Stoke City 3, Hull City 1

Stuart Attwell

Maguire played as a right back as Silva went with four at the back.

Grant saved from Grosicki to prevent it becoming 2-2 and after Walters struck the crossbar, Shaqiri let rip from 30 yards with a left-footed drive that soared into the top corner to virtually assure Stoke's Premier League status for another term. Shaqiri created the first for Arnautovic after just six minutes and the Austrian should have scored again just three minutes later when Shaqiri lofted the ball into his path and Arnautovic beat the offside trap only to blaze over. The corner is taking short to Clucas who has time to deliver a cross into the penalty area, Stoke fail to clear and it falls kindly for Maguire at the back post who makes no mistake. It looked to have fallen perfectly for Niasse inside the six-yard box but he couldn't direct the ball on target. They got off to the worst possible start after Marko Arnautovic game the home side the lead with a stunning finish.

Niasse, who was proving a handful, was booked for going in late on Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant on the stroke of half time and then escaped with just a ticking-off after shoving Geoff Cameron.

The Tigers enjoyed the majority of possession in the early moments of the second half and made it count five minutes in when Stoke needlessly conceded a corner.

Hughes' tactical masterstrokeThe decision to withdraw Saido Berahino in the 66th minute was jeered by home supporters yet Mark Hughes' call to introduce Jonathan Walters and Crouch was soon vindicated when they combined for the opener.

On came the tried and tested pairing - and they nearly made an instant impact, with Walters' diving header needing a brilliant one-handed stop from Eldin Jakupovic and Crouch bundling the rebound wide.

That prompted a change from the Tigers as Abel Hernandez came on to replace Huddlestone. To take points away, and at home, we need to improve.

The Potters remained in the bottom half but with games against Swansea, West Ham and Bournemouth to come, Hughes expects his team to approach the final stretch unburdened.

The Hull manager also accepted his side began poorly, allowing Stoke to get off to an ideal start.

But the Switzerland global teed up Marko Arnautovic for Stoke's opener in Saturday's competition and, after Peter Crouch had restored the hosts' lead following Harry Maguire's leveller, it was Shaqiri who set the game to bed in spectacular style.

Attendance: 27,505 (1,464 Visiting Supporters).

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