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REUTERS - Peter Crouch’s second-half header gave Stoke City only their second victory in their last 11 games as they won 1-0 away at Southampton on Sunday to end the Premier League season in 13th place.
It was a fifth successive home game without a goal for Southampton, whose season started in promising fashion, and who reached the League Cup final, but finished poorly and with the future of manager Claude Puel in doubt.
Stoke might have been ahead inside the opening minute as Mame Biram Diouf tested home goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Xherdan Shaqiri had a good first-half chance.
Diouf went close with a header from a corner just before the hour mark after which Crouch headed home Geoff Cameron’s hanging cross in the 60th minute.
Jack Butland then made key saves to deny Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini and keep Stoke on course for victory.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis