It was a disappointing afternoon at the bet365 Stadium today, as Stoke lost 1-0 to Bournemouth. Nathan Aké was the scorer, heading home a free-kick from Junior Stanislas. Bojan would later miss a penalty, as he couldn’t keep his effort down, and hit the bar.
The game was shrouded with controversy, as referee Roger East probably didn’t have his best game. The away side were denied a penalty as Shawcross looked to bring down Wilson in the box, and you could argue the penalty he gave Stoke was soft.
Credit to Bournemouth today, as despite how badly we played, they outplayed us for a lot of the game. People may not like the tactics they used to get it, but evidently it was effective.
With Whelan picking up an injury during the international break, Bojan started behind Bony, with Allen dropping back with Charlie Adam.
The game didn’t start the way The Potters would have liked, as Bournemouth saw a lot of the ball. Callum Wilson was clearly their biggest threat, and it looked like he was given a clear route to goal just 12 minutes into the game. A brilliant ball by Jack Wilshere completely split the defence and Wilson was in. Nobody expected anyone to catch him, but Shawcross was able to get back, sliding in and taking out Wilson in the meantime. To the surprise of many, the referee waved away any claims of a penalty.
Just a minute later, Bournemouth were in again, this time King had the chance, but his driven shot from the edge of the box was brilliantly saved by Grant.
Stoke were second best for most of the half, and were made to pay, as the visitors took the lead. Pieters gave away a free kick by the corner flag, Stanislas took it and found the head of Nathan Aké, who fired it past Grant.
Into the second half and we looked like we’d made the best possible start. A header from Bony was saved by Federici, the ball would fall to Bojan, who was brought down Francis and Stoke were given a penalty.
The Spaniard won it, so he stepped up to take it. Usually our first choice penalty taker, a goal seemed like a certainty, but the midfielder would fire his shot off the bar. A disappointing afternoon for Bojan, who really failed to take the opportunity given to him today.
A lot of time-wasting followed from Bournemouth, as they looked to hold onto their lead. Xherdan Shaqiri missed a golden opportunity to level things, after Arnautovic cut it back to him inside the box, but like Bojan, he couldn’t keep his effort down, this time the ball sailing over the bar.
Jack Wilshere, who despite being ceremoniously booed for the majority of the game, had a fantastic game, and almost got his name on the score-sheet. The England international struck the post with his effort from the edge of the box, but his side were able to hang on.
Definitely a game to forget for many, but now we need to focus on the task ahead, which is Watford away. They were able to get a crucial win against champions Leicester, who have been majorly disappointing in the league so far.
Expect a more in depth review of the game later in the week, and player ratings will be posted later tonight!