Monday, April 24, 2017

He was due one! – Hughes revels in Shaqiri´s free-kick success

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Oct 2016

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Mark Hughes felt Xherdan Shaqiri was due to score a free-kick as his set-piece exploits helped Stoke City overcame Hull City 2-0 at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

Shaqiri bent the ball over the wall and into the bottom-right corner 10 minutes after the restart for his second goal of the day in the Premier League clash.

The Switzerland international had earlier found the back of the net with an extraordinary 25-yard effort that left Hull goalkeeper David Marshall with no chance.

Hughes claimed Shaqiri regularly scores directly from set-pieces in training and was delighted to see it translate to a competitive match.

“I thought we were very controlled. A great goal from Shaq got us off on the right foot, we had great control of the game, never came under great pressure,” said Stoke boss Hughes in a post-match interview.

“We came out for the second half and we were a bit wary, maybe because we had good opportunities and weren’t taking them so we wanted the second quickly.

“Great technique again for the second, he does that in training and was due one in a match. Apart from late pressure we were very comfortable.”

Shaqiri put his performance down to an improvement in his physical condition having sustained a calf injury earlier in the season.

“I think I’m really, really fit, that’s important to me. I started well in the first game [of the season against Middlesbrough] with a goal and then had a little injury on my calf and I’m happy to be back with my team,” he said.

“We are winning games and that’s important. The whole team had a good game, not only me. I scored twice, we won, that is important and we had a clean sheet. I hope we keep going like this.

“We managed the game for 90 minutes. It was the perfect day for Stoke City.

“We believe in ourselves, we are in good shape and we start the season now.”

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