Stoke City 2-1 Southampton: Super-sub Crouch on hand with winner

Peter Crouch proved his use once more, ensuring the Potters picked up three deserved points.

Stoke City 2-1 Southampton: Super-sub Crouch on hand with winner
Crouch wheels away after scoring the winner (photo: Getty Images / Alex Livesey)
Stoke City
2 1
Stoke City: Butland; Zouma, Cameron, Wimmer; Diouf, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting; Berahino,
Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Yoshida, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Romeu, Lemina; Tadic, Davis, Redmond; Long.
SCORE: 1-0, Diouf 40'. 1-1, Yoshida 75'. 2-1, Crouch 85'.
REFEREE: Mike Jones Booked - Allen, Tadic, Romeu.
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture.

Peter Crouch grabbed a winner from the bench as Stoke City picked up a much needed result on Saturday, beating Southampton 2-1.

The Potters were on top for much of the game and took a deserved lead through Mame Biram Diouf, but it looked like a missed Saido Berahino penalty would cost them after Mayo Yoshida equalised for the away side.

However, Crouch arrived as a substitute right on cue to find a winner with five minutes to go, further proving his use as an experienced member of Mark Hughes' squad.

Van Dijk back in as Potters dominate

Virgil Van Dijk making his first league start of the season for Saints was the headline after the team news was announced, but even he couldn't stop Stoke's first-half charge.

Xherdan Shaqiri did what he's famed for, cutting inside from the right and shooting, Fraser Forster beating his shot away before Mario Lemina slid in to divert the ball away from an incoming Mame Biram Diouf.

Southampton did muster first-half chances of their own, Nathan Redmond wasting their best one as he ran onto Dusan Tadic's through ball, only to poke wide of Jack Butland's goal.

Forster was proving to be the busier of the two goalkeeper's, though, as he was again forced into action on the half-hour mark, Choupo-Moting turning Yoshida before Forster pushed his shot wide to the right.

Diouf scores as Berahino misses spot-kick

The Englishman couldn't keep out Stoke's opener though, Diouf breaking the deadlock after 40 minutes.

Forster had no chance in fairness to him, blameless personally as his defence left Diouf wide open to nod in from a Shaqiri corner.

The 'keeper did have a chance to stop Stoke from going two up just minutes later, something he did successfully as he saved a penalty.

Winning the spot-kick after being tugged by Van Dijk, Saido Berahino had the confidence to pick the ball up in search of his first Potters goal, but his effort was at a decent height for Forster who guessed correctly to push the ball wide.

Stoke miss chances as Yoshida levels

The second-half started no different for Saints' goalkeeper, who was doing well in a 'battle of the England goalkeeper's' against Butland, despite his side being behind.

Shaqiri continued to trouble the Southampton defence, his cross deflecting off Romeu and towards goal, forcing Forster into preventing an own goal.

Up at the other end, Southampton did begin to grow into things, Shane Long flattering to deceive as he found room in the box from a cross, only to head well over under little pressure.

An equaliser did eventually come for the visitors though, against the run of play, with 15 minutes left on the clock.

It came from nothing, a Boufal cross flicked on by an outstretched Shane Long leg, Yoshida emerging in the box to fire home a fantastic volley off the underside of the bar.

Crouch nets late winner

However, Saints' joy at being level on terms didn't last for long, that man Peter Crouch intervening late on to net a winner for the Potters.

A goalmouth scramble had already seen a missed chance and a penalty appeal, leaving Choupo-Moting and Crouch as seemingly the only players with cool heads in the penalty area, the former sliding the ball across to Crouch to tap in from a yard out.

Southampton's resilience wasn't completely put out by that goal as they raced back up the pitch in search of a second equaliser, Charlie Austin coming closest in stoppage time as Gabbiadini got on the end of Van Dijk's knockdown, only to see his shot diverted off the line by Zouma.

That proved to be the last chance of the game, Stoke holding out for just their second win of the Premier League season thus far.