Date: 27th October 2008 at 8:03am
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Stoke City went down 3-0 today courtesy of a hat-trick from a player that is worth as much as a sizable chunk of the Potters’ starting eleven.

Tony Pulis made two changes from the team that beat Spurs last week. Ryan Shawcross made his second start of the campaign after Sonko failed to recover from an injury last week and Dave Kitson was relegated to the bench and replaced by Ricardo Fuller alongside Mamady Sidibe.

Robinho, Man City’s record £34m buy back in August, proved devastating with a first half goal on 15 minutes, another just after the break and his final one with twenty minutes remaining for his first hat-trick in English football. But, despite the score, Stoke produced a good solid display for most of the game and, with the exception of the final few minutes, heads never went down with Shawcross, Fuller and Diao all having great opportunities on goal that could have given the Potters some hope had they found the back of the net. If there was a lesson to be learnt it was the same one as other games this season – Stoke must take their chances when they’re offered and tighten up at the back.

But Stoke fans should not be too disheartened as we all knew there would be games like this, but it’s still difficult to accept when it’s finally happens. We’d had earlier held out a faint, but ultimately forlorn hope, that the game may be ours for the taking after the Blue’s defence had proved suspect on more than occasion this season, but the last thing that we need now is for that certain section of Stoke fans to start on another pointless campaign to rubbish the manager. What we have is stability, something that the likes of Spurs and Newcastle have not known much of lately and look where they are now…

That stability has got us to the Premier League and it’s that same stability that is our best chance of staying there.

Man City: Hart, Richards, Dunne (Fernandes 76), Ben-Haim, Garrido (Onuoha 70), Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano, Robinho, Evans (Sturridge 42)
Subs not used: Schmeichel, Caicedo, Hamann, Berti

Stoke City: Sorensen, Griffin, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Soares (Cresswell 69), Olofinjana, Diao (Whelan 76), Delap, Fuller, Sidibe (Kitson 66).
Subs not used: Simonsen, Cort, Amdy Faye, Wilkinson.


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