It was a day of mixed emotions yesterday as Stoke swept aside Hull 5-1 to shoot up to 17th in the table, but also a day which saw them lose Joe Allen for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles.
Here’s the main talking points from an afternoon we went forget in a hurry…
Stoke didn’t just want to beat Hull, they wanted to adminster the kind of beating that will leave them groggily staggering towards relegation.
That’s where they appear headed, they were so poor, but credit Stoke for making sure it was a handsome rather than merely routine win.
They continued going for the jugular when the going was good in the first half and ended up with a 3-0 half-time lead.
Excuse to sit back on such an advantage, but no, they went hunting for more to make it 4-0.
And when Hull had the temerity to pull one back, Stoke found a second wind to go looking for more to make it 5-1.
And that margin of victory didn’t flatter them one bit on the day.
The TV highlights will no doubt focus on his two goals and with pretty good reason.
But his work off the ball was that of a player far more fired up than seemed possible earlier in the season.
And on it, there was still time for a bit of show boating when he pirouetted on the ball down near the dugouts at one point in the second half.
And if you want the pass of the match, how about the wonderfully disguised ball that went right to Ince when everyone else was probably expecting it to go left to Campbell?
Powell had so much leeway to make up after a miserable first half to the season, but boy is he bridging that gap now.
What a sad sight it was at the end of an otherwise blistering first half as the wee man was stetchered off at 3-0 up.
It was the only cloud on what was a day of complete sunshine otherwise and you suspect that those who don’t always appreciate his contribution will now have cause to appreciate it in his absence.
His departure had little effect on events against Hull, but Stoke could almost have played with 10 men and won just as comfortably given the opposition’s weakness.
As to who replaces Allen long term, Tashan Oakley-Boothe did no harm to his cause after taking his place for the second half, not least after setting up the last goa.
But given Stoke’s on-going predicament, and the manager’s leaning towards experience in certain areas of the pitch, he might well look elsewhere from the start of the next match.