattenburg's decision to award a free-kick.
The home fans are starting to find their voices and get behind their players, who are responding by showing some fight.
Benteke is booked after complaining about not getting a penalty after the slightest of contact from Cameron in the box.
Cameron's dinked cross is easy for Guzan - but Stoke are bossing it here and the home fans are not amused.
Arnautovic hits his free-kick into the wall - but Stoke have started the half on top and the away fans are Ole-ing each pass.
Stoke win the first free-kick of the second half after Bacuna halts a fine run from Arnautovic.
We're up and running for the second half.
It's half-time and the scoreline is Aston Villa 1 Stoke City 3. Fair play to Stoke, that was a stunning turnaround after conceding the opening goal to Benteke, with Odemwingie, Crouch and Nzonzi replying for the visitors. Paul Lambert has his work cut out during the half-time interval as his young side unravelled towards the end of the first half there.
Villa end the half on top in terms of possession, but very much behind in the goal-scoring stakes.
Watching the goal again, Baker was unlucky as the ball flicked off his heel into Nzonzi's path - but it was a clinical finish from the Stoke midfielder.
Benteke's 18-yard strike is blocked by Palacios - and we have three minutes of added time for the first half.
GOAL! Nzonzi finishes off a patient, flowing move from Stoke after Arnautovic's pass falls to him 20 yards out, from where he coolly slides the ball past Guzan to cap a fantastic turnaround.
3-1 Stoke. Steven Nzonzi
Begovic comes for a corner but doesn't really get there and his team-mates scramble the ball clear with him stuck in no man's land - not the best goalkeeping I've ever seen.
Arnautovic has a pop from distance but is well off target - he had better options.
Benteke is fouled by Odemwingie on the left flank for a Villa free-kick in a decent area. Westwood's cross is cleared well by Whelan and Begovic catches an inswinging corner.
Whelan's corner is flicked on by Wilson but Villa clear the ball and attempt to regroup. The home crowd are getting restless.
Pieters does well down the left to win a corner for Stoke.
Albrighton's first act is to give away possession to Cameron, and Stoke ping it around before Cameron's punt forward goes straight to Guzan.
Crouch's goal was the 40th of a brilliant weekend.
We actually have a double change for Villa. Both Albrighton and Sylla have come on for El Ahmadi and Weimann, who we believe has a dead leg.
Paul Lambert has changed his mind and Sylla is coming on. Agbonlahor has a crack at goal but fires over the bar.
Villa are playing with 10 men at the moment - Albrighton preparing to come on for the hosts.
El Ahmadi has pulled up with what looks like a thigh strain.
GOAL! Arnautovic controls a fine crossfield pass beautifully then finds the overlapping Pieters with a cheeky backheel. The left-back powers into the box and pulls the back for Crouch, who sidefoots past Guzan to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
2-1 Stoke. Peter Crouch
Wilson Palacios goes into Mark Clattenburg's book for a badly-timed tackle on Benteke. Referee had no choice really.
GOAL! Odemwingie finds Crouch, who flicks the ball back into his strike partner's path, and the Nigerian holds off pressure from Bertrand to dink the ball past Guzan for a deserved equaliser.
1-1 Stoke - Peter Odemwingie
Did any of you get on that Lee Hendrie prediction of Benteke first goal, Villa to win 2-1? Good luck if so - game on.
Arnautovic does well to hold off physical pressure from Bacuna and El Ahmadi to keep possession - Stoke trying to build some momentum then Odemwingie fires in an 18-yard strike which goes narrowly over for a corner, which is cleared.
Agbonlahor runs at Shawcross down the left flank, which Villa have identified as a weak area for the visitors. Bertrand fires across the face of goal and it flicks Shawcross for a Villa throw-in.
Stoke have settled back down after conceding that early goal and are stroking the ball around nicely - they need to do it further up the pitch, though, if they are to hurt Villa where it matters.
Palacios slightly overhits a decent attempted pass to Arnautovic bit Guzan reads it well and charges out to snuff out the danger.
Villa are looking comfortable and confident. Crouch struggling to really make his mark up front in the early stages.
Odemwingie delays his pass to Arnautovic and the winger strolls into an offside position when he was well placed to shoot.
A nice Villa move ends with El Ahmadi crossing into the 18-yard box but it's easily cleared by the Potters defence.
The corner is well delivered into the dangerzone but the whistle blows for a foul on Begovic.
Great run from Wilson after intercepting the ball but it comes to nothing and Villa counter-attack, with Cameron forced to give away a corner under pressure.
Villa's tails are wagging and the home crowd are in full voice. Stoke need to respond quickly and win a free-kick as El Ahmadi goes into the book for a rash tackle on Crouch.
GOAL! Bertrand feeds Delph on the left and he cuts the ball back from the byline to Benteke, who takes a touch then smashes a left-footed strike into the roof of the net. Stunning finish from the Belgian powerhouse. Great start to the game too!
1-0 to Villa! Christian Benteke!
Villa's turn to control possession now as each player gets a feel of the game - both teams pinging the ball around with confidence.
Nice one-touch pass-and-move football from Stoke in the early stages...Villa have gone long to Benteke on two occasions so far.
Benteke earns the first free-kick of the game from Whelan after controlling a long Guzan punt well and turning.
And we're off, Stoke's Nzonzi and Whelan have kicked the game off.
Charlie Adam has just tweeted: "A win today will give the lads a big lift for the run in. #tophalffinish"
The players are on the pitch - minutes away from kick-off now.
Villa come into the game having beaten Norwich 4-1 and Chelsea 1-0 on home soil; Stoke are also in high spirits having beaten Arsenal and West Ham at home and drawn away at Norwich.
Stokie Phil says: "Tough game for Stoke today what with their squad being very thin. We will need to dig deep & try & keep the Villa forwards quiet. Here's hoping Stoke can get a point from this game."
Just to explain what Hughes is on about there, Aston Villa are in 10th place in the Premier League table, with Stoke City in 11th and both teams on 34 points. The Potters have played 30 games to Villa's 29.
Mark Hughes: "This is a game between two very evenly matched sides - and the table certainly suggests that. We're looking to add more points as quickly as we can - but we feels there are good things ahead for us if we keep progressing as we are."
Edd Irwin, from Durban in South Africa, says: "Mark Hughes has got Stoke guys buzzing at the moment. It is going to be a hard game today but I'm going for a Stoke win. 2-1."
Opta: Only Stoke City (398) have committed more fouls than Aston Villa (379) in the Premier League this season.
Opta: Stoke have won none of their last 13 Premier League away games (W0 D4 L9) and have failed to score in six of their last nine on the road.
Opta: Aston Villa have not won three Premier League home games in a row since October 2007 (four wins).
Opta: Four of the five Premier League games between these two sides at Villa Park have ended as draws with one 1-0 win for the home side.
Here are some Opta stats for you: Aston Villa have won only one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games against Stoke City, but five of the games have been draws in that run.
Lee says: "I'm not generally one for stats but Stoke's away record this year is pants. Not sure that will change today so have to go for a 3-0 win for Villa." Stoke's away record is W1 D4 L10. Ouch.
Chris Green from Huddersfield says: "Aston Villa to win 3-0, with Delph and Benteke (2) scoring the goals."
Lee Hendrie has just strolled past me in the Sky Sports office up here in Leeds, and he reckons Villa will win 2-1, with Benteke scoring first. If you fancy having a punt on the result or scorecast, head over to our friends at www.skybet.com, who have taken something of a battering this weekend along with all bookies.
Send your thoughts and predictions to me on email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SimonJWilkes.
And here's the Aston Villa XI: Guzan, Bacuna, Bertrand, Westwood, Vlaar, Baker, El Ahmadi, Delph, Benteke, Weimann, Agbonlahor.
Here's the Stoke team: Begovic; Pieters, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Palacios, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie; Crouch.
The whistle has just blown at White Hart Lane, where Tottenham staged a magnificent recovery from 2-0 down to win 3-2 courtesy of a dramatic late goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson. That ensured a goal-laden weekend continued - and we're hoping for more of the same from the Midlands...a 0-0 draw will simply not do!
Good afternoon and welcome to our live commentary from Villa Park, where Aston Villa are taking on Mark Hughes' Stoke City.
Kick-off is at 1600 GMT...