Stoke City player ratings as Tommy Smith impresses but Jordan Thompson struggles in Coventry defeat – Elliott Jackson



An evening of woeful defending cost Stoke City in a frantic match at the Bet 365 Stadium as they were beaten 3-2 by Coventry City.

The Potters went into half time trailing 1-0 after Tyler Walker opened the scoring just before the interval with a deft finish past Angus Gunn.

In a frenetic second 45, three goals in the space of 10 minutes followed after Jacob Brown’s screamer had brought Stoke level.

Substitute Maxime Biamou put the Sky Blues back ahead with his touch, only for Sam Clucas to volley the hosts level just over a minute later.

Viktor Gyokeres then produced the deciding strike, cutting inside from the left to beat Gunn from the edge of the area to hand the visitors only their fourth away win of the season.

Here’s how Stoke-On-Trent-Live rated their performance.

Angus Gunn – 6

An early blunder almost saw his side go behind as he dropped a routine cross, only for Hamer’s goal-bound shot to him and divert wide. He atoned for that error shortly after, tipping the midfielder’s free-kick away from the top corner.

Then produced another great stop after the equaliser to deny Walker a second but should have done better for Gyokeres’ goal.

James Chester – N/A

Replaced by Connor Taylor after only half an hour after picking up an injury.

Danny Batth – 5

Dragged out of position for the goal as Walker escaped him for the opener. Almost caught on several occasions before that by Walker, who caused problems by playing on Batth’s shoulder.

Rhys Norrington-Davies – 6

Adds better balance by beng a left-footer in that position but his home is at wing-back.

Tommy Smith – 8

Stoke’s best performer in the first half. Got forwarded well and delivered a devilish delivery that somehow evaded everyone as he flung the ball across the six-yard box. His delivery in the second half then set up Clucas’ equaliser.

Nick Powell – 6

Didn’t do enough to get in the match, which can be said for all the midfielders. Looked better in the second half when he moved from the right to a ‘number 10’ position, with Clucas and Mikel holding behind him.

Jordan Thompson – 5

Given a big vote of confidence by O’Neill as he replaced John Obi Mikel in front of the defence. Struggled to cope with O’Hare and Hamer’s runs from midfield and didn’t offer enough protection to the Stoke back three. Little surprise he was then hooked at half time.

Sam Clucas – 6

The game passed him by. Struggled to get on the ball and dictate play, or even link up with Tymon down the left channel. Was much better in the second half after moving slightly deeper and volleyed home the equaliser expertly.

Josh Tymon – 5

Didn’t have any real joy down the left, unlike Smith on the opposite flank.

Christian Norton – 6

The better of the two strikers. Some neat touches with his back to play against three Coventry centre-backs. Clearly has good technique but sadly no sight of goal. Unlucky to be hooked at half time.

Jacob Brown – 6

Pretty anonymous in the first half. Didn’t hold the ball up or threaten in-behind the Coventry defence enough. Service into him wasn’t amazing but had to do better. Fortunate to stay on the field beyond the break.

Then atoned for that with an absolute scorcher to bring the game level. Smashed into the top corner from the edge of the area after Coventry failed to clear their lines.

Substitutes:

Connor Taylor (replaced Chester, 30′) – 6

Could’ve had a dream debut goal had it not been for a heroic save from Ben Wilson. Arguably pulled out of position for the goal by O’Hare but a solid-enough debut for the big defender.

John Obi Mikel (replaced Thompson, 45′) – 6

Added some security in midfield in the second half which Thompson hadn’t provided.

Steven Fletcher (replaced Norton, 45′) – 6

Held the ball up better than Norton or Brown had in the first half. Looked dangerous in the air and offered a different dimension with his aerial prowess.

Sam Vokes – N/A

Rabbi Matondo – N/A





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