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Welcome to TEAMtalk's Stoke City Your Say forum - the place to be for positive Potters!
After hugely disappointing performances against Aston Villa and Hull City, many Stoke fans were expecting an improvement at Manchester City.
Even in the second half of last season, when things really began to click, Stoke struggled to break down resolute, massed defences. Away from home and against better opponents, however, the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Peter Odemwingie and Oussama Assaidi caused havoc on the counter attack.
It was always my expectation, then, that Stoke would look far better at the Etihad than they had against Villa or Hull. However, it certainly wasn't my expectation we'd go there and win!
What's more, we deserved it. Manchester City dominated possession, but Asmir Begovic only had two noteworthy saves to make. Yaya Toure clipped the bar, too, of course, but Stoke defended so incredibly well that there were remarkably few hairy moments in front of our goal.
Going forward, meanwhile, Victor Moses, Mame Biram Diouf and, after he came on, Peter Odemwingie caused so many problems on the counter attack that a Stoke goal always seemed like a genuine possibility.
The goal Diouf did score was absolutely fantastic and, although Toure will feel he should have won a late penalty, Diouf and Crouch both had very, very good chances to put the game beyond doubt before that - and if Manchester City deserved a penalty, so did Stoke.
In no way was this a lucky win or even a smash-and-grab one. It was 100% merited.
Just to add to the feel good factor even more, Stoke see out a transfer window without any last-minute scouring for deals and without any feeling whatsoever about weaknesses in the squad. The strength in depth we now have is quite incredible.
It's taken a few weeks to be able to say it, but what a time this is to be a Stoke fan!
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