Barnsley 2-4 Stoke: Michael O'Neill off to winning start with Potters
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Oakwell
Last Updated: 09/11/19 7:38pm
New Stoke boss Michael O'Neill got off to a flying start with a 4-2 win against relegation rivals Barnsley.
A double from Sam Clucas gave the away side at Oakwell three huge points to lift them off the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table, while Barnsley dropped to the bottom with only one win this term.
The opening goal came within just seven minutes as Brad Collins in the Barnsley goal passed the ball straight to Clucas, who chipped the ball over the 'keeper from over 35 yards out for his fourth goal this season.
Amid some boos from the home supporters, James McClean was threaded through on goal, but his left-footed shot forced Collins into a save.
The first real chance for the hosts was a long-range effort from Kenny Dougall, but his shot veered wide.
Stoke then doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. After some neat play down the left the ball fell to McClean, who was brought down by Alex Mowatt, with Lee Gregory converting by slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Collins was called into action once again when Joe Allen threaded the ball through to Tom Ince, whose shot was handled easily by the Barnsley 'keeper.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman had his flag up. Cameron McGeehan was called offside just before he crossed the ball in to Cauley Woodrow.
Two minutes after the interval, Barnsley pulled a goal back. Substitute Luke Thomas played the ball through to McGeehan, who smashed it into the top right corner to give Jack Butland no chance.
The Tykes had the chance to draw level when Conor Chaplin went to ground in the area and the ball fell to Mowatt, whose shot glanced wide.
Stoke came close to increasing their lead when Gregory's shot from six yards out bounced off Collins.
The resulting corner gave Stoke their 3-1 lead. The ball bounced around the area and fell to Allen, who guided the ball into the bottom left corner.
Three minutes later, Clucas got his second goal of the game, shooting from distance once again to give Collins no chance.
Barnsley pulled a goal back, after a high through ball found substitute Patrick Schmidt, who placed the ball into the bottom corner.
What the managers said...
Barnsley's caretaker Adam Murray: "The goals we conceded today are individual errors and that's the story of our season so far. It gets past frustrating and you get a little bit angry with it. The fans do and the players do.
"It's something I've said in the changing room - the players have to start taking responsibility. It's happened too many times for players not to learn and take that ownership. It's time for them to stand up."
Stoke's Michael O'Neill: "We had to match their desire - no-one has a God-given right to be in the Championship. I'm obviously delighted with the result. It's one step in the right direction. It's very pleasing. It was a very good performance. Sam had a great performance and they were two great goals. His all-round game is excellent, hopefully the knock isn't too serious.
"In this third of the season, it is very important to get the three points. We showed a lot of quality today. The key was to make sure we got the result and the performance. They tested us to the max and they deserve a lot of credit for that."