EFL Expert heap praise on Alex Neil’s Potters’ side after a stunning reaction from the Riverside Stadium as Stoke City secure a”sensible” 2-0 win over Middlesbrough…

Stoke City secured a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough, marking their first win at the Riverside Stadium in 26 years and their third consecutive league win, a feat they had only achieved once since 2016. The win came as a result of a stellar performance by the Stoke City team.

Alex Neil, who had been facing mounting pressure before the international break, managed to turn the tide with impressive wins against Sunderland, Leeds United, and now Middlesbrough. This was especially notable as Middlesbrough had won their previous six matches.

The unexpected return of Mark Travers to Bournemouth and Neil’s decision to make four additional changes to the starting lineup raised eyebrows and concerns. However, the away performance that followed was one to remember.

The scoring began early with Michael Rose heading in a corner from Sead Haksabanovic, making it their third consecutive goal from set-pieces. Stoke extended their lead to 2-0 when Mehdi Leris unleashed a shot into the bottom corner after a well-worked play involving Enda Stevens and Daniel Johnson.

Stoke had other scoring opportunities, with Dwight Gayle missing a chance early in the game. Stoke’s fans were elated, dancing in the away end and singing the praises of Jack Bonham. It had been since 1997 that Stoke last won at Middlesbrough, and this victory felt like a positive step in the right direction.

Stoke City player ratings vs Bristol City as Nathan Lowe secures fairy tale  finish - Peter Smith - Stoke-on-Trent Live

Player Ratings from the Riverside Stadium:

  • Bonham: Impressive in commanding situations and made a crucial fingertip save. Rating: 8
  • Hoever: A valuable asset in attacks and a threat when entering the final third. Rating: 8
  • Stevens: Faced a tough test against Isiah Jones’s pace but used his head to handle the winger. Rating: 8
  • McNally: Showed great determination in central defense, taking on added responsibility. Rating: 8
  • Rose: Formed a strong partnership with McNally and scored the opening goal with a crucial header. Rating: 8
  • Pearson: Made excellent contributions before leaving the game due to injury. Rating: 7
  • Laurent: As captain, influenced the high pressing game and showed commitment off the ball. Rating: 8
  • Johnson: Put in a significant shift without the ball and provided a lovely assist for the second goal. Rating: 8
  • Leris: Scored a well-taken goal and posed a tireless threat down the right. A nuisance for the opposition. Rating: 8
  • Haksabanovic: Assisted in the opener and had a close-range chance in the second half. Rating: 8
  • Gayle: Showed promise with early movement behind the defense and created a great opportunity for Haksabanovic. Fatigued in the second half. Rating: 8


  • Thompson (for Pearson, 36): Filled a crucial role in defensive midfield and worked tirelessly. Received a booking. Rating: 8
  • Gooch (for Leris, 72): Brought fresh legs late in the game to relieve Leris. Rating: 7
  • Wesley (for Gayle, 80): A significant presence in the attack for the final minutes, able to retain possession. Rating: 6
  • Vidigal (for Haksabanovic, 80): Added an extra spark on the left during the closing stages. Rating: 6

Not used: Fielding, Burger, Junho, Tchamadeu, Lowe.

Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Durham) Rating: 5

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