Stoke 3 Hull City 1
Saturday, April 15th, 2017
Another away game, another Groundhog Day.
The Tigers went down to Stoke by three goals to one, as their miserable away form continues. The Tigers brought back Huddlestone after suspension, and Maguire filled in at right back.
City started brightly, but Stoke scored after just five minutes. Shaqiri and Arnautovic combined
after a poor clearance by Dawson, Arnautovic firing home with aplomb. Stoke had the best of the early exchanges, but City came back strongly. Glorious chances for Niasse and Markovic went begging, and City put the pressure on. As so often this season, they were unable to turn possession into goals, and went into the break one down.
City deservedly equalised on fifty minutes, a short corner in from Clucas causing panic in the Stoke defence, and Maguire bundled the ball home. Jakupovic kept the scores level with a brilliant save from a Walters header, and a half chance fell for Niasse who blazed high and wide. On sixty four minutes, Walters crossed to Crouch at the far post, and he scored with a typical Crouch header. City continued to create chances, but were unable to come back a second time. Shaqiri wrapped up the points on eighty minutes with a brilliant goal from fully thirty yards, and that was that.
This was a chance for at least a point, but City squandered so many chances, and Stoke showed them how it should be done. The only Silver lining for Marco Silva was Swansea’s loss at Watford, which keeps the Tigers two points clear of the Swans. It looks increasingly like a straight fight between the Tigers and Swansea for that one remaining Premiership place. I fear it will go right down to the wire. A disappointing result, but it could have been a lot worse. Another vital game next week against Watford. Squeaky bum time!
By David osgerby