Premier League leaders Manchester City were clinically seen off by an excellent Stoke side as Marko Arnautovic scored twice in a 2-0 win at the Britannia Stadium.
- Stoke 2 Manchester City 0
- Arnautovic gives Stoke the lead
- Austrian forward then fires in a second
- Woodwork denies Arnautovic a hat-trick
- Potters move up to 9th in table
The Austrian forward struck from close range early on before sweeping home a second minutes later as Mark Hughes' men were by far the better side in difficult playing conditions.
City were without key trio Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, while Stoke sprung a surprise by not playing with an out and out striker, a move that paid dividends almost immediately at a blustery Brit.
Indeed they took the lead in the seventh minute when Xherdan Shaqiri skipped past Aleksandar Kolarov down the Stoke right and fired in a superb cross that was swept home by Arnautovic four yards out.
Jack Butland kept out a Kevin de Bruyne effort as City looked for an immediate response, before Mark Hughes' men doubled their advantage with 15 minutes on the clock thanks to that man Arnautovic again.
Shaqiri was once again instrumental as he picked out a perfect pass for the Austrian forward, who beat the onrushing Joe Hart to the ball and expertly clipped home from 12 yards.
Stoke's front three of Bojan, Arnautovic and Shaqiri were causing all sorts of problems for the City defence and it was Arnautovic who almost grabbed his hat-trick shortly before the break when he headed a Glenn Whelan cross a yard wide.
The woodwork was then struck at either end in the space of two minutes in a dramatic end to the half.
Firstly, Raheem Sterling slipped in Kolarov down the left but his shot from a tight angle struck the foot of Butland's post before Arnautovic found himself one on one with Hart but slipped when he got his shot away and it crashed onto the post and away to safety.
The Potters almost made it three early into the second period when the impressive Bojan drove into the box but his strike was saved by the knee of Hart and Arnautovic nodded the rebound wide.
That sparked Manuel Pellegrini into making a double change in the 56th minute with Wilfried Bony and Fernandinho hauled off and replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho and Fabian Delph while David Silva, who hardly touched the ball, also got the hook five minutes later.
Stoke's front three were again to the fore as the Potters came close to adding to their advantage, Bojan back-heeling the ball into the path of Arnautovic who pulled his shot across goal with Shaqiri close to touching it home.
City were forced to play the last 18 minutes with 10 men after Fernando limped off but in truth hardly any of their players turned up in what was woeful display against a very impressive Stoke side.