Stoke City suffered a setback last night when they lost 2-1 to Cardiff City in the Championship at the Bet365 Stadium last night.
Michael O’Neill’s side surrendered a one-goal lead, missed a penalty and saw Tyrese Campbell limp off with a knee injury adding his name to the injury list at Stoke.
The match represented a chance for Stoke to extend their three-game unbeaten run and further enchance their reputation for being a side that does not concede many goals.
They passed up that opportunity with O’Neill explaining post-match that he thought Neil Harris’ side had overpowered their hosts when they turned the game on its head through goals from Robert Glatzel and Sean Morrison.
Here are four things StokeonTrentLive learned from the defeat to the Bluebirds…
Tyrese thrills but delivers another blow
At the risk of making this sound like a love letter to Tyrese Campbell, he was superb last night.
He very nearly scored early on but wrapped an effort around the post and his determination to get Stoke on the front foot rewarded his side with the openng goal.
It was clear that, once he limped off ten minutes into the second half, Stoke’s attack had been blunted somewhat.
On a positive note, Campbell walked down the tunnell by himself – albeit gingerly – so hopefully he weon’t be out for too long.
Defensive lapses prove costly
It was a night to forget for both sets of defenders.
Sean Morrison scored an own goal and gave a penalty away before he got his redemption for the winner, but for Stoke’s defenders there was no such opportunity.
Nathan Collins mis-timed his jump to head clear a devilish Joe Ralls cross for Robert Glatzel’s goal while Morrison was allowed, unmarked, to stoop home at the back post to head in Cardiff’s second.
It was uncharacterstic of Stoke, who kept three clean sheets leading up to Cardiff.
Sam passes up his chance
Sam Vokes was given a golden opportunity to stake his claim as Campbell’s replacement if he is out for any length of time.
The striker came on for Campbell and was gifted the chance to put Stoke 2-0 up and in control.
His penalty, while well saved by Alex Smithies, was put in an ideal place for the goalkeeper to get down to.
Vokes offered little after and passed up a big chance to show O’Neill why he deserves to start having began only four games this season.
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Second will have to wait – for now
Once Morrison had put into his own net, Stoke were in the dizzy heights of second place in the Championship and level on points with AFC Bournemouth who are top.
Indeed, because Bournemouth drew with Swansea City they remain on 31 points and Stoke dropped from second down to sixth once Cardiff completed their turnaround.
The Potters travel to struggling Derby County on Saturday before a trip to Queens Park Rangers, who are 18th.
Games against Coventry City and Nottingham Forest before the year is out mean Stoke play four of the League’s bottom seven teams between now and New Year’s Day.