Premier League: Charlie Adam secures 1-0 win for Stoke against Norwich
Last Updated: April 28, 2013 6:58am
Charlie Adam's goal early in the second half gave Stoke a 1-0 win over Norwich to all but end their relegation fears.
Adam latched onto a Peter Crouch knockdown and swept the ball past Mark Bunn to secure a vital victory in a scrappy game at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters have now reached the 40-point mark that has always been Tony Pulis' target, while the Canaries could still need one more win as they remain down on 38 points.
Robert Snodgrass had the first opportunity of the game when he headed over the bar despite being well placed to put Norwich into the lead.
Best of the match:
- Man of the match: Charlie Adam scored the goal and provided the chief creative spark.
- Goal of the match: No competition but it was a good one from Adam as he nodded the ball away from the defenders before drilling home the shot.
- Talking point: Do Norwich have enough points to survive or could they regret this limp display?
Bradley Johnson then struck a shot over the bar but it was Stoke doing most of the pressing as they lofted a series of corners and free-kicks into the box.
Cameron Jerome went closest to finding the breakthrough when he hooked an Adam corner towards goal but the ball struck the arm of team-mate Steven N'Zonzi.
N'Zonzi did not have the best of halves and shortly afterwards he was a little fortunate to get away with just a booking after needlessly scything down Kei Kamara.
Tony Pulis says that Stoke can't afford to relax despite reaching the 40 point mark. Stoke beat Norwich to lift the pressure off their manager.
That prompted a scrappy passage of play in which Jerome, Grant Holt and Crouch were all booked for poor challenges as the first half ended on a sour note.
But the home fans soon had something to cheer after the interval. Crouch headed on a long ball from the back and Adam nodded it on with his head before half-volleying neatly to score.
Adam attempted to return the favour soon after as he won the ball on the right before squaring it to Crouch but the striker inexplicably missed the cross completely when unmarked in the middle.
After that flurry of excitement the game reverted to type with a series of fouls adding to the stop-start nature of the contest.
Norwich offered little in attack with Asmir Begovic catching numerous crosses and Stoke held on with relative comfort to surely ensure another season of Premier League football for the Potters.
Chris Hughton says that Norwich need to capitalise on their final two games of the season to ensure that they are safe.
Norwich boss Chris Hughton felt his side dealt with Stoke's direct approach early on but admitted that it was a struggle after going a goal behind.
He told Sky Sports: "We conceded at the worst possible time. We'd spoken about it and two minutes into the second half they've got the goal that they needed."
Stoke boss Pulis believed his side deserved their win but refused to accept they were safe just yet.
He told Sky Sports: "Villa play Sunderland on Monday night so we'll see how that game goes but 40 points and a good goal difference is a big push towards staying in the Premier League."
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