Premier League
StokeStoke City3NorwichNorwich City1

Stoke City 3-1 Norwich City

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Stoke forward Joselu netted only his second Premier League goal since a £5.75m move in the summer

Stoke City moved up to seventh in the Premier League as three second-half goals saw off a Norwich side which played over an hour with 10 men.

The game was goalless when Canaries midfielder Gary O'Neil saw red for needlessly clattering through the back of Ibrahim Afellay on the touchline.

Stoke's Jon Walters slid in the opener at the far post, only for Jonny Howson to level with a 20-yard half volley.

Joselu's low drive and Ryan Bennett's headed own goal sealed the home win.

See how the action unfolded at the Britannia

Reaction to all of Wednesday's Premier League games

Norwich blinded by the red mist

Norwich started the match in 15th position in the Premier League, and knew an away victory would open up an eight-point gap between them and the relegation zone.

And, having won three of their previous four league matches, the Canaries started positively at the Britannia Stadium.

The visitors shaded possession and territory in the opening half an hour, with centre-half Bennett's strike stretching Stoke keeper Jack Butland.

However, their efforts were severely hampered by O'Neil's rash challenge.

Stoke v Norwich
O'Neil was given his first red card in the Premier League - in his 201st appearance

The 32-year-old midfielder wiped out Stoke counterpart Afellay as the ball harmlessly ran towards touch, leaving referee Neil Swarbrick with no option other than to produce a straight red card.

Norwich comfortably held out until half-time, but buckled after the break as Stoke eventually made their 72% of second-half possession pay.

"The whole evening turned on that incident," admitted Canaries manager Alex Neil afterwards. "It didn't need to happen."

Norwich's Gary O'Neil
O'Neill used his Twitter account to apologise to Norwich fans after the game

How the red card changed the game...

Stoke v Norwich
Norwich's 11 men edged possession in the first 30 minutes, spending 37.9% of that time in and around Stoke's penalty area
Premier League
But Stoke, with their extra man, controlled the game in the second half

Are Stoke Pottering towards Europe?

Stoke have been predictably unpredictable this season, impressing with thrilling wins against Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Everton, only to implode against the likes of West Brom, Watford and Sunderland.

But victory, coupled with Liverpool and Watford both dropping points, moved the Potters just four points adrift of the top four.

Stoke 3-1 Norwich: Hughes says Potters 'are ahead' of expectations

However, Mark Hughes' side were far from their fluent best for large periods against Norwich, despite their numerical advantage.

They have struggled to score goals at the Britannia Stadium this season, netting just 10 in their previous nine home matches, and looked to be heading towards another frustrating night after Howson's surprise leveller.

But Spanish striker Joselu's crisp shot from the edge of the area eased any lingering tension.

The Potters were firmly in control from then on, Bennett's unfortunate header from Afellay's clipped free-kick sealing Stoke's third win in four league matches.

Man of the match - Joselu (Stoke)

Stoke forward Joselu
The Spanish striker is starting to make his mark at Stoke. On his first Premier League start since 24 October, he attempted as many shots and created as many as chances as any of his team-mates

What they said

Stoke manager Mark Hughes:

"We know we didn't play as well as we can but it is great to get maximum points when we know the squad didn't play to the heights that they can.

"Sometimes it is more difficult to play against 10 men than it is against 11 if they keep their organisation - which they did to good effect. They've got pace as well so we had to be vigilant. But in the end we saw the game out quite comfortably.

"If we continue in this run then who knows where we can get to. We have just got to keep close to the guys in front."

Stoke 3-1 Norwich: Neil says O'Neil tackle cost side points

Norwich manager Alex Neil:

"Up to the sending-off we performed very well and had the best chance through Ryan Bennett. But after that point it becomes tough.

"After conceding the opener we showed character to equalise, but we didn't squeeze the ball quick enough for their second goal.

"When you're drawing the game you've got something to hang on to and I think Stoke were getting agitated."

What's next?

Stoke are back at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday when they welcome Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Norwich face another important away trip on Saturday, going to a Bournemouth side which is one place and two points behind them in the top-flight table.

Stats of the day

  • Jonathan Walters has scored in three of his last four appearances for Stoke - after going nine games in a row without scoring
  • Norwich are the only side to not keep a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League this season.
  • Jonny Howson has scored in successive Premier League away games at the Britannia Stadium versus Stoke for Norwich.
  • Norwich have been given the most red cards away from home in the Premier League this season (3).



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Butland
  • 8Johnson
  • 17Shawcross
  • 26Wollscheid
  • 3Pieters
  • 6Whelan
  • 14Afellay
  • 19Walters
  • 27BojanSubstituted forOdemwingieat 56'minutes
  • 10ArnautovicSubstituted forVan Ginkelat 76'minutes
  • 11JoseluSubstituted forCrouchat 82'minutes


  • 9Odemwingie
  • 12Wilson
  • 15Van Ginkel
  • 16Adam
  • 18Diouf
  • 25Crouch
  • 29Haugaard


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 13Rudd
  • 5Martin
  • 24Bennett
  • 6Bassong
  • 12Brady
  • 32Odjidja-OfoeSubstituted forRedmondat 62'minutes
  • 27TetteyBooked at 77mins
  • 28O'NeilBooked at 31mins
  • 8Howson
  • 14HoolahanSubstituted forJarvisat 63'minutes
  • 9MbokaniSubstituted forJeromeat 75'minutes


  • 1Ruddy
  • 3Wisdom
  • 10Jerome
  • 16Jarvis
  • 18Dorrans
  • 22Redmond
  • 23Olsson
Neil Swarbrick

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamNorwich
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 3, Norwich City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 3, Norwich City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Marco Van Ginkel.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ibrahim Afellay with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Sebastien Bassong.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ibrahim Afellay with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Robbie Brady.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Marco Van Ginkel.

  10. Post update

    Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Cameron Jerome (Norwich City).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Joselu.

  13. Post update

    Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Cameron Jerome (Norwich City).

  15. Goal!

    Own Goal by Ryan Bennett, Norwich City. Stoke City 3, Norwich City 1.

  16. Booking

    Alexander Tettey (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Tettey (Norwich City).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Marco Van Ginkel replaces Marko Arnautovic.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Cameron Jerome replaces Dieumerci Mbokani.

As It Stood

3Man City21124539211840
5West Ham219843324935
6Man Utd219752720734
8Crystal Palace219482320331
13West Brom217682227-527
20Aston Villa2125141737-2011
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