December 23, 2017 / 5:44 PM / 10 months ago

Stoke victory eases pressure on manager Hughes


Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs West Bromwich Albion - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - December 23, 2017 Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross in action with West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon REUTERS/Scott Heppell

First-half goals from Joe Allen and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and a late strike by Ramadan Sobhi helped Stoke City seal a 3-1 Premier League victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and ease the pressure on manager Mark Hughes.

Stoke, who came into the game on the back of three defeats, went ahead 1-0 when midfielder Joe Allen tapped in from close range in the 19th minute after Peter Crouch fired the ball across goal.

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Poor defending from West Brom led to Stoke doubling their advantage as Choupo-Moting rounded goalkeeper Ben Foster and prodded into an empty net with virtually the last kick of the opening 45 minutes.

West Brom pulled a goal back early in the second half through striker Salomon Rondon, who latched on to a looping pass before beating Jack Butland, but Sobhi settled the game with a for neat finish in stoppage time.

“I thought my players were excellent today,” Hughes said. “There was a lot of pressure on us. As a group, we understood that and maybe we have to accept the reasons why that was.

“We had to come out and show a real determination and I thought in the first half especially we were top drawer. We could have buckled under the pressure a little bit, but the lads showed patience and character to their play.”

Stoke moved to 14th in the table while West Brom are just a point off the foot of the table in 19th place and without a win in 18 games in all competitions.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Chadband

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