MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Aug 30, (AFP): Manchester City crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat against Stoke as Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf stunned the Premier League champions on Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini’s team were beaten on home turf for the first time in the league since February thanks to Diouf’s fine solo run and a poor piece of goalkeeping from City’s Joe Hart in the second half at Eastlands. Diouf is a former Manchester United player who failed to make the grade at Old Trafford, but he returned to Manchester in style, netting Stoke’s first goal at City in seven visits in the Premier League era to give Potters boss Mark Hughes a sweet victory over the club that sacked him in 2009.
The 26-year-old, brought to England by Alex Ferguson in 2009 but limited to a handful of substitute appearances in his time with United, collected a headed clearance from a corner midway inside his own half and set off towards the City goal. Showing eye-catching pace, Diouf proved too quick for Aleksandar Kolarov and easily beat Fernandinho’s mistimed challenge before arriving in the area and hitting the ball, low and right-footed, through the legs of Hart, who will feel he could have done much better with his attempted save. Frustrated by an excellent game-plan implemented by Hughes and the visitors’ committed concentration and defending, the champions created few openings as their 100 percent winning start came to an unexpected end.