Stoke 2-0 Huddersfield: Paul Lambert enjoys perfect start as Potters boss
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 20/01/18 8:07pm
Paul Lambert made the perfect start as Stoke City manager as goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf secured a 2-0 win over Huddersfield at the bet365 Stadium.
Huddersfield offered very little as an attacking threat and were fortunate not to fall further behind as Choupo-Moting blazed over in the closing stages.
The victory moves Stoke out of the relegation zone above Southampton into 17th place while Huddersfield remain 14th having lost their last three league games with Liverpool and Manchester United up next.
Stoke: Butland (6), Bauer (8), Pieters (6), Zouma (6), Shawcross (7), Allen (7), Fletcher (6), Adam (6), Shaqiri (7), Choupo-Moting (7), Diouf (7).
Subs: Cameron (6), Sobhi (6), Crouch (6)
Huddersfield: Lossl (6), Malone (5), Hadergjonaj (6), Schindler (6), Zanka (6), Hogg (5), Mooy (5), van La Parra (6), Ince (5), Pritchard (5), Mounie (5).
Subs: Sabiri (6), Quaner (6), Depoitre (5)
Man of the match: Moritz Bauer
Huddersfield manager David Wagner has already recruited Terence Kongolo and Alex Pritchard this month, but he may well look for further reinforcements after another blunt display.
It was the only chance of note during an opening 45 minutes in which both sides looked shorn of confidence following recent poor runs of form.
Stoke made four changes as Mame Biram Diouf, Charlie Adam, Ryan Shawcross and Erik Pieters replaced Stephen Ireland, Josh Tymon, Bruno Martins Indi and Peter Crouch. Huddersfield made three changes as Florent Hadergjonaj, Alex Pritchard and Steve Mounie replaced Tommy Smith, Joe Lolley and Laurent Depoitre.
Stoke had never lost four consecutive Premier League games without scoring and after Shaqiri correctly had an acrobatic effort ruled out for offside, Lambert's men were rewarded for their more courageous approach.
Stoke had opportunities to double their lead through Shaqiri and Diouf before the pair combined for the latter to slot beyond Lossl via the post with 21 minutes remaining to the delight of their new manager.
Man of the match: Moritz Bauer
The Austrian's marauding runs caused United problems that night, and the 25-year-old was bombing forward frequently once more as he provided an outlet down the right as well as solidity in defence.
"The first goal set the tone and the second was just brilliant play.
"The back four were outstanding and the midfield three had terrific energy levels and the front three were a handful throughout the game.
David Wagner: "It's a frustrating result for sure and it's a deserved defeat, even if I can say my players gave everything. We have to be honest and say they were very aggressive and limited our offensive game.
"It's frustrating because of the result even if the effort and attitude was there. We'll try to recover as quickly as we can."
- Mame Biram Diouf's goal was his 22nd in the Premier League for Stoke City - making him their joint-third highest goalscorer in the competition (Jonathan Walters 43, Peter Crouch 43, Marko Arnautovic 22).
- Paul Lambert earned his first win as Premier League manager in 11 games - since his Aston Villa side beat Leicester 2-1 in December 2014.
- The Potters kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League since October (1-0 at Watford), having conceded 30 goals in their 13 previous games.
- The Terriers are now winless in six Premier League games, losing each of the last three in a row (D3).
- Joe Allen has had a hand in four goals in his last five Premier League games (2 goals, 2 assists), as many as in his previous 43 combined.
Stoke welcome Watford at the bet365 Stadium on January 31, while Huddersfield now turn their attention to the FA Cup fourth-round tie with Birmingham next Saturday.
David Wagner's men may well have greater priorities with Liverpool visiting the John Smith's Stadium on January 30.