Marko Arnautovic brace gives Potters all three points
Stoke City stunned Manchester City with a superb first-half display which saw Austrian international Marko Arnautovic net a brace in a 2-0 win.
It was a blustery day at the Britannia Stadium, with the wind causing havoc for both sides, but it was Stoke that dealt with the conditions better as Manuel Pellegrini‘s side simply didn’t turn up.
With Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero out, it was always going to be a tough test for City, but it was the Belgian’s absence that was more costly.
It took Stoke just seven-minutes to break the deadlock as Xherdan Shaqiri‘s low-cross found Arnautovic who simply turned home past Joe Hart from a few yards out.
City were carved open by the impressive passing from Mark Hughes‘ men, and that was the story for the remainder of the game as Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis both had games to forget.
Things got even worse for City just eight-minutes later as Shaqiri‘s through-ball split open the entire back-line of City and Arnautovic ran onto it and calmly finished past Hart.
Stoke went in at half-time 2-0 up, but it could have been three as Arnautovic hit the post, narrowly missing out on his hat-trick.
The second-half was a quieter affair, with Bojan coming closest to scoring when he just couldn’t get on the end of a cross from the goalscorer.
Stoke’s win climbs then up to ninth in the table, while City remain top, but could fall to as low as fourth if Manchester United, Leicester City and Arsenal all win.
Stoke midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri: “We tried this [partnership with Marko Arnautovic] all week in training so we of course are happy that we scored in the game like this. It is important that we play how the coach wants and today we see that from the first minute we want to win the game. The two goals were very nice.
“We have a very good team, we can win against every team in the Premier League. This year the league is weird, every team can lose. We must work hard together and that is the key for the season. We have a lot of potential.”
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt