Belfast Telegraph

Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland: Joe Allen's purple patch continues against Moyes' listless Mackems

By Liam Blackburn

In-form Stoke midfielder Joe Allen admits even he is surprised by his purple patch in front of goal after he took his tally to five in four games.

The 26-year-old Welshman shook off concerns over his hamstring to find the net twice in the first half on Saturday as the Potters claimed their first three points of the season with a 2-0 victory over winless Sunderland.

Allen had scored just five times in his previous three seasons for club and country, a total he has matched in his past four appearances, and he seems to be revitalised playing in a more advanced midfield position.

"I don't really know where it's coming from," Allen said. "When you play off players like Wilf (Bony) and (Peter) Crouchy when he's come on, when you've got the quality of Marko (Arnautovic) on one wing and Shaq (Xherdan Shaqiri) on the other, you know if you get in the right positions every now and then something is going to drop for you and at the moment it seems to be falling for me."

Allen has settled quickly after making a £13m switch from Liverpool during a summer where he helped Wales advance to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

While Allen has started the season in fine fettle, it has taken his team until the eighth attempt to record a first Premier League success of the campaign.

They removed that monkey off their back against the listless Black Cats and will see the coming weeks as a perfect opportunity to move up the table with a run of games against Hull, Swansea, West Ham, Bournemouth, Watford and Burnley.

Belfast Telegraph


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