A Junior Stanislas-inspired performance compounded the misery on Mark Hughes and his Stoke City side, as Bournemouth made easy work of the hosts at the Britannia Stadium, keeping the Potters close to the relegation zone.

By 90Min
October 21, 2017

A Junior Stanislas-inspired performance compounded the misery on Mark Hughes and his Stoke City side, as Bournemouth made easy work of the hosts at the Britannia Stadium, keeping the Potters close to the relegation zone.

Stanislas put the first goal on a plate for Andrew Surman to expertly curl in the first, before adding a penalty of his own in a one-sided first half. Mame Biram Diouf responded for Stoke with a striker's finish

In difficult conditions on a very windy Saturday afternoon at Stoke, both sides struggled to string together passes in the first half, as neither side could hang on to the ball, with the chances few and far between.

After witnessing a shocking 7-2 thumping by Premier League leaders Manchester City, it was understandable that the visitors would have the better chances at the beginning of the match amidst a restless home crowd.

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Passing and probing with a far greater purpose to keep the ball on the floor, the Stoke defence was breached as the first real chance brought the opening goal. The busy Stanislas was the provider, teeing up former Southampton midfielder Surman, who fired in an excellent low drive, leaving goalkeeper Jack Butland with no chance.

It was just like waiting for a London bus as two came along at the same time, with the Cherries extended their lead within minutes, when Stoke City captain Shawcross brought down target man Benik Afobe with a clumsy challenge, resulting in a penalty.

The provider then became the finisher, as Stanislas again showed his confidence by stepping up to dispatch the penalty confidently down the middle, leaving Bournemouth in cruise control.

The hosts finally woke up in the final fifteen minutes of the first half, as hard-working striker Diouf fired the first opportunity at goal, working ex-Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic after a great through ball from Jese.

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Stanislas again had a chance to fnish the game beyond doubt after being played through on goal, however poor decision kept the scoreline respectable as the midfielder chose to work the Stoke back four with a left-footed shot, despite Afobe being open.

On the stroke of half time, Shawcross had the chance of the half to ease the deficit and make amends for his earlier mistake, narrowly dragging a volley wide from a Darren Fletcher free-kick with the goal gaping.

With Hughes no doubt giving his side a rollicking, the Potters started off much brighter at the beginning of the second half. Diouf fluffed his lines as the wasteful striker missed from eight yards out, before Joe Allen missed a sitter, after being played in by a Glen Johnson cutback.

Further claims of a penalty by the home crowd were dismissed by referee Lee Probert as Shawcross goes down under a challenge by Afobe in a role reversal, which was waved away despite the Stoke players' protests.

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The home side finally had something to cheer about with a double whammy, as Peter Crouch, the perfect player for uncompromising windy conditions was introduced. Making an instant impact by boosting the morale of the crowd, Stoke kickstarted an attempted comeback when Diouf, the busiest player for the Potters in a poor first half, bundled in a Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting flick on off his thigh.

To infuriate the crowd further, Probert again shunned calls from the bench and the vociferous fans to award a penalty for Stoke after a blatant foul is waived away. Crumbling under a heavy challenge from Adam Smith, Jese hit the ground when the man was clearly taken before the ball, much to the fury of Hughes.

Both teams slowed down the final ten minutes of play by introducing substitutes, with Stoke desperately seeking an equaliser, introducing Saido Berahino. Bournemouth were wise to the task however, taking the sting out of each playing by running the clock down.

Choupo-Moting came close in the final stages of the game, as Diouf whipped in an excellent through ball, with a weak effort tamely being caught by Begovic, leaving the Potters fans disappointed after a lacklustre display.

 

 

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