Queens Park Rangers slipped back to the bottom of the Premier League after Charlie Adam’s first goal for Stoke secured victory for Tony Pulis’ men at the Britannia Stadium.
The R’s are still seeking their first Premier League win of the season and failed to build on a bright start that will have had supporters dreaming that their side could repeat their 3-2 victory from the corresponding fixture last term.
But the home side held on to secure their first success in four games and heap even more pressure on Mark Hughes.
A dearth of invention in the final third was the only thing stopping the visitors taking the lead in the first half as they passed and probed with purpose with little end product.
Despite not seeing much of the ball the Potters were efficient when they were in possession with Geoff Cameron, Adam and Steven Nzonzi combining before the latter delivered a low ball towards Peter Crouch in the penalty area, only for the striker’s shot to deflect wide off Anton Ferdinand.
But the best opportunity fell to QPR with Junior Hoilett leading a quick counter attack and setting up Adel Taarabt, but the Moroccan could only dink the ball onto the roof of the net.
It proved to be costly as seven minutes after the break Adam fired a stinging half volley past Julio Cesar after Robert Huth’s free kick spun into his path.
Taarabt almost brought his side back level minutes later but his deflected effort was kept out by Asmir Begovic, who then superbly clawed away Esteban Granero’s effort.
That pressure wasn’t to be sustained and it was Stoke who finished the game stronger and almost doubled their advantage with Cesar saving well from Michael Kightly.