TONY PULIS praised his team’s hunger for goals after Stoke sealed their biggest Premier League win with a comprehensive demolition of 10-man Blackburn.
It was the fourth time since the turn of the year that the Potters had scored three times in a match and Pulis couldn’t hide his delight at the end of his 300th game in charge.
The Stoke boss said: “I thought we had some really good quality and in the end you’ve got to have people that want to score goals. It was a good performance.”
Danny Higginbotham’s volley gave Stoke an early lead before Mamady Sidibe made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time.
Rovers defender Chris Samba was then sent off for a second booking and Matthew Etherington netted a third goal in the 67th minute to end the match as a contest.
But even with the points secured, Stoke looked eager to add to their tally, with Higginbotham in particular posing a threat to Paul Robinson’s goal from corners.
“We work very hard on our set plays,” said Pulis. “In the second half there were three or four great headers and Robinson made some great saves.”
Blackburn had their moments in the first half, with Franco Di Santo wasting a chance to make it 1-1 by heading over the bar from just a few yards and Samba seeing his effort cleared off the line by Dean Whitehead as Blackburn clocked up the corners.
Rovers boss Sam Allardyce felt that Whitehead had used his arm, but admitted the standard of his team’s defending for the first two goals had let them down.
Allardyce said: “Franco Di Santo should have at least hit the target and that’s one of the reasons why we didn’t get ourselves back in the game. But the two goals we conceded were really poor.”
A Blackburn fan who was found unconscious in a stand during the match died in hospital yesterday. The 30-year-old man died just before 2am yesterday.
A 25-year-old man was last night being held in custody.
MATCH RATING: ** – Stoke may be a long-ball side, but they have players such as Matthew Etherington who can bring an extra dimension to their play. Despite having chances, Blackburn were never really in it.
REFEREE: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire) 7/10 – Celebrated his call up as a referee at this summer’s World Cup with another competent performance.
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