Can we play you every week? Seventeen goals scored now in four games against the Potters with only one conceded. How much must Poch love the sight of Mark Hughes? A lot more than the travelling fans apparently who appear to have decided that the Sparky’s gone out of their relationship.
Hughes’s decision to select an 18 year old at right back to look after our currently most in form forward should come under much scrutiny when he gets back to the Britannia. Young Edwards saw Son score and make decisive passes or crosses for three other goals. He was easily man of the match. From the off he looked like the player most likely to save us from another Burnley, Swansea or West Brom experience as he continually jinked past Edwards and anyone else who challenged him, into dangerous areas. Stoke sat back in the traditional manner but thanks mostly to Son looked vulnerable and whilst the opening goal, Shawcross deflecting Sonny’s cross home, had an element of fortune, it was coming. Amazingly, Liverpool excluded, it was our first first half Wembley league goal.
More goals could have come from Eriksen and Son and in particular Kane who shocked the crowd by missing a sitter after being played in by Son.
That rare evidence of human fallibility was soon forgotten as he joined in the fun after half time. Stoke imploded and we for once, made light work of inferior opposition. Son scored after lovely work by Alli, Harry headed in a Davies cross then left-footed coolly home after good work by Eriksen. The Dane finished things off by completing a Winks inspired break by chipping past Buckland.
Son was the stand out player but some of Kane’s all round play when he dropped deep was sensational. One moment in the second half when under pressure he controlled a long clearance on the right and then virtually in one movement switched play over to Davies in space was positively Pirlo-esque. Really impressive.
Elsewhere Dele had another iffy game truth be told, he made Son’s goal but in general was dispossessed far too often – a couple of Stoke’s most dangerous moments came directly from him being caught dithering and looks to lack a certain steel for want of a better phrase. Lamela’s cameo was encouraging even though it was against a beaten and dispirited side. His quickness of thought and angled passing most definitely gives us a another good option going forward.
It’s at the back where we have concerns though while Toby and Sanchez are both out. Dier and Vertonghen did well enough today behind Dembélé and Winks but Stoke were feeble and we can expect more thorough tests not only next Saturday but on Wednesday when Brighton come to town.
A top four finish playing at Wembley was always going to be a tough prospect but despite recent hiccoughs we’re still there or thereabouts.
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