Paul Lambert got his reign as Stoke City boss off to a winning start after an impressive 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.

By 90Min
January 20, 2018

Paul Lambert got his reign as Stoke City boss off to a winning start after an impressive 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.

Lambert made four changes to the side that was beaten 3-0 by Manchester United in their last Premier League outing. Out went Kurt Zouma, Bruno Martins Indi, Stephen Ireland and Peter Crouch and in came Ryan Shawcross, Erik Pieters, Charlie Adam and Mame Biram Diouf.

As for the visitors, they made three changes to the side that was hammered 4-1 at home by West Ham United last weekend. Out went Tommy Smith, Joe Lolley and Laurent Depoitre and in came Florent Hadergjonaj, Steve Mounie and Alex Prichard - who was handed his full debut for his new club.

It was a very cautious beginning to the game from both sides, with either keeper failing to be tested in the opening 20 minutes, however Stoke looked the more threatening side going forward. Adam had the first half-chance after he unleashed a half volley from around 30 yards out, however failed to trouble the visitors' goal.

Pritchard looked to be a bright spark on the right-hand side for Huddersfield, and helped set up the visitor's first chance of the game, after lovely interplay between himself and Hadergjonaj allowed the full-back to get a dangerous cross into the box. Mounie was first to meet it. However, was unable to direct his effort on target.

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It looked as though we were heading into the break without seeing a great deal of action, however Stoke had a great chance to go ahead on the stroke of half-time. Choupo-Moting played an inviting ball over the top of the Huddersfield defence which Xerdan Shaqiri latched onto, but his shot was kept out by an onrushing Jonas Lossl who looked to be in no man's land. 

The second half began much like the first half ended with Stoke in the ascendancy. The Potters thought they were ahead just two minutes into the second half, when Shaqiri's acrobatic effort from 12 yards out came off the underside of the bar and past Lossl. However, the linesman ruled the goal out, judging Shaqiri to be offside when the ball was flicked on from a throw in.

They didn't have to wait much longer to go ahead though, as a great ball down the right hand side by Adam found Choupo-Moting who's low cross into the box evaded everyone, but fell to an unmarked Joe Allen who lashed the ball home from 12 yards out to give Stoke the lead and their first goal in the Paul Lambert era.

The onslaught from Stoke continued, and could've made it 2-0 a matter of minutes later. Shaqiri was played through on goal, cut inside onto his favoured left foot and got his shot away, however Lossl was equal to it and was able to smother the ball. 

Huddersfield boss David Wagner was quick to react to going behind, and took off Ince and Prichard either side of the hour mark and replaced them with Collin Quaner and Abdelhamid Sabiri.

Despite the substitutions, the onslaught continued and Stoke soon doubled their lead when Choupo-Moting played the ball into Shaqiri on the edge of the area, who then neatly flicked the ball into the path of Diouf who was left one on one with Lossl. His shot beat the keeper and came off the inside of the post, however crossed the line and gave him a well deserved goal.

The away side had no answer to Stoke's attacking threat, and tested Butland for the first time just before the 75th minute when Rajiv van La Parra forced a routine save out of the England international.

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Stoke had the chance to make it 3-0 when Huddersfield's defence were caught pressing highly, allowing Shaqiri freedom to run down the left hand side. His cross evaded the substitute Peter Crouch and fell to Choupo-Moting on the edge of the area, however he was unable to keep his effort down.

The scoreline remained 2-0 as Lambert secured a win in his first game in charge of his new club. It was Stoke's first win in five games, and the win now lifts Stoke out of the relegation zone temporarily with Southampton playing Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.

As for Huddersfield, they remain in 14th place, but failed to pull themselves further away from the relegation battle and have now gone six Premier League games without a win.

 

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Eagle (-2)
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