Stoke City beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium with Jonathan Walters scoring the first hat trick of his career.
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Walters scored twice inside the first 35 minutes to put the Potters 2-0 ahead but Niko Kranjcar pulle done back and QPR rallied in the second half as Joey Barton hit the crossbar but the R’s couldn’t grab their first away point of the season. Late on Walters headed home to seal the win with his third of the match.
With the win Stoke are up to ninth on 32 points, while QPR remain in 19th on 19 points.
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Stoke were rampant early on as Walters picked up a loose ball following a mistake fom Karl Henry and the Potters forward slotted home to make it 1-0.
Soon after it was 2-0 to the home side as Stephen Ireland set up Walters who buried another effort into the same corner. 2-0 to Stoke with less than 35 minutes on the clock.
However just when QPR looked destined for an 11th straight away defeat, the west London club got their act together.
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The R’s got right back into it as a deflection fell to Kranjcar and the Croatian playmaker tidied up at the back post to make it 2-1. Stoke were then forced into a change as captain Ryan Shawcross limped off and ws replaced by Marc Muniesa.
In the second half Asmir Begovic made a solid save from Eduardo Vargas, who acrobatically hammered an effort towards goal with QPR growing in confidence.
Substitute Peter Crouch went close as his effort skipped wide of the post as the Potters aimed to make it 3-1 and put the game beyond doubt. But QPR almost made it 2-2 with 15 minutes left as Barton smashed in a free kick which hit the crossbar and came back out. So close for the R’s as Leroy Fer forced Begovic into another good stop late on but Stoke held on for the victory.
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross (Muniesa, 42′), Wollscheid, Wilson; Nzonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic (Crouch, 63′), Ireland (Adam, 72′), Moses; Walters
Goals: Walters (21′, 34′, 90′)
QPR: Green, Isla, Dunne, Onuoha, Hill (Yun Suk-young, 75′), Vargas, Henry (Zamora, 45′), Barton, Fer, Kranjcar (Hoilett, 68′), Austin.
Goal: Kranjcar (36′)