Stoke 0-1 Spurs
Report from the Britannia
26 April 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Danny Rose's goal won the day against Stoke City - his header settling a full-blooded and entertaining encounter at the Britannia Stadium.
It was a contest decided by an excellent move and a clinical finish, one which also saw a sending off and the goalscorer replaced to avoid the risk of another one after the full-back received a yellow card himself.
Tim Sherwood made one change to his starting line-up at the venue where last season Emmanuel Adebayor grabbed a dramatic late winner, with Michael Dawson returning to the side after injury and taking the place of Zeki Fryers.
Nacer Chadli took the initiative in the first minute with a surging run before a shot that he could not find the target with. The start was bright with plenty of sharp passing and movement. A cross from Aaron Lennon did rattle the side netting and caused a degree of alarm for Asmir Begovic.
Stoke began to push on to the front foot as the game took shape, with the odd set piece suggesting potential danger, while Steven Nzonzi was not far out with an effort from distance. Even though the home side were predominantly keeping the ball on the ground, it was when it was in the air that danger appeared to loom and Hugo Lloris did well to divert on several occasions in the first 20 minutes.
A dipping and devilish free-kick from Christian Eriksen probably only needed a hint of a touch from Adebayor in front of goal to open the scoring, but Begovic was able to read the flight and collect.
Stephen Ireland shot wide on 27 minutes before a low cross from Rose was just a yard too far in advance of Adebayor.
On 32 minutes the lead was seized following a superb passage of play. Adebayor skipped past his marker on the right before delivering a measured cross into the path of Rose, who dispatched a powerful header past the despairing dive of Begovic.
Harry Kane was presented with a good chance to add to his recent goal tally in first half stoppage time after being played in by Lennon, but he took a little too long to get the ball out of his feet and Stoke were able to man the barricades this time around.
Marko Arnautovic tried his luck with a powerful drive in the opening moments of the second half as Stoke began with purpose. Nzonzi did well to put a block in on Eriksen at the other end after it looked like the Dane was weaving his way to a shooting chance.
On 52 minutes there was another twist when Ryan Shawcross was sent off by referee Mr Marriner with a second yellow card following a clumsy high challenge on Rose. It turned up the atmosphere several notches as the crowd voiced their displeasure to Mr Marriner. It was quite a din from those in red and white in a crowd of 26,021.
Stoke rang the changes with both Ireland and Peter Crouch replaced, with Mark Hughes opting for a more fluid approach with Peter Odemwingie playing through the middle and the introduction of Liverpool loanee Oussama Assaidi out wide.
The weather was fluctuating between heavy showers and sunshine, but the performance on the pitch was consistently solid as the game passed the hour mark, with Dawson a powerful and reassuring presence at the back.
Rose was caught by Geoff Cameron and reacted by pushing the home full-back. Under severe pressure from the crowd, the referee showed yellow to Rose. Perhaps to save him from any further reaction Tim elected to replace Rose with Zeki Fryers.
Lloris then saved well with his feet to deny Nzonzi, while the next change was Gylfi Sigurdsson taking over from Nacer Chadli. Lennon was replaced by Andros Townsend with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Despite a big percentage of the possession and pretty much control of the game, it was the final pass that was lacking when it came to potentially killing off the game. The approach play was slick and measured, but this was not matched in the final third.
Townsend suffered an injury in a fair tackle with Cameron, leaving him limping for the final 10 minutes.
Stoke's final chance arrived four minutes from time when Arnautovic broke through centrally, turned away from Dawson and sprinted into the box, only to sidefoot tamely at Lloris.
We had the final chances in four minutes of added time as Kane just failed to connect after Kaboul's 80-yard surge down the left and Begovic got the better of Paulinho one-on-one.
Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Wilson, Shawcross, Muniesa; Arnautovic, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie; Ireland (Pieters, 55); Crouch (Assaidi, 61). Unused subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Adam, Walters, Wilkinson.
Spurs: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose (Fryers, 69); Lennon (Townsend, 78), Chadli (Sigurdsson, 73), Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane. Unused subs: Friedel, Bentaleb, Sandro, Soldado.
Goals: Spurs - Rose (33).
Yellow cards: Stoke - Shawcross, Cameron. Spurs - Naughton, Rose.
Red card: Stoke - Shawcross (second yellow).
Referee: Mr A Marriner.