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Premier League

  • 28 December 2014
  • • 20:30
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: R. East
  • • Attendance: 27070

Stoke City 2-0 West Brom: Pressure mounts on Irvine

Stoke City 2-0 West Brom: Pressure mounts on Irvine

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The Potters claimed a comfortable victory in front of their home fans, with Mame Biram Diouf scoring a brace to pile further misery on the Baggies and their manager

A Mame Biram Diouf brace helped Stoke earn back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this term in Sunday's 2-0 scalp of West Brom.

Mark Hughes' men had failed to string together consecutive top-flight wins this season before West Brom's visit and although the away side will count themselves unlucky not to have earned a share of the spoils, Diouf's second-half double ultimately proved decisive.

Brown Ideye, Chris Brunt and Craig Gardner all went close for the visitors in a keenly contested first half, while the in-form Bojan Krkic showed flashes of his ability in attack for Stoke.

The hosts appeared considerably more focused at the start of the second half and Diouf broke the deadlock six minutes after the break.

Gareth McAuley nearly drew West Brom level when he hit the post with 65 minutes on the clock and Stoke capitalised on that let-off, securing victory through a fortuitous Diouf goal shortly after, increasing the pressure on the visiting coach Alan Irvine.

Supporters were treated to a frenetic opening at the Britannia Stadium, though the home side took a little longer to settle, despite Hughes making just the one change from Friday's 1-0 win at Everton – replacing Jonathan Walters with Peter Crouch.

Ideye, one of four brought in after the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, wasted West Brom's first chance inside 60 seconds as he raced on to a long ball and blazed over the crossbar.

Stoke unsurprisingly began to look more dangerous going forward once Bojan started to get involved and the Spaniard almost put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute, sending an effort agonisingly wide of the bottom-left corner from 20 yards.

West Brom remained threatening as the evasive movement of Ideye and Stephane Sessegnon started to cause Stoke plenty of problems at the back.

And both were involved seven minutes before the break as a fine West Brom move ended with Brunt blasting a fierce left-footed effort just off target from 30 yards, much to the relief of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Stoke seemed to begin the second period with renewed urgency and Diouf opened the scoring in the 51st minute, slotting past Ben Foster after producing a clever first touch to take him away from the defenders before finishing from 12 yards out.

West Brom almost pulled one back through McAuley with 25 minutes to go, but the defender prodded against the woodwork amid a goalmouth scramble and Stoke made them pay just a few moments later.

Marko Arnautovic's wayward effort from outside the area struck Diouf which subsequently deceivied the helpless Foster, who could only watch as the ball rolled into the net.

West Brom desperately poured men forward during the final 15 minutes, but their attackers appeared bereft of ideas and Stoke ultimately cruised to the win, ending 2014 in victorious fashion.