City fall to bogey side as Stoke complete double
City made 2 changes to the side beaten by Manchester City last week. As expected Maguire and Huddlestone came back in place of Elmohamady and Hernandez.
The changes gave City a strange shape with no recognised right back. City began brightly but bad control by N'Diaye saw the ball slip out of play.
After only 6 minutes City were up against it when careless midfield play , again by N'Diaye saw Stoke take the lead with a great shot into the top right hand corner by Arnautovic. Maguire tried in vain to get to him but to no avail.
Stoke had another great chance a few minutes later but this time Arnautovic put his effort just over.
City were struggling to keep pace with Stoke and it looked as if they'd scored again through Berahino a few minutes later . Fortunately for City it was ruled offside.
City did mount a sustained attack as halftime approached but Niasse pushed the ball just wide. Another hopeful ball into the Stoke penalty area saw Grant push Markovic's effort away.
Maguire had a great chance to put City level from a rare City corner but put his effort over.
HT Stoke City 1-0 Hull City
Both sides made no changes at halftime.
Early in the second half careless play by Pieter conceded a corner. The resulting kick found its way to Maguire who hit the ball into the ground and into the net. For their determination City deserved their equaliser on 51 minutes.
Stoke took off Berahino and Adam and brought on Walters and Crouch. They immediately caused problems and only a great save by Jakupovic prevented City going behind.
City had a chance to go ahead themselves a few minutes later but Niasse blasted over.
The game turned on 66 minutes when a cross by Walters into the box saw Crouch out jump Ranocchia and plant his header into the corner of the net. 2-1. It was harsh on City but a great goal nonetheless.
Immediately afterwards Huddlestone was replaced by Hernandez in an effort to claw the game back. It nearly worked when a shot by Grosicki was pushed out by Grant but Niasse could not turn in the loose ball under pressure.
Ten minutes from the end City's fate was sealed when Shaqiri again tormented City with a superb strike from outside the box which comprehensively beat Jakupovic. 3-1, game over.
An accidental kick by Walters on Ranocchia whilst on the ground saw the latter needing attention.
In the end City were well beaten by 2 superb second half goals but even in defeat their determination shone through.
FT Stoke City 3-1 Hull City
So another game slips by and we still need more points for safety. Fortunately Swansea lost as well so we stay out of the bottom 3. The games against Watford, Sunderland and Palace away now become vital
Tony Atkin - 16.04.17