Stoke City 1 Blackburn Rovers 0: match report
Self-proclaimed aesthetes will still be able to allow themselves a grunt of vindication that this game was settled by goal that went from front to back in a matter of seconds. It was Jon Walters, a Blackburn Rovers trainee who played under Sam Allardyce at Bolton, who scored it, his first Premier League goal after arriving from Ipswich in the summer, three years after he was playing in League Two. It is hard to imagine what it will take for these two sides to shed their reputations but neither Tony Pulis or Allardyce seem too concerned with the way they are tagged as they continue to build competent and competitive mid-table teams. But it was Stoke City who continued their climb up the table, with a third win in four unbeaten matches in the Premier League. Having acknowledged that this is a pivotal campaign in the club's history after another summer of heavy investment, Pulis will certainly be pleased with the opening weeks of the campaign. Stoke have recovered from a poor start to the campaign and created far more chances than their visitors, with Jones missing with a shot from just outside the area and having a header saved by Paul Robinson. Rory Delap's throw does not induce the fear it used to but almost led to the hosts taking the lead when the ball sailed into the area and nicked off Ryan Nelsen only to bounce away off the post. Blackburn's only first-half opportunity came when Thomas Sorensen failed to punch El-Hadji Diouf's cross clear, but Brett Emerton's shot was headed off the line by Ryan Shawcross. Etherington went close on two occasions just before the interval but the hosts took the lead shortly after the restart. Jones flicked on from Sorensen's goal-kick and Etherington guided a pass through for Walters, who held off the challenge of Chris Samba before clipping a shot into the corner.
Related Stoke City News