Sunday, 11 December 2011

Stoke City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Matthew Etherington's first half double proved decisive in a barnstorming game at the Britannia as Stoke held off Spurs to win 2-1. Tottenham entered this game on a run of six consecutive Premier League wins but the Potters are not a team to be taken lightly and Tony Pulis' men were at their pulsating best from the very first whistle. Inside thirty seconds Brad Friedel was forced into a world class stop to deny Spurs old boy Peter Crouch who thought he had given Stoke the perfect start. However, it was not long before another former Spurs man was celebrating when Crouch's shot rebounded off the post into the path of Matthew Etherington who applied a cool finish just before the quarter of an hour mark. The goal seemed to kick Spurs into some sort of life but they couldn't create a meaningful opening and were caught with a trademark sucker punch just two minutes before the break when Ryan Shotton's long throw was flicked on by Ryan Shawcross and Etherington was at the far post again to find the corner of the net. Harry Redknapp rang the changes at the break and it seemed to work as the visitors began to threaten on a regular basis and they grabbed a lifeline just after the hour mark when Luka Modric was felled in the box by Glenn Whelan and Emmanuel Adebayor stepped up to send Thomas Sorenson the wrong way. Stoke were on the back foot from that moment on and were fortunate to stay ahead when Younes Kaboul's drive was elbowed off the line by Shawcross but the referee didn't see it and Kaboul's afternoon soon got worse when he was given a second booking and afforded an early bath. Spurs continued to press but Sorenson and his defenders were in superb form and Stoke were not willing to let the North Londoners out of jail today as they held on for a superb victory that might kickstart their season.

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