Stoke City tonight went to the top of Group E in the Europa League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters hit the front in the 12th minute when Kenwyne Jones powerfully headed home Dean Whitehead’s cross before Cameron Jerome made it 2-0 inside 25 minutes with a header of his own from Matthew Etherington’s curling free-kick.
Jerome picked up a yellow card ten minutes later and it could have proved to be costly as he was again penalised moments before half-time, reducing the home side to ten men, but they were already three goals to the good prior to that when Ryan Shotton finished off Jerome’s neat run with an easy finish.
The Israeli outfit had problems of their own early in the second half when Yoav Ziv was sent off for kicking out in frustration after a challenge from Shotton with his boot coming free from his foot and hitting the assistant referee in rather comical fashion.
However, the damage had already been done by Tony Pulis’ side who maintained their unbeaten start to their European campaign and now sit two points clear of Dynamo Kiev who beat Besiktas 1-0 at home.
Europa League Group E