Tottenham 1-2 Stoke City: Bojan, Walters increase pressure on Pochettino (video)
Stoke City swarmed White Hart Lane in the first half and Spurs didn’t have enough to hit back in the second as Mark Hughes picked up a road win and sent Mauricio Pochettino home with his third defeat in four matches.
Harry Kane earned his first start of the season with seven goals in his last five matches in all competitions, but he wouldn’t manage another as Pochettino has struggled to find his best team.
The first chance fell to Spurs, with a header across the face saved by Asmir Begovic early on, but Stoke took the lead straight away out of relatively nothing.
Steve Sidwell won the ball in the midfield, and eventually the ball came to Bojan Krkic. The Spaniard sprung forward and burst through the attacking half, and with nobody tracking back to cover, he ripped a shot past Hugo Lloris into the bottom corner.
Stoke were then forced into an early change just nine minutes in, with dropped American Geoff Cameron having to come on at right-back for Phil Bardsley who appeared to pull a groin muscle.
[RELATED: Watch full match replays]
USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann was on hand to watch Cameron come on, and he saw a positive Stoke spell following their goal. He also would see yet another injury problem for Stoke, as central defender Marc Wilson was forced off, replaced by Mark Muniesa as the second Stoke substitute before the half-hour mark.
Despite the forced changes, Stoke remained the side on top in the first half, peppering the Tottenham penalty area with crosses and searching balls. It paid off just past the half-hour mark as Jonathan Walters easily finished off a perfect cross by Mame Diouf past Federico Fazio who was caught out of position, and Stoke led 2-0.
[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made a pair of changes at halftime which thrust an air of panic into White Hart Lane, and with nothing doing past the hour mark he introduced Emmanuel Adebayor as well. Instead of a jolt to the team, the home side began to show plenty of frustration. A foul by Jonathan Walters on Danny Rose sparked a bit of fumes from the defender and captain Younis Kaboul as well, and moments later Kaboul went two-footed into a tackle after losing the ball and was booked.
With Spurs appearing to be in full meltdown mode, they were able to spring the game to life. Nacer Chadli pulled the home side one back as Danny Rose’s cross came to the far post and Chadli powered home from a ridiculously tight angle. That gave Spurs 13 minutes to get something from the game, and they pushed for it.
But instead things would get worse as Kyle Naughton killed off the chance with a straight red card on 84 minutes. Victor Moses flashed past Naughton on the wing, and he clipped the heel of the Stoke winger as the last man and it forced the sending off.
The game stayed open to the death but it had nothing more as Spurs slumped to a third defeat in four and remain just a point into the top half. Meanwhile Stoke jumps above Spurs in the table into the top half with the three points on the road.
Tottenham: Lloris; Naughton, Fazio, Kaboul, Rose; Capoue (Adebayor 64'), Mason; Chadli, Eriksen (Dembele 46'), Townsend (Lamela 46'); Kane.
Goals: Chadli 77'
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley (Cameron 9'), Shawcross, Wilson (Muniesa 26'), Pieters; Walters, Sidwell, Bojan (Ireland 84'), Nzonzi, Moses; Diouf.
Goals: Bojan 6', Walters 33'