STOKE CITY endured an afternoon to forget at Wembley Stadium as Tottenham Hotspur maintained their impressive run of form against the Potters.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men had chalked up three straight 4-0 successes at City’s expense and improved that record further with an equally as emphatic 5-1 victory on Saturday.
A hugely unfortunate Ryan Shawcross own goal midway through the first half set the tone for what ultimately proved to be a frustrating day in the capital.
Just a goal down at the break, it appeared the visitors were still in the encounter, especially having looked relatively bright for periods of the opening 45 minutes.
However, a second half capitulation will have infuriated boss Mark Hughes, as he watched on with horror as Spurs began to recapture the form that has propelled them to genuine title contenders in each of the past two campaigns.
Heung-Min Son, a constant nuisance to the Stoke backline, grabbed the goal his performance deserved a few minutes after the restart before Harry Kane took his tally for 2017 to 32 with a powerful header from close range a minute later.
Had it not been for the brilliance of Jack Butland on at least three occasions the home side could have been even further in the ascendancy by the time number eventually arrived, courtesy of Kane once more, in the 65th minute.
Christian Eriksen added to the tally 16 minutes from time when he rounded off a stunning counter-attack down the left with a finish of the highest quality to put the gloss on Spurs’ most potent showing of the campaign.
There was a late rare moment of celebration for the travelling 3,500 Stoke supporters when skipper Shawcross popped up with his first Premier League goal of the campaign, but even that will have done little to appease a clearly disgruntled Hughes on the sidelines.
The Welshman will be desperately hoping his side can produce a vastly improved showing on the road at Burnley on Tuesday evening, ahead of what looks like being a crucial home encounter with West Ham United in a week’s time.