Premier League
Stoke1Crystal Palace0

Stoke City 1-0 Crystal Palace

Joe Allen scores for Stoke
Wales midfielder Joe Allen drilled in his sixth Premier League goal since arriving from Liverpool last summer

Crystal Palace remain rooted in the Premier League relegation zone after Joe Allen's second-half winner lifted Stoke City into the top half.

Potters defender Bruno Martins Indi had a header cleared off the line in a first half which offered few thrills.

Stoke continued to create the better chances after half-time, Marko Arnautovic picking out Ramadan Sobhi who teed up Allen's low angled drive.

The victory moves Stoke into ninth, while Palace stay second-bottom.

Palace, who have won just one Premier League game since Sam Allardyce took over, are only above Sunderland because of their better goal difference.

Big Sam struggling to turn around Palace's fortunes

Former England boss Allardyce arrived at Palace, following the departure of Alan Pardew in early December, with a managerial CV brimming with escapes from the Premier League drop.

But avoiding his first top-flight relegation is becoming increasingly difficult.

Palace have only won seven of their last 46 league fixtures - losing 28 - with Allardyce guiding them to just one victory in his eight games at the helm.

There were signs of improvement from last weekend's shocking 4-0 home defeat by relegation rivals Sunderland, with the visitors looking more defensively stable as Allardyce reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Attacking threat was sporadic, though.

The Eagles managed just one shot on target - Patrick van Aanholt's low first-half drive straight at Stoke keeper Lee Grant - as Allardyce's team remain two points adrift of safety.

"I'm encouraged by the performance I saw - but we still didn't pick up the point we deserved," said Allardyce.

Stoke shots
Stoke didn't create much, just three shots on target including Allen's winner (yellow arrow)...
Palace
...but Palace created even less. They managed to stick just one of their six shots on target (red arrow)

Stoke edge 'war of attrition'

Stoke have consistently competed for a top-half finish since manager Mark Hughes replaced Tony Pulis in 2013, finishing ninth in each of their three seasons under the former Wales boss' guidance.

And the Potters look well on course to accruing their largest points tally - eclipsing the 54 in 2014-15 - in a single Premier League season.

Stoke, who moved above West Ham and Watford into the top half, have earned 32 points from their 25 games.

These three points were certainly hard-fought in a game described by Hughes as "a war of attrition at times".

Despite controlling possession and territory, Stoke did not create many chances themselves and were reliant on the only moment of real quality to earn just their second win in seven league matches.

Austria forward Arnautovic was the architect of the winner, showing superb vision to pick out Sobhi with a superb diagonal pass which the Egyptian winger held up before laying off to the onrushing Allen.

And the Wales midfielder did the rest, drilling out of Wayne Hennessey's grasp into the bottom corner.

Post-match reaction

Stoke manager Mark Hughes:

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Hughes pleased with 'ugly' Stoke win

"It was a hard-fought win I have to say. We needed that breakthrough and it was a great goal when it came.

"We always felt that we would see the game through to a conclusion once we went ahead, and we restricted Palace to very few opportunities.

"Joe Allen times his runs well, he has an aptitude for it and it was a great finish.

"We are not in bad shape overall, we are doing OK but now we have to navigate our way through some very difficult games."

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce:

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Palace need to keep believing - Allardyce

"I'm disappointed for the lads. They had many moments in the game when we were in control and none more so than when Stoke scored.

"They scored their only shot on target in the second half. It's a 1-0 defeat again and not the point that we deserve at least.

"We have to keep battling on and believing. These are an honest bunch of players. Last week was a fluke, we conceded three goals in three minutes.

"Today the overall performance was there but the result wasn't. It's a results business and we need them fast.

"It's not been the results I expected. I thought it would have been easier for me to get the players to understand certain things. We all need to take more responsibility but we have to keep our chins up and graft away."

Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins:

"We looked a lot more solid today.

"Stoke had one shot on target in the second half and scored but we can take positives from the game.

"We all need to stay positive. We all believe that we can pull together and get out of it. Nothing is going our way."

Analysis - 'Big Sam seems incapable of turning it around'

Former England defender Martin Keown on Final Score:

"There were problems at Crystal Palace before Sam Allardyce arrived, and Big Sam seems simply incapable of turning this around.

"The manager, who's so experienced, needs to work hard to get the fear out of his side. But I just don't see it happening now."

Man of the match - Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke)

Bruno Martins Indi
Dutch centre-back Martins Indi was exceptional as Stoke hardly let Palace have a sniff of goal. He made a game-high 11 interceptions - more than double of any other player - as Stoke kept the clean sheet

What's next?

A week off for both clubs as the FA Cup resumes, before they get back to Premier League business in a fortnight.

Palace face a huge relegation scrap against sixth-bottom Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park on Saturday, 25 February (15:00 GMT), while Stoke go to top four-chasing Tottenham on Sunday, 26 February (13:30).

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 33Grant
  • 2BardsleySubstituted forJohnsonat 58'minutes
  • 17ShawcrossBooked at 53mins
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 3Pieters
  • 6Whelan
  • 16AdamSubstituted forAfellayat 79'minutes
  • 10Arnautovic
  • 4Allen
  • 32SobhiSubstituted forDioufat 82'minutes
  • 25Crouch

Substitutes

  • 5Muniesa
  • 8Johnson
  • 9Berahino
  • 14Afellay
  • 18Diouf
  • 21Imbula
  • 24Given

Crystal Palace

  • 13Hennessey
  • 2Ward
  • 5Tomkins
  • 27DelaneyBooked at 16mins
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 28Milivojevic
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forRemyat 87'minutes
  • 11ZahaBooked at 40minsSubstituted forSchluppat 68'minutes
  • 42PuncheonBooked at 42minsSubstituted forCabayeat 77'minutes
  • 10Townsend
  • 17Benteke

Substitutes

  • 1Speroni
  • 4Flamini
  • 7Cabaye
  • 8Remy
  • 9Campbell
  • 12Sakho
  • 31Schlupp
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
27,007

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Stoke City 1, Crystal Palace 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Crystal Palace 0.

Hand ball by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Damien Delaney.

Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Loïc Remy (Crystal Palace).

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Loïc Remy replaces James McArthur.

Peter Crouch (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James Tomkins (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Mame Biram Diouf replaces Ramadan Sobhi.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Ibrahim Afellay replaces Charlie Adam.

Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).

Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Yohan Cabaye replaces Jason Puncheon.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) because of an injury.

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Attempt missed. James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Jason Puncheon with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Glen Johnson.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Bruno Martins Indi.

Offside, Stoke City. Charlie Adam tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Wilfried Zaha.

Goal!

Goal! Stoke City 1, Crystal Palace 0. Joe Allen (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ramadan Sobhi.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Glen Johnson.

Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Glen Johnson replaces Phil Bardsley because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Phil Bardsley (Stoke City) because of an injury.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Stoke City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea24192351173459
2Tottenham25148346182850
3Arsenal25155554282650
4Liverpool25147454302449
5Man City24154549292049
6Man Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Brom2510783431337
9Stoke258893036-632
10West Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Watford2586112942-1330
13Burnley2492132635-929
14Bournemouth2475123547-1226
15Middlesbrough25410111927-822
16Leicester2456132441-1721
17Swansea2463152954-2521
18Hull2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219
View full Premier League table

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