Stoke City 2-1 Southampton: Crouch haunts Saints again
- Stoke have won four of their last six matches against Saints
- With 15 matches still to play Southampton have lost 12 PL games in 2017 - as many as they lost in 2016
- Forster saved Berahino’s PK with Stoke 1-0 up
Stoke City beat Southampton 2-1 as Peter Crouch scored a late winner against his former club, the second time in a row he’s been the hero against Saints.
The Potters led 1-0 at half time after Mame Diouf’s opener but Saido Berahino had a penalty kick saved by Fraser Forster as Saints hung in there.
Southampton thought they’d nabbed a point late on as Maya Yoshida popped up with a fine finish but Crouch struck with a scrappy late goal to seal the victory.
With the win Stoke move on to eight points, the same total as Southampton.
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Stoke started brightly as Eric Choupo-Moting’s shot was deflected over by Virgil van Dijk, back at the heart of Southampton’s defense for his first start since Jan. 22.
The Potters continued to do most of the pressing in the first half as Xherdan Shaqiri’s shot was saved well by Forster and then Diouf’s shot was blocked superbly by Mario Lemina.
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Nathan Redmond prodded an effort wide for Southampton after racing free and at the other end Stoke had another good chance as Joe Allen burst into the box but his cutback was cleared by Ryan Bertrand.
Choupo-Moting again forced Forster into a fine save as Stoke continued to create the better chances and finally that paid off. Diouf beta Mario Lemina and headed home the opener from Shaqiri’s superb corner and it should have been 2-0 soon after.
Van Dijk clumsily hauled down Berahino in the box but the striker had his spot kick saved by Forster and Saints only trailed 1-0 at half time.
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In the second half the visitors pushed hard for the equalizer as Cedric Soares’ cross was nodded over by Long from a good position.
Saints sent on Sofiane Boufal and Manolo Gabbiadini late on in search of a winner as Mauricio Pellegrino’s men pinned Stoke back.
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The equalizer did arrive and it came from an unlikely source: Japanese defender Yoshida. He reacted first to Long’s flick on and the center back scored acrobatically to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Crouch then popped up to score a scrappy winner as Cedric slipped and Choupo-Moting’s shot was only half blocked by Forster before their substitute pounced to play the hero.
Manolo Gabbiadini had two chances late on but couldn’t take them as Saints suffered their third defeat of the season.