It was a spooky night at the bet365 Stadium, as Stoke hosted Swansea on Halloween. A win fir either side was vital, with both still lingering around the bottom of the table.
Thankfully for us, Wilfried Bony and Joe Allen came back to haunt their former side, as they combined for two goals yesterday. The third came from Ramadan Sobhi, who gave his defender nightmares before seeing his shot deflect in off Alfie Mawson. Although the goal was not given to Ramadan, he celebrated as though it did, hopefully starting a very successful career for the Egyptian.
After a horror-show of a start to the season, yesterdays win brings Stoke up to a much more comfortable position at 12th in the Premier League, just below Leicester and Bournemouth on goal difference.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Mark Hughes praised his side’s attacking ability.
“I thought our attacking play was really good today. We had any number of chances that could have gone in for us but we got the job done.
“It was important to get that third win which is difficult in the Premier League with teams at our level. The top four or five can do it but for teams like us, it can be difficult to get back-to-back results.
“To do it three times now has enabled us to get into a position we feel comfortable in because we didn’t want to be in the bottom half, we don’t feel like we’re a bottom-half team. We’re pushing to get back into the top ten where we have been for the last three years.
“We made a sort of slow start but after ten games, we’ve got exactly the same number of points as we did last year and the year before when we had record points accumulated for the season so it has been a slow start but no worse than any other we’ve had.”
As mentioned before, it was two former Swansea players that doomed the Welsh side in The Potteries, as Joe Allen set up Wilfried Bony for his first two Stoke goals, and his first in over 20 games. And Hughes backed his decision in sticking with Wilf up top.
“Wilfried had been playing well, I said it before the game, his general play was good and it was only a matter of time before he scored.
“Unfortunately for Swansea, it was one of their old boys who hurt them this evening along with another one in Joe Allen who created two of them, so a difficult night for Swansea fans.
“First and foremost, Joe is an outstanding football player and good players can play anywhere. I think the first thing that really struck me was his anticipation of where the ball is going to land, where moves are going to be created.
“He was always on the front foot in anticipating things in midfield areas and defensive areas so why not do it in attacking areas and if he can anticipate things in the box which he has been doing, then you’re going to get onto the end of things and score goals or at least create them which he did tonight.”
Sky Sports also caught up with the Man of the Match, Bony, who stated he always knew the goals would come.
“I’m happy that we won, it is very good for us because it is three games in a row that we’ve won, so it was a good result for the team.
When asked about scoring against his former club, Bony said it was ‘crazy that my first goals of the year came against my ex-team’ and although he was disappointed for them, he said ‘that’s the way that football is’.
Speaking about goals, he said: “There have been a couple of games where I’ve missed some chances. I knew that goals would come, so I didn’t know when, so I was still pushing myself and working really hard and waited for the moment to score.”
You can listen to the full interview with Bony as well as the rest of Mark Hughes quotes to Sky Sports here