Vital Football

Latest Stoke City News

Stoke frustrated by slow start

Arsenal
1 - 0
Stoke City

Emirates Stadium

Wednesday 23rd February
8pm

Attendance: 60,041

Referee:

Stoke succumbed to their 5th away defeat in a row after sleep-walking their way on to the pitch at the Emirates. It only took 8 minutes for the Gunners to take the lead and we were lucky to still be only a goal down before 15 minutes were on the clock. But the Potters did finally wake up and by the end of the game we were desperately unlucky to come away from North London with nothing to show for our endeavours.

Tony Pulis made just two changes from the FA Cup win last weekend, bringing back Asmir Begovic for Thomas Sorensen and Dean Whitehead for the injured Matty Etherington but opting to leave Jon Walters and John Carew up front and Kenwyne Jones on the bench. Arsenal were without van Persie who injured his hamstring last week, but still had a veritable arsenal to call upon with the likes of Walcott and Febregas. Both caused mayhem among the Stoke defence but by the end of the match both would be off the field nursing injuries. But when Febregas departed after just a quarter of an hour and was able to be replaced by someone like Arshavin, the strength in depth of these championship contenders was there for all to see.

Whilst the home side dominated for long periods, we did have chances. John Carew forced a fine save from Szczesny with a fierce volley from the edge of the penalty area. Rory Delap's long throws were thin on the ground but one incoming missile did find Pennant, whose cross was nearly converted by Ryan Shawcross's header - now that would have shut up Ryan's Gooners' 'fan club' who were as vocal as ever in their continuing, idiotic criticism.

With the second half, the Potters' ship was finally steadied but, by then, the damage had been done. Ricardo Fuller came on for Walters but, while the effort and opportunities were there from the Jamaican, nothing seemed to penetrate the home side's defence. Pennant did come very close with one of his trade-mark free-kicks in the dying seconds but it was not to be.

So maybe next year? But Stoke may get the chance to be the Premier League party-poopers on May 7th when the Gunners make their visit to the Brit or there could be (fingers crossed) another opportunity to knock them out of the FA Cup on the hallowed turf of Wembley itself - now wouldn't that be a moment to savour?

Star Player

Ryan Shawcross. He didn't just have to contend with the Arsenal attack, but with 58,000 Gooners as well. He coped with both admirably and could have ended up scoring into the bargain.


Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football

Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Thursday February 24 2011
Time: 8:55PM

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Lloyd Reddin
Editor email
Profile
Tom Barker
no email
Profile
Matthew Forrester
no email
Profile
Phil Williams
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v West Ham
Suggested By:
Given6%
Cameron0%
Shawcross36%
Wollscheid0%
Pieters0%
Whelan2%
Imbula48%
Walters0%
Bojan3%
Arnautovic0%
Joselu0%
Diouf1%
Bardsley1%
Adam3%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Stoke City Results (view all)

Stoke City Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.John Paterson1