Marc Muniesa

Stoke City 2-0 Burnley: Hughes’ go top half with win

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  • Walters lashes home
  • Muniesa nabs first PL goal
  • Clarets sink 14th

Jonathan Walters and Marc Muniesa scored as Stoke City continued to make its early season woes a thing of the past in a 2-0 win over visiting Burnley on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium.

The loss leaves Burnley just three points above the drop zone, while Stoke arrives in the top half with 19 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley had the ball in the early stages, but Bruno Martins Indi provided the first bit of true danger when the Stoke back headed the ball off the woodwork.

Tom Heaton missed the game through injury, but he wouldn’t have made a difference on Walters’ opener. The Stoke man belted a Mame Biram Diouf cross behind Paul Robinson to give the Potters a 20th minute lead.

Muniesa scooped up his first PL goal before halftime when Marko Arnautovic provided good service and the ex-Barca man didn’t mess up his lines.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

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Hughes laments Stoke’s Cup ouster: “We were by far the better team”

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Stoke City won the match, but lost the war.

The Potters reversed the 1-0 first leg loss at the Britannia Stadium over 90 minutes against Liverpool, and then held on through 30 minutes of extra time only to fall in penalty kicks when Simon Mignolet made a pair of big saves.

[ MATCH RECAP: Liverpool def. Stoke City | Klopp reacts ]

The sting is deep.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is bitter at the loss, but more concerned for Marc Muniesa and Peter Crouch, who were stopped by Mignolet.

From StokeCityfc.com:

“What can I say to them? It is incredibly difficult, but both of those players were absolutely superb on the night.

“I was a striker, and paid to score goals and yet I never stuck my hand up to take a penalty in a shootout. It takes a lot of bottle to stand up and take one – especially in a game of such magnitude at a venue like this.

“I am full of admiration for them. It is just a shame their performances weren’t rewarded with the outcome that they, and the rest of my players, deserved.”

Penalties are a cruel, cruel business, and Hughes clearly knows what his troops need to hear in the wake of such disappointment.

Aston Villa signs 19-year-old Barcelona winger to five-year deal

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Aston Villa’s replenishment of talent continued on Friday.

After selling Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph this offseason, manager Tim Sherwood has plucked Spanish winger Adama Traore from Barcelona.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Traore, 19, has made 4 appearances for Barca’s senior squad, spending most of his time with their B unit. Villa’s purchase costs them around $10.5 million, and the club signed their new buy to a five-year deal.

From AVFC.co.uk:

He said: “He’s someone I have been tracking for a long time.

“He’s physically a man – and he has been for some time. He’s a big powerful boy, very quick, dynamic and a maverick-type player. Those players are few and far between.

“We’re delighted he has chosen Villa to continue his development.”

So what is it, Tim? Is he a man or a boy? And exactly how long has he been a man?

In any event, Traore is just the latest in a long line of new Villans to join the fray, as Jordan Amavi, Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede, Idrissa Gueye and Micah Richards are among the 10 names to join Sherwood’s unit this summer.

And Traore is another Barca player to make the jump to England’s top flight. Stoke City has brought over a number of players in Marc Muniesa, Ibrahim Afellay, Bojan Krkic and Moha El Ouriachi, while Gerard Deulofeu is back with Everton and Pedro Rodriguez seems destined for one of the big Manchester sides.

Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Dzeko to Roma, Traore to Stoke

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Edin Dzeko’s move from Manchester City to Roma is near completion, as the striker has undergone a medical with the Italian club. According to Sky Sports, the deal is expected to be announced tomorrow, and is reportedly worth around $22 million.

The Bosnian scored 26 goals in all competitions when City won the Premier League in 2013-14, but saw his production drop to just six goals last season. With Sergio Aguero the clear number-one striker and Wilfried Bony coming in during the January transfer window, Dzeko found himself relegated to a bench role for Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

Mark Hughes is looking to continue stacking his Stoke City side with Barcelona products, as the Potters are reportedly interested in bringing Adama Traore to the Britannia. If the move went through, Traore would become the fifth former-Barca product to move to Stoke, joining Bojan, Marc Muniesa, Moha El Ouriachi and Ibrahim Affelay.

Adama is a 19-year-old winger that has played mostly for the Barcelona reserves, and has also been linked with Aston Villa and West Ham. Barcelona’s technical director has admitted Adama may leave the club this summer, and Stoke City’s connection with the Spanish giants could be a determining factor in where he ends up.

[ RELATED: Premier League 2015-16 full season preview — Epic title race set to take center stage ]

Alessandro Diamanti looks to be on his way back to the Premier League, as the Italian midfielder has passed a medical with newly promoted Watford. Diamanti played for West Ham in 2009-10, but is currently under contract with Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. He spent half of last season on loan with Fiorentina in Serie A, and would become Watford’s 12th signing of the summer after being promoted to the Premier League.

West Brom has already added Rickie Lambert to try and find more goals, and the Baggies could add another threat to their attack. The Guardian is reporting that the Midlands club is ready to shell out a record transfer fee for Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon. The 25-year-old scored 20 goals for Zenit St. Petersburg last season and scored the game winner for Venezuela in their opening Copa America match against Colombia earlier this summer. Rondon is reported to be in England, and an announcement on his move could be coming in the next few days.

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Stoke City sign ex-Barcelona, PSV winger, free agent Ibrahim Afellay

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Stoke City announced on Monday the free-agent signing of now-former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay, the latest recruit in manager Mark Hughes’ endeavor to build a squad capable of bringing European football to the Britannia Stadium.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

Afellay, who makes four ex-Barcelona players now on the books at Stoke, featured for Schalke and Olympiacos while on loan from the Catalan giant the last two seasons (10 goals in 44 appearances combined – all competitions).

The 29-year-old Dutchman joins defender Marc Muniesa (2013) and wingers Bojan Krkic (2014) and Moha El Ouriachi (2015), all Barcelona youth academy products, as Blaugranas-turned-Potters over the last 24 months.

[ MORE: Romero to Man UnitedMontreal land Drogba | Red Bulls sign SWP ]

Upon finishing ninth in the Premier League during the 2014-15 season, Hughes has continued his aggressive, continental approach to player signings this summer, as Spanish forward Joselu, German defender Philipp Wollscheid and Danish goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard join Glen Johnson and Shay Given as the club’s other major summer acquisitions.