March 21, 2010
The only other Premier League teams to win at Stoke this season are Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Birmingham. Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool all failed to win there. To get that result with 7 first team players out (Defoe, King, Lennon, Woodgate, Bentley, Jenas, and Hudlestone, all out, plus Cudicini, Walker and Rose, who would have been on the bench) is a massive, massive achievement, and Redknapp should get a lot of credit.
The only real negatives to come from the game revolved around Assou–Ekotto. Firstly, the argument with Corluka – raising your hands can get you a red card, so that was inexcusable. He was very lucky to get away without a yellow.
And then the penalty, which he was booked for.
Stoke are down to 10 men at this point, and Kitson has moved to the right of midfield as a result. Danny Collins has the ball on the left, and is about to deliver a cross.
Assou–Ekotto allows Kitson to get goal-side of him.
He clambers all over his back in his attempts to win the ball.
It looks a soft penalty in real-time but, when you see it from this angle, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a correct decision.
Matthew Etherington steps up and sends Gomes the wrong way.
I’m pleased to say that Assou–Ekotto made up for his error with the cross from which Kranjcar scored but, strictly speaking, he probably shouldn’t have been on the pitch at that point…
A big week coming up – hopefully some of our injured players will be back in contention for the Fulham game, because we’re really down to the bare bones now, not helped by Pavlyuchenko picking up a knock yesterday.