Stoke City were outclassed at home on Saturday against Premier League opposition Norwich. The Canaries took a deserved 1-0 lead at the Britannia Stadium through midfielder Jonny Howson, which proved to be the winning goal.
The Potters never really came out of the gates, and with a first half of no chances on goal, the inevitable was always going to happen for the Potters. The Canaries took the early initiative and looked dominant from the start. Defender Ryan Bennett thumped a header against the Stoke City crossbar early in the first half, and had the rebound saved very well from an in form Asmir Begovic. Unfortunately for Stoke, Begovic’s form quickly dropped off, as Jonny Howson struck a hopeful shot from 25 yards out, for the Bosnian goalkeeper to get nowhere near the effort and allow the away team, and their away crowd to really have something to shout about. Looking at replays, Begovic has to take the blame for this one, as he had a clear view of the effort, but his reactions just weren’t quick enough to stop the strike from hitting the back of the net.
Ask any Stoke fan in the world, and they will always say how they would prefer to go into half time 1-0 down then 1-0 up, because it really pushes the Potters on in the second half to bring on an absolute domination of the opposing team. This did not happen in this game, Norwich carried on the second half where they finished the first. Utterly dominant. The only real shout that Stoke had in the game was a potential penalty shout for Kenwyne Jones in the second half, who was seemingly pulled down by Leroy Fer, and looking at replays, maybe the Potters faithful were right to feel aggrieved.
Looking at the bigger picture though, only 1 shot on target for the Potters all game is simply not good enough, and they really need to look at their options for this weekend’s match away at Craven Cottage. Hopefully, Stoke will look a lot more like the team that faced Manchester City on that day.