It appeared like being one of these nights withinside the Potteries while Michael O’Neill’s guys outplayed the site visitors however couldn’t discover a manner via. Jacob Brown hit the put up withinside the first 1/2 of, then Mario Vrancic hit the bar withinside the second, earlier than Sam Johnstone two times made extremely good save in brief succession from Sam Surridge, the second one of them from the penalty spot after the Albion keeper had delivered down the striker.
But on seventy-nine mins the Potters subsequently created one piece of actual magic for his or her deserved winner on a night time while Albion boss Val Ismael admitted that Stoke had been the exceptional facet they’ve confronted up to now this season. Tommy Smith latched directly to a mis-hit by skip from Conor Townsend to drift a chipped ball via the inside-proper channel – and Powell ran on to boost a superbly weighted lob over the marooned Johnstone. Stoke climb to 0.33 at the again in their exceptional overall performance of the season in the front in their largest crowd of the season, 22,703, even though that become swelled via way of means of the noisy 2,886 visiting Albion lovers who made such an event of it. The Potters finally gained it in large partway to every other great overall performance from Powell, who, at 27, now appears to be an actual magnificence act as compared to the teenage Crewe Alexandra hopeful who Manchester United risked £3m on extra than 9 years ago.
It become Powell who created Stoke’s first extremely good threat while he positioned Brown easily via, most effective to peer his group-mate outfox keeper Johnstone however additionally locate the bottom of the put up. Seconds later, fit-once more Joe Allen fizzed a proper-foot follow-up simply huge. And, even though Albion’s Callum Robinson had an effective left-foot volley immediately at domestic keeper Adam Davies, he become additionally worried in an incident at the alternative end. Stoke notion that they’d scored while Darnell Furlong, looking to clean the hazard again to his keeper, arced a low diving header into the corner.
But referee Tim Robinson had already blown his whistle for an intended foul on Robinson, who regarded to have long past very without problems to ground, incomes a loud, sustained refrain of booing. Summer signing Vrancic become after move near after the ruin while he floated a left-foot free-kick over Johnstone, which bounced go into reverse the bar. From Powell’s low second-1/2 of the cross, the Albion keeper then denied Surridge from near range – earlier than there got here an excellent higher threat. Semi Ajayi cleared an intention-certain shot nearly from off the road and, withinside the melee that followed, Surridge becomes adjudged to had been delivered down via way of means of Johnstone. The Albion keeper dived to his proper to store Surridge’s poorly struck penalty kick together along with his feet.
In between, Albion had long past near snatching it themselves while captain Jake Livermore poked simply huge in an overdue scramble induced via way of means of certainly considered one among Furlong’s lengthy throws, But it becomes Stoke who had the ultimate chuckle as Powell’s winner rubberstamped their promoting credentials, lifting them inside a factor of pinnacle spot going into the modern-day worldwide ruin.
By then Albion can also additionally had been overtaken via way of means of each Bournemouth, who’re stage on intention distinction in advance of Saturday’s domestic recreation with Sheffield United, and additionally, fourth-located Fulham, who’re factoring off pinnacle spot going into the lunchtime away fixture with Coventry. The Baggies are subsequent in movement withinside the nearby West Midlands derby at domestic to Birmingham City on Friday 15 October, whilst Stoke’s subsequent recreation is tomorrow at Bramall Lane in opposition to the Blades. Stoke City supervisor Michael O’Neill advised BBC Radio Stoke: It’s a glad dressing room and we deserved to win however we can also additionally have made it tougher paintings than important with all of the overlooked possibilities.
I felt we treated the entirety they threw at us. I did not experience had been going to lose an intention. But Nick Powell pops up with that little bit of exceptional once more. The device we play fits Nick Powell. He’s pretty open and disciplined. When he performs like that there may be a duty as a group to get the ball to him in the one’s regions and he will usually reason problems. And it becomes an extremely good help from Tommy Smith. He’s taking part in it at wing-again and is certainly supplying us something in an attacking sense. We must maintain the lovers coming again. Our domestic shape has been outstanding and in some instances, the location becomes rocking. We have gained 5 and drawn one here – and the lovers are a large part of that.
West Brom boss Val Ismael advised BBC Radio WM:
I do not know if it becomes tiredness however we simply were not precise sufficient. We did not healthy the overall performance we installed in opposition to Cardiff. Stoke is the exceptional group we’ve performed up to now and that they deserved to win. We attempted to play however we misplaced the ball. It’s as easy as that. After which you want to run after it. We made too many errors and we must study from it. We misplaced too many balls withinside the pocket. We did now no longer create sufficient possibilities and did now no longer maintain the ball withinside the hazard regions. We hesitated plenty in lots of regions. That is the motive why the overall performance becomes average. We want to offer one hundred in keeping with cent all of the time. You see the exceptional withinside the Championship and we want to elevate the exceptional. We want to get better and put it together for the subsequent recreation in opposition to Birmingham. And Alex Mowatt has foot damage that we’ve to test on.