Stoke City beat West Ham United 3-1 at the Brittania Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters continue their climb into midtable.
West Ham went ahead early on through Andy Carroll’s header, but Stoke came surging back as Peter Odemwingie equalized (glancing in Peter Crouch’s acrobatic effort) before half time, and then two goals in the space of 10 second half minutes from Marko Arnautovic and Odemwingie sealed the crucial comeback win.
Stoke deserved the three points as they got better as the match went on, with the Hammers struggling to create any clear cut chances throughout. With their win Stoke move into the top 10 on 34 points, while West Ham are in 11th on 31 points.
The Hammers took an early lead as a beautifully flighted cross from Mark Noble found Carroll who headed home on his return to the first team, as the away side went 1-0 up at the Britannia.
After that opener Stoke peppered West Ham’s goal with long-range efforts, as Arnautovic went close, but the Hammers were holding off Stoke’s advances with ease.
But then in the 31st minute the Potters were level as Crouch flicked towards goal, after his initial header from a corner was flicked onto the crossbar from close range, and the ball flicked off Peter Odemwingie and into the net to make it 1-1.
Before half time Carroll turned and struck just over from distance, while Stephen Ireland burst through from midfield but hammered his shot straight at Adrian in goal for West Ham.
After the interval West Ham continued to look for Carroll in the box, as the bruising England international couldn’t quite connect on a cross that almost found him at the back post in the 49th minute.
Stoke were pressing forward well, as both sides weren’t content to sit back and settle for a point. And it was the Potters who made their pressing count as they went 2-1 up in the 68th minute. Fluid build-up play from Ireland and Odemwingie saw the latter play in Arnautovic and the Austrian bundled his way through West Ham’s defense and slotted home coolly.
Ireland and Odemwingie then combined again to seal the game, as Ireland burst through from his own half and ran over 70-yards with the ball before slotting in Odemwingie to slam home his second of the game in the 78th minute.
The rest of the match saw Stoke pressing for more goals, as the Hammers couldn’t get a grasp on the rampant Potters with Adrian forced into several good saves to keep Stoke from winning more comfortably.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa, 14); Odemwingie, Nzonzi, Ireland, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch
Goals: Odemwingie (32, 79) Arnautovic (69)
West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Carroll (Armero, 83), Noble, Demel, Diame, Downing (J. Cole, 62), Nocerino (C. Cole, 76)
Goal: Carroll (5)