Championship strugglers Stoke City secured a long overdue three points at the bet365 Stadium as goals from Tyrese Campbell and Joe Allen dispensed of a toothless Cardiff City, whose play-off hopes took a hit.
The first half got underway in the manner that many at the Bet365 Stadium will have expected, with both sides keeping proceedings overly cagey as they looked to gain a foothold in the game.
It was Welsh midfielder Joe Allen who looked to make much of the early running for Stoke, as the former Liverpool and Swansea City man spread the play well from the centre of the park, much to the annoyance of the Cardiff City faithful.
The game’s first real opening of note came about around seven minutes in as Tyrese Campbell was released in behind the Cardiff backline by Clucas, but Alex Smithies was thankfully quick off his line to smother the youngster’s low effort to keep the score at 0-0.
Cardiff largely struggled to create any real clear cut chances in the opening 20 minutes, with Albert Adomah offering the most consistent threat for the Bluebirds down the right hand side.
The match suddenly sprung into life as Clucas delivered an inswinging corner which deflected in off the unfortunate Callum Paterson for the six yard box, with Alex Smithies caught in no man’s land.
Messrs Campbell and Tom Ince continued to provide the most threat for the home side going forwards, whilst Sam Clucas and Nick Powell continued to rotate out on the left hand side as the first half fizzled out.
Into the second period, and it was Stoke who started the better of the two sides, with Ince driving in from the right hand side before laying on a pass that Powell could only smash into the side netting.
As we progressed past the hour mark, both sides continued to frustrate each other, before the second goal of the contest arrived with 72 minutes on the clock.
Campbell found space in the area before unleashing a low drive that was too hot for Smithies to handle as the former Huddersfield man only resulted in deflecting the ball into the path of the onrushing Joe Allen who gleefully poked home for the Potters.
Stoke continued to threaten as the half went on with Campbell again working space well before shooting just wide as the Potters looked to seal the win in style.
The final few knockings off the game passed without incident as the home side held out for a crucial three points in their bid to secure Championship safety, whilst Cardiff will surely be disappointed with the performance they put in this afternoon.
The result sees Stoke rise up to 19th place at the expense of Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town respectively, whilst the Bluebirds fall down to 10th place as their play-off chances take a hit after a run of five games unbeaten coming into today’s game.
Full time: Stoke City 2-0 Cardiff City