Stoke go four clear of drop zone with West Brom win

Stoke City have moved four points clear of the relegation places with an impressive 1-0 win against Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion.

A ninth-minute goal from Tyrese Campbell proved to be the winner, with the Stoke defence capably handling waves of West Brom attacks throughout.

Danny Batth was particularly impressive at the back for the Potters, while Joe Allen and Jack Butland also excelled.

Stoke are now four points clear of Barnsley in 22nd and have picked up 10 points from their last six games.

The match started poorly for West Brom when Grady Diangana went down injured just 90 seconds into the match and it was his replacement Kenneth Zohore that changed the home side’s approach.

Diangana is a tricky winger, while Zohore is more of a target man and it was this lack of creativity out wide that cost Albion.

Stoke struck with their first attack of the match, an inch-perfect through ball from Nick Powell finding Tom Ince, who managed to get the better of his defender before crossing for Tyrese Campbell to sweep home.

It was a simple finish for the England youth international, but the way he found himself in that position was further evidence of the unique skillset that neither Sam Vokes nor Lee Gregory can replicate.

Campbell went down after 25 minutes and was replaced by Gregory, but the former Milwall man was poor throughout and missed a very presentable chance in the second half following great work from Allen.

Butland’s handling was excellent on the night, taking numerous crosses bravely, but in truth he was rarely forced to make a save.

The Baggies put a lot of crosses into the box but Batth kept heading them away and for Michael O’Neill there can be no better sight.