Stoke City manager Mark Hughes offered no excuses after his side were comfortably seen off 4-1 by Championship club Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round, the Stoke
The Premier League side actually made much the brighter start at Ewood Park, going ahead after 10 minutes when Peter Crouch reacted first to a corner that Rovers had failed to deal with; lashing the ball into the roof of the net. Then followed a period of pressure, during which Mame Biram Diouf put a fine chance over the crossbar.
But Blackburn gradually grew into it and got their equaliser when Josh King touched home from close range, also following a corner. The Norwegian international then won a penalty on the stroke of half-time in an incident that saw Stoke’s Geoff Cameron sent off for a professional foul.
Rovers’ top scorer Rudy Gestede converted from the spot, and as the visiting defence became even more depleted, King grabbed two more to complete his hat-trick in a man of the match display.
Afterwards, Hughes had no complaints over the result against his former club, saying: “We didn’t defend a corner correctly , which has been a little bit of a problem for us this year, so at 1-1 you are still very much in the game. We are thinking we just need to get to half-time to sort a few things out. But to concede a penalty and lose a man just before half-time was too difficult for us in the end, which it shouldn’t have been.
“Overall it was a poor performance, but credit to Blackburn because they executed their game plan better than we did ours. We didn’t really deal with their front guys with their pace and physical threat and deal with first and second balls. In the end I couldn’t complain, Blackburn were the better team.”
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