Adam leaves Saints stunned

Stoke ended a four-match winless run by dashing Southampton’s hopes of Champions League qualification.

It was the visitors who were the better side throughout but rarely threatened Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal.

Morgan Schneiderlin gave the Saints the lead tapping home from close range after Jose Fonte won a flick-on at the near post from a corner.

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The Potters were lacklustre and sloppy in possession gifting Southampton the ball but they rarely troubled the Stoke backline to take advantage of poor play.

The best chance for Stoke fell to Steven N’Zonzi. He failed to make a solid enough contact from two-yards after Geoff Cameron’s header back across the face of goal – in what looked to be a certain goal.

At half-time Charlie Adam replaced an injured Stephen Ireland, who took a few kicks in the first half, and the Scotland international lifted the tempo.

After the match Mark Hughes told BBC Radio Stoke: “Stephen had really bad swelling to his foot. We are hoping it’s not a break.”

Just two minutes after the interval the hosts were level with an almighty stroke of luck.

N’Zonzi looped a ball into the box, which looked to be over hit and going out for a goal kick. The ball dipped hitting the crossbar and fell nicely into the path of Mame Diouf to slot home for his tenth of the season.

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It was hardly deserved on the balance of play but the fortune, which Mark Hughes has bemoaned his side were lacking.

Southampton regrouped well and were forcing Stoke into errors.

They had a golden opportunity to re-take the lead after Saido Mane found Dusan Tadic whose goal bound shot was cleared off the line by a covering Glenn Whelan.

Six minutes from time substitute Adam controlled a blocked shot in the box before turning and firing past Davis to seal the Potters the points.

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Toby Alderweireld was stretched off with a shoulder injury following an innocuous incident with Erik Pieters and having used all three substitutes the Saints finished the game with ten-men.

In stoppage time Peter Crouch had a glorious chance to seal the three points. Jon Walters capitalised on a Maya Yoshida slip and squared the ball to Crouch, who only managed to side foot wide.

Teams

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan (Sidwell), N’Zonzi, Arnautovic, Ireland (Adam), Walters, Diouf (Crouch).

Southampton: Davies, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Bertrand (Elia), Alderweireld, Schneiderlin, Davis (Long), Tadic (Ward-Prowse), Mane, Pelle.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

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