Stoke City manager, Mark Hughes is “thankful’ for Victor Moses’ fantastic header and has singled it out as the leeway to his side’s double over Everton.
Hughes’ men completed a first double over Everton in 48 years on Wednesday night with goals from Victor Moses and Mame Biram Diouf at the Britannia Stadium.
“We scored a great first goal thanks to a wonderful header from Victor and that then put us in the ascendency for a while,” the Welsh manager said in his post-game spin
The win sealed a first Premier League double for Stoke in the current campaign, having previously defeated the Merseyside club in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day. It follows successive league victories at Aston Villa and Saturday’s home win against Hull City.
Everton, winless in four league games prior to kickoff, had threatened to hit the ground running in Stoke-on-Trent, with Darron Gibson’s right-footed low shot nesting inside Asmir Begovic gloves.
Hughes was forced into an early change soon after, losing centre-back Philipp Wollscheid to injury. Moses abreast of the Toffees’ resolute defence, whom the home side had failed to part open in half-an-hour of play, seized the initiative and began relieving pressure off Stoke’s now depleted backline.
Having shot straight at Tim Howard on his first sight at goal, the Nigeria international, 24, then suspended in the air to connect with Phil Bardsley’s well-weighted cross before driving his header into the top corner beyond the Everton goalkeeper.
Hughes added: “It’s a fantastic header from Victor Moses and then we are in a position to soak up pressure and hit on the break.
“It was arguably Moses’ best performance for Stoke City.”
Diouf sealed the game late on; turning in a rebound of Marko Anautovic’s shot which came off the post.
The Potters are now seven points adrift of sixth-placed Southampton, but the 51-year-old manager is philosophical about their chances of claiming one of the spots reserved for European football by May.
“It’s a fantastic period at the moment, 42 points and we are eighth. We’re very happy but we still have work to do.
“People were talking about Europe at the press conference but we have never talked about Europe this year, it was all about achieving a points total that was greater than last year.
“I’m not sure Europe is achievable but we will have a go.”