Joselu stars as Stoke tame 10-man Canaries
13th January 2016 7.45pm
A first Britannia Stadium goal for Joselu helped Stoke to beat 10-man Norwich City on a cold, wet Wednesday night.
Jonathan Walters, Joselu and an own goal from Ryan Bennett cancelled out Jonny Howson`s spectacular equaliser to push Stoke to 7th in the league table, as Gary O`Neil saw red in the first half following a reckless challenge.
Mark Hughes was forced into two changes as Geoff Cameron and record signing Xherdan Shaqiri was left out following injuries as Jonathan Walters and Joselu came in.
Alex Neil only made one change from the last league outing against Southampton as Odjidja-Ofoe came in for Nathan Redmond.
The game started at a frantic and open pace with both teams having clear cut opportunities.
Arnautovic could have opened the scoring for the Potters following a brilliant pass from Joselu, but his shot which was destined for the bottom corner was tipped around the post expertly by Declan Rudd in the Norwich goal.
Whilst Ryan Bennett should have scored with a half-volley but Jack Butland was more than a match.
In a game which hardly saw a rash challenge, Gary O`Neil made a ridiculous challenge on Ibrahim Afellay. The Dutch international was ushering the ball out of play when O`Neil made a hash challenge as he went straight through the back of Afellay.
Neil Swarbrick had no hesitation to give the 32-year-old his marching orders.
The Potters couldn`t make their one man advantage pay before half-time but came out of the blocks flying in the second. Marko Arnautovic found space on the left wing and produced a superb cross for Jonathan Walters with the easy task of putting the Potters ahead.
Whilst not playing at their most fluent, Hughes` men managed to get in front, and looked quite comfortable, dictating tempo and controlling possession, but against the run of play, Norwich smashed a spanner in the works as produced a superb strike into the top corner to give the 1000+ Canaries fans who had made the long trip something to cheer about.
The Potters managed to regroup and brought on Peter Odemwingie for the quiet Bojan.
Stoke managed to regain the lead as Joselu produced a moment of brilliance as he collected the ball on the edge of the box before turning and firing into the bottom corner; just out of the reach of Rudd.
Afellay`s teasing free kick was directed into his own goal by Ryan Bennett to cement Stoke`s position in the game and gave them their fifth home victory of the season.