Stoke City are probably not going to be playing in the Championship next season, thanks to their win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, coupled with Wigan's less than impressive display against West Ham. They Stoke'd their way to victory, kicking opposing attackers and long balls en route to a 2-0 win.
Adel Taarabt had three excellent chances to score in the first half from free kicks, which all resulted from Stoke fouls on the edge of the area to kill QPR attacks. While Taarabt's free kicks looked dangerous, the tactic ultimately proved effective. He had one go an inch wide in the 7th minute, another saved in the 32nd minute, and drilled one into the wall later in the half.
Stoke's only truly promising attack in the first half produced a goal, as Cameron Jerome and Peter Crouch badly out-worked the QPR defense. On a 42nd minute counter, Jerome took the ball to the left of the goal, drawing defenders towards him before cutting back for Crouch to provide a simple finsih.
In the 74th minute, the Potters doubled their lead. Robert Green gave away a silly penalty with a clumsy attempt to claim the ball from Crouch during a scramble, on which he got much more of the towering striker than the ball. Jonathan Walters buried his first attempt at the spot kick, but it was called back for encroachment. His second attempt was just as successful, and his side held on for three important points.