Stoke recorded a 1-0 victory over QPR on Saturday that leaves Mark Hughes’ men still searching for their first win of the Premier League season.
Charlie Adam was the man who came to Stoke’s rescue after a dismal opening half, the Scot finding room inside the penalty area to send a volley past Julio Cesar and secure all three points for his side.
Stoke made two changes to the team who were beaten at Norwich last time out, Michael Kightly and Dean Whitehead dropped to the bench with Irish midfielder Glenn Whelan and winger Matthew Etherington replacing them in the starting line-up.
The visitors made just one change as Alejandro Faurlin returned to the centre of midfield in place of Jamie Mackie, who dropped to the bench.
The opening half lacked any real goalmouth action, with Djibril Cisse miscuing a volley following an Armand Traore cross from the left. Adel Taarabt and Junior Hoilett looked dangerous for the visitors but were always denied by the resolute back four of Stoke.
The hosts rarely tested Cesar, Whelan sent a long-range effort just wide but otherwise there was very little from Tony Pulis’ side going forward until the closing minutes of the half.
Steven Nzonzi created the best chance for Stoke in the 38th minute as he broke behind the QPR defence and pulled a low cross into Peter Crouch. The striker’s shot looked destined for the bottom corner but his effort took a deflection and dropped wide of the goal.
With minutes of the half left, Hoilett stole a loose cross field pass and raced towards goal, before rolling a perfect pass into the path of Taraabt inside the penalty area. However the Moroccan chose to try and chip the ball over Asmir Begovic and got his angles all wrong as he fired wide of goal.
The hosts came out after the break intent on breaking the deadlock with some nice football and they got their reward as Adam fired in from inside the penalty area.
Jon Walters flicked a ball onto Crouch, and although he couldn’t control it he was able to steer it into Adam and he lashed it into the back of the net.
That goal sparked QPR back into life and Taraabt brought two good saves out of Begovic with long-range efforts the keeper was able to deal with fairly easily. The Moroccan also pulled a shot wide after dancing into the penalty area as he began to frustrate himself and his manager.
Hughes’ men continued to pile on the pressure but they were unable to find a way past Begovic who saved well from Esteban Granero and Taraabt late on.
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