Stoke 1 Southampon 2: Pelle at the double as Saints down Potters

A first-half double from the Italian hitman was enough to put sloppy Stoke to the sword today – and shake up the top-six battle.

This first victory in four outings means Ronald Koeman’s men jump into seventh place – just two points behind Manchester United.

But while that keeps their hopes of Europa League qualification very much alive, the Potters’ dreams of getting there have been seriously damaged.

Had they made it four wins in a row here, they would have been in the thick of that mix.

Instead, they have slipped to ninth place. After barely getting out of their own half in a one-sided opening spell, Southampton scored.

Talk about coming against the run of play but, having had a header tipped over by Jack Butland, Pelle made no mistake second time around.

He met Steven Davis’ resulting corner perfectly to nod in his first goal in 14 games.

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