The man just can’t stop scoring! Two goals from Joe Allen was enough to hand Stoke their first league win of the season, and gives us a real kickstart for what are very winnable fixtures ahead.

The Welshman headed home an Arnautovic cross early in the first half, before smashing it in on the volley as the half came to a close.

The win brings Stoke out of the bottom three for now, with West Ham still to play.

After what has been a dreadful start to the season for The Potters, it was key that we started the game off strong. And it all seemed too good to be true when Joe Allen put us ahead in the 8th minute. The Welshman was in the right place at the right time, as Arnautovic lifted the ball from a tight angle. The Austrian initially seemed to lose the chance, as he decided against taking the ball on first time. But he was able to compose himself, and find the head of Joe Allen, who easily slotted the ball away.

Despite being just a place above the visitors before the game, there was a major gulf in class between the two, as Stoke controlled the first half. We were however reminded of the threat that Jermaine Defoe possesses, as he got as hit a hard shot just over the bar seemingly out of nothing.

Allen, who also scored for Wales in the week, seems to have discovered his goalscoring form, as he scored his second of the game, and fifth in his last four games. The goal came from, surprisingly enough, a corner kick, which is something we don’t say very often nowadays.

 

Shaqiri whipped the ball in, Shawcross leapt for the ball, his header was blocked by O’Shea but only as far as Allen, who volleyed home from the edge of the box with his left.

The question is now, what can this man not do?

The second half didn’t produce anything special, as we continued to threaten the Sunderland goal. Chances for Bony, Arnie and Shaqiri came to nothing, and Joe Allen nearly bagged himself a hat-trick, but his goal-bound effort was blocked.

Second half substitute Charlie Adam would rattle the bar late on to keep the home supporters on their toes, but in the end we would hold on for three valuable points.

Final Score – Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland

Goalscorer’s – Joe Allen (8′, 45+1)

Teams:

Stoke City – Grant, Bardsley (Adam – 65′), Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Cameron, Whelan, Shaqiri, Allen (Muniesa – 75′), Arnautovic, Bony (Walters – 76′)

Sunderland – Pickford, Manquillo, O’Shea, Djilobodji, van Aanholt (Jones – 40′), Watmore, Rodwell (Anichebe – 81′), Ndong, McNair (Pienaar 55′), Khazri, Defoe

Man of the Match – Joe Allen

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