Shaqiri's stunning goal ends losing streak for Stoke


"All of our games are important and next season it's important, if it's at home or away, to take as many points as possible".

Hull's goal came from defender Harry Maguire, who celebrated as if it was a cup final victor.

Mbokani and Elmohamady came on as late substitutes for the Tigers, but there was no turning of the tide with Silva's side beaten, leaving them two points clear of the relegation zone.

The Tigers, who have taken only one point away from home in seven months, made a good fist of trying to change the pattern and played some good football at the times, subjecting the Stoke defence to some hard passages.

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'We have five more games, the next game is one more chance to win and take points. Shaqiri set up Marko Arnautovic with a perfectly weighted pass that fully exposed the space between visiting defenders, and after stepping inside Michael Dawson and holding off Harry Maguire the striker confidently beat Eldin Jakupovic with a shot into the top 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.

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. Huddlestone, Alfred N'Diaye and Sam Clucas formed a central midfield three, with Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki working out wide to support Oumar Niasse in attack.

Stoke, in 11th, have 39 points from 33 games.

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Stoke boss Hughes said: "The icing on the cake was Shaqiri's goal, it crowned a very good performance from him".

Nonetheless, the equaliser came after the break for the away team when from a corner Maguire fired home at the far post after the ball broke to him in the box in the 51st minute. Walters took possession on the left before crossing deep for Crouch who lost Andrea Ranocchia to guide a header into the net.

- The Potters have scored 59% of their league goals in the first half this season, the highest proportion of any Premier League side.

The Swiss' confidence was contagious as Ryan Shawcross dinked through for Berahino to finish, though what would have been his first Stoke goal, 413 days on from his last for West Brom, was correctly ruled out for offside. Shaqiri looked up and found the target from well outside the area, the accuracy, power and dip of his shot leaving Jakupovic no chance.

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