Potters sign off pre-season in style...
STOKE CITY’S pre-season preparations came to a close with a 2-1 victory at RB Leipzig this afternoon.
A second half own goal from Marvin Compper ultimately gave City the win, much to the delight of the 1,000 or so travelling supporters who had made themselves heard throughout at the Red Bull Arena.
It was the Bundesliga side who struck first with just four minutes on the clock when Emil Fosberg went down under minimal contact from Jack Butland inside the penalty area. It was the winger himself who stepped up to convert from the spot.
City levelled just two minutes before the break when Mame Diouf flicked in a Xherdan Shaqiri corner to give the Potters a deserved equaliser. Then, with time running out, Compper flicked Shaqiri’s cross into his own net to secure the win in the final game of pre-season.
There was controversy early on in Saxony when Fosberg went down under the challenge from the onrushing Butland. Fosberg duly stepped up himself and dispatched the penalty to give last season’s Bundesliga runners-up the lead on four minutes.
The German side came close to doubling their advantage when Naby Keita did well to earn some space, before Timo Werner tried to find Yussuf Poulsen but crucially Shawcross was there to make a vital interception.
The Potters threatened an equaliser with ten minutes left of the half when Shaqiri played a delightful cross into the Leipzig area. Diouf did well to get to the ball first, but he could only direct his effort wide.
The Potters were level on the stroke of half time when Shaqiri got the reward his hard work deserved when Diouf flicked home his corner from five yards.
Leipzig almost capitalised on sloppy play from Geoff Cameron with 52 minutes on the clock, but when the ball fell to second half substitute Bruma, he could only fire wide when through on goal.
City grabbed the all-important third goal of the game with 12 minutes left on the clock when Shaqiri teased a cross into the German side’s penalty area. Substitute Compper inadvertently flicked the ball past fellow sub Yvon Mvogo in the home goal.
The hosts almost levelled twice in added time when first Dominic Kaiser’s free kick went just wide, before Butland produced an outstanding one-handed save to deny Marcel Sabitzer.
Ultimately however City were able to hold on claim the win and sign off their pre-season in style.
Stoke City: Butland, Zouma, Shawcross, Cameron, Diouf (Johnson, 80), Allen, Fletcher, Pieters, Bojan (Ramadan, 63), Shaqiri (Adam, 80), Berahino (Crouch, 73). Unused Subs: Grant, Haugaard, Muniesa, Wollschied, Joselu.