Stoke beat Bournemouth 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Stoke’s new signing Giannelli Imbula thumped in a wonderful opener after ten minutes, and Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu made it 3-0 immediately after half-time. Matt Ritchie pulled one back on the hour mark with another stunner, but there was to be no fairytale comeback.
Stoke welcomed back Jonathan Walters ahead of the game after he recovered from a virus, but captain Ryan Shawcross (back) and US international Geoff Cameron (ankle) were both still absent.
Eddie Howe had no new injury concerns for Bournemouth, though Tommy Elphick was deemed unfit despite playing a midweek friendly behind closed doors.
Bournemouth started much the brighter side and could count themselves unlucky to find themselves a goal down soon in the game.
The goal itself was wonderful; Xherdan Shaqiri’s effort was blocked on the edge of the box, and Imbula smashed home a first-time volley from the corner of the area.
From that moment on, Stoke started to dominate proceedings.
Shaqiri twice went close, while Diouf hassled and harried and was unlucky to see his efforts rewarded.
The score remained unchanged at half-time.
The second period began at a frenetic pace. Stoke went 2-0 ahead in the 52nd minute thanks to Afellay’s first ever Premier League goal, Jon Walters was the supplier after a penetrating drive forwards.
Three minutes later it was 3-0. Shaqiri’s trickery on the right allowed him to get a cross in, and Joselu headed home after only being on the pitch for a matter of minutes.
Incredibly, by the 58th minute it was 3-1 as Bournemouth pulled one back. Richie was the scorer, smashing in a wonderful half-volley from the edge of the Stoke area.
That was the end of the scoring, and Stoke held on for an important three points.
The win moves them up to 9th. Bournemouth stay 15th, just four points clear of the drop zone.
Next up for Bournemouth is a home tie against Everton in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. Stoke are already out of the cup and will have to wait till the following weekend to see action when the play Aston Villa.