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Jonathan Walters on target as Stoke City move up to seventh

Walters put his side ahead at home to Norwich.

Stoke City v Norwich City - Barclays Premier League - Britannia Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

SWASHBUCKLING STOKE CITY beat 10-man Norwich City 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League tonight as Mark Hughes’ side continue to impress.

Goals from Stoke’s Jonathan Walters and Joselu were capped by an astonishing own goal from Ryan Bennett late on, while the visitors scored through Jonathan Howson. Hughes’ men now have 32 points from 21 games and are in seventh place, just four points adrift of the Champions League places.

Stoke have produced some thrilling wins against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United this season and few would have backed struggling Norwich to get a result at the Potteries. And when Norwich defender Gary O’Neil got a straight red for an ill-advised, two-footed tackle from behind after half an hour, the die appeared cast.

Norwich had kept the marauding Stoke forward line at bay in the first period but Walters got the opener when he threw himself at Marko Arnautovic’s inviting cross just after the restart.

Howson then bagged his fourth goal of the season with some style as Vadis Odjidja Ofoe chested down a raking ball from Wes Hoolahan into the midfielder’s path to hit an unstoppable shot on the bounce past goalkeeper Declan Rudd 55 minutes in.

Joselu took an opportunistic pot shot from 20-yards out on 67 minutes and Stoke pressure soon saw a spectacular Bennett own goal that would have done a striker proud and had the home fans singing his name. Ibrahim Afellay whipped in a cross that Bennett back-headed over Rudd.

Norwich, wearing a flashy yellow, orange and green striped-shirt came into the game sixth from bottom despite successive home victories over Aston Villa and Southampton and remain there, just five points above the drop zone.

© AFP 2016

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