Stoke City back on the menu after poor 0-2 Boro defeat

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Stoke 0 Boro (1) 2
27/06/20 3pm Chsp

A poor day for Stoke just got worse. A 0-2 defeat to relegation rivals Middlesbrough, rival sides all picked up points, & Nick Powell got red carded & suspended. Who saw this coming? How did thIs awful game unfold? Well, here’s how this debacle came about in real time:

Thankfully the heatwave has broken – yesterday it was like playing in the Mexico World Cup! The bet365 looks good, the terraces adorned with flags (instead of what could have been cutouts of Nick Hancock). After I cheekily suggested at the press conference that Michael O’Neill was planning a number of changes, sure enough he makes THREE, starting Tommy Smith, James McClean and Danny Batth instead of belatedly bringing them on as subs. But let’s face it, this is a 6-pointer against a side that Pulis had in the play-offs last season. Things are so bad they’ve hired Neil Warnock this week. Yes, that bad.

0.05 Boro trying the old launch-an-attack-down-the-left-straight-from-the-kick-off routine…and the ball flies limply over them all for a throw. A Warnock cliche.

6.25 As Thompson curls the ball wide, it’s time to notice Tommy Smith’s haircut after last week’s alarming perm.

7.20 Worst free-kick of the season by Boro…again over everyone’s heads. Is everything over Boro’s  heads?

10.27 After Nick Powell is clattered & recovers, Clucas collapses with a bleeding knee. Is this the Warnock factor?

21.00 McClean’s volley brings out a save in the Boro keeper, but just as Stoke pressure Boro with 3 corners in a row, the ref calls for a water break. Damn it!

28.50 0-1 !!! Fletcher flicks his header in the corner of the net from a free-kick from the right. No wonder MON has been doing his nut on the touchline.

31.00 Fletcher almost makes it 2-0 (offside) or 3-0 (ball flashes across the area). Powell then gets clipped again, like he’s being targeted.

40.19 Ince on for Sorensen! Things so ropey that Ince is called for BEFORE half-time. Lasse certainly a weak link today.

45+1 Powell is AGAIN flattened, this time by the Boro keeper. If this was a boxing match, they’d be throwing the towel in.

45+5 HT Stoke 0 Boro 1 – and Michael O’Neill sprints to the dressing room…the players not moving there so quickly. Nor would I if I’d performed like that.

45.35 Stoke players look shell-shocked from MON’s hair-dryer treatment, and go charging through the Boro defence, only for McClean to blast the ball into the keeper’s crotch.

49.40 McClean’s header comes back off the post. I didn’t know he could head the ball! Not in that head-band.

52.00 Worst throw-in ever – limp-wristed Martins Indi lets the ball flop out of his hands for a foul throw! Get a grip!

56.50 Chester makes a decent tackle! Break out the bunting!!

57.45 Swapping the Jordans, Cousins on for Thompson. Vokes also on for limp-wristed Martins Indi.


61.20 0-2 !!! A deflected shot by sub Tavernier beats Butland from distance. He’s only been on the pitch a few minutes. That’s Tavernier, not Butland. Stoke certainly looking green, in all senses of the word.

66.10 Powell with a clear shot in the box…but it’s beaten away. 40 seconds later he has another shot saved. 70% possession and nothing to show for it.

75.15 Batth clearly taking one in the groin, showing the most painful expression a man can give.

78.35 Campbell is replaced by Lee Gregory. Last throw of the dice for MON.

80.00 Even ex-Stoke Ryan Shotton is brought on to rub salt in the wound.


88.20 Nick Powell handing out some of the punishment he’s been receiving all afternoon. Yellow card.

88.48 Nick Powell is red carded! For another foul. Suspension. Can’t get any worse now.

90+1 The best players for Stoke this afternoon are playing for Birmingham, who have come back to 3-3 vs Stoke-rivals Hull.

90+3 Ince finally gets his chance to blast the ball wide.

90+5 Thank goodness that’s over. 10-man-Stoke 0 Boro 2. Stoke back on the relegation menu!