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Stoke City survived a barrage of late pressure to defeat Southampton 2-1 at the Bet365 Stadium, on Saturday, in matchweek seven of the Premier League.
Five minutes from half-time, the Potters eked ahead of the Saints as Mame Biram Diouf converted a Xherdan Shaqiri with a terrific header. Stoke then won a penalty immediately after, but Saido Berahino spurned the chance from the spot, as half-time arrived. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Soputha,pton pulled it back through defender Maya Yoshida’s fantastically struck volley.
However, Stoke had it in them to claw back the lead, as substitute Peter Crouch scored with a simple tap-in, in the 85th minute. Mark Hughes’ managed to hold onto their lead under severe pressure from the visitors late on, to come out with three points.
Here’s how the Stoke players fared on the day;
Brilliant save to deny Shane Long in the first period. Wasn’t tested a great deal after the break. No chance with the goal.
The on-loan defender from Chelsea was once again a man mountain at the back for the Potters. Always alert to danger, Zouma made 15 clearances in the game, including one from the line late in the game. Brilliant.
The former Tottenham man wasn’t as imposing as his defensive partner, but wasn’t exactly poor either. Can do better and needs to do better.
Made a number of clearances and interceptions and was a force in the air, winning the most number of defensive aerials (9) for Stoke.
Hesitated to shoot from a promising position early in the first-half, but made no mistake with his header, to put his team ahead. Worked really hard and was sound in his defensive duties.
Booked at the half-hour mark for a foul on Dusan Tadic. Was tenacious in the midfield and won the most tackles in the game (5).
Kept things ticking for the Potters alongside Allen. Never shy of putting his defensive shift in and it was the same case on Saturday.
Had a good battle with Cedric Soares on the flanks, getting the better of the Portuguese on an occasion or two while finding himself beaten a couple times as well.
Forced a save from Fraser Forster in the 15th minute. Brilliant corner leading to Diouf’s goal in the first-half. Was a lively presence and always looked like he was the one to make something happen.
Another dangerous presence in attack, the summer arrival forced Forster into action in the first half and then got the assist for Crouch’s winner.
His rut in front of goal seems never ending. Had a great chance to break the drought, when he won the penalty, but his effort from the spot was extremely poor and was saved.
Replaced Berahino in the 70th minute. Sealed the three points with the simplest of tap-ins in the 85th minute.
On for Shaqiri in the 87th minute.
Replaced Diouf in injury time.