Paul Lambert enjoyed the perfect start to his career as Stoke City manager as his new side brushed aside Huddersfield Town 2-0 at a raucous bet365 stadium to move out of the Premier League relegation zone on Saturday.
Joe Allen and Mame Diouf scored the goals in the second half as Stoke, who included four changes from the side who lost at Old Trafford on Monday, won for the first time in seven games in all competitions.
Lambert was cheered ahead of kickoff and ended up doing a jig on the touchline after Allen got on the end of Eric Choupo-Moting’s cross in the 53rd minute and then Diouf rounded off an intricate move on 69 minutes.
Stoke’s impressive Xherdan Shaqiri also had a goal ruled out for offside as Huddersfield slumped to a third successive league defeat.
Stoke moved up to 17th, one point and three places below Huddersfield, whose manager David Wagner must be seriously worried about their slide. New signing Alex Pritchard proved a peripheral presence and was substituted in the second half after a disappointing full league debut.
The visitors struggled to find a way past the fit-again Ryan Shawcross, who won 14 headers at the heart of Stoke’s defence. Kurt Zouma also won 10 as the league’s leakiest defence suddenly plugged the holes.
A record bet365 stadium crowd of 29,785 witnessed Stoke’s first clean sheet in 14 league games.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Christian Radnedge