Paul Lambert off to a flyer as Stoke beat Huddersfield 2-0

Stoke City beat Huddersfield 2-0 in Paul Lambert's first game in charge
Stoke City beat Huddersfield 2-0 in Paul Lambert’s first game in charge

New Stoke boss Paul Lambert won his first match in charge as the Potters beat Huddersfield to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Joe Allen struck early in the second half for the hosts, side-footing in Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s cross.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Biram Diouf then combined on the edge of the area before the latter stroked home.

Huddersfield, without a league win since 16 December, rarely threatened.

Steve Mounie had the Terriers’ best attempt, a well-struck effort from distance straight at Jack Butland late on.

Peter Crouch, a target for Chelsea, came on for the final 15 minutes for the hosts. It could be the striker’s final appearance for the club if a move materialises as the Potters are not in action again until 31 January – transfer deadline day.

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Stoke moved up to 17th with the victory, while Huddersfield are three points above the relegation zone.

Stoke take step in right direction

Lambert succeeded Mark Hughes on Monday, and immediately highlighted Stoke’s leaky defence as something that needed fixing if they were to pull away from the relegation zone.

The 3-0 defeat at Manchester United just hours after Lambert’s appointment meant Stoke had conceded 50 goals after 23 games. That is the third worst record at this stage of any Premier League season and made them the first club in Europe’s top five divisions to reach the half-century.

Lambert was boosted by the return of centre-back and captain Ryan Shawcross – in the side for the first time since 26 December after recovering from a calf injury – and there was certainly much more steel in the Stoke backline against a Huddersfield team who failed to manage a single shot on target in the first half.

The Potters will certainly face sterner tests than a team who have scored just eight goals away from home all season, but having conceded 10 in their three league games prior to this, this was a positive step.