STOKE CITY recorded their second ever Barclays Premier League victory at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon courtesy of a thoroughly deserved 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
First half strikes from Spanish starlet Bojan and fellow attacker Jonathan Walters were enough to claim all three points with Nacer Chadli’s effort on 78 minutes proving nothing but a consolation goal for the home side who had Kyle Naughton sent off in the dying embers of the match.
City were by far the better team against a lacklustre Spurs side and could have easily won by more than one goal in front of a subdued home crowd who saw their team lose for the second consecutive home fixture in the league.
It was the hosts who started the brighter of the two teams though despite competing in Europe on Thursday evening as Nacer Chadli’s early run and cross down the right was directed towards goal by Harry Kane at the far post and into the grateful hands of Asmir Begovic on the goalline.
However, not long after the Potters had managed to gain a foothold in the contest they took the lead in truly superb fashion through summer arrival Bojan who grabbed his first goal in City colours.
The former Barcelona forward collected his own pass from Steven Nzonzi from just inside the opposition half before driving at the Spurs defence and unleashing a powerful drive from the edge-of-the-area past the despairing outstretched left arm of Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
The home side looked for a quick response through Andros Townsend when the England international fired over from an acute angle before Christian Eriksen diverted a 35-yard free-kick two yards over the bar.
As the half went on City started to enjoy the lion’s share of possession despite losing the services of both Phil Bardsley and Marc Wilson to muscular injuries with Geoff Cameron and Marc Muniesa replacing the duo respectively.
However, a misplaced pass from Steve Sidwell almost led to the hosts drawling level but Kane once again planted his header at the far post into the gloves of Begovic before Ryan Mason dragged wide from just outside the area.
Mark Hughes’ side fashioned the better of the chances in the opening half and after Ryan Shawcross failed to divert Victor Moses’ corner on target from inside the six-yard area, the visitors doubled their advantage on 33 minutes.
Shawcross’ clearing header dropped into the path of Mame Diouf whose cross from the right to Walters was clinically turned home by the Republic of Ireland international from eight yards into the right-hand corner of the net.
The Potters could have gone further ahead before the first half drew to a conclusion but following Diouf’s run from halfway, the Senegalese forward saw his effort from inside the box blocked by a last-ditch challenge from Federico Fazio.
Mauricio Pochettino looked to breathe life into his side at the start of the second period with Erikson and Townsend departing for Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele respectively, but it was the Potters who came out of the traps quickest with Moses forcing Lloris into a smart save from distance following a mazy run, before the Nigerian whizzed an effort just past the far post following a similar move.
It took until just before the hour mark for the home side to fashion their first chance of the half when Kane flicked Lamela’s free-kick wide of the far post, while Challi tried his luck from distance but saw his effort fly well over as desperation set in for the home side.
Spurs captain Younes Kaboul was fortunate to receive just a yellow card as the clock ticked towards the final 15 minutes of the game after an out of control tackle on Jonathan Walter, before Asmir Begovic had to be at his agile best to push away Lamela’s pinpoint 20-yard free-kick.
However, the home side did grab one back with 12 minutes remaining as Danny Rose lofted the ball to the far post where Chadli fired a ferocious effort into Begovic’s goal from a tight angle.
The game became stretched as a result and Ryan Mason drilled over for the host from 20 yards before City substitute Stephen Ireland forced Lloris into a smart one-handed stop to tip the Irishman’s effort away to safety.
Tottenham’s task was made even harder with five minutes left when Kyle Naughton was deservedly given his marching orders for a challenge on Moses as he raced towards goal to put City out of sight.
Spurs had one last chance to deny City of all three points in the dying seconds but Emmanuel Adeboyer headed wide of the target to leave the Potters picking up their first away win at White Hart Lane since 2010.