May 11, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
Charlie Adam produced a goal out of nothing and Stoke City combined a win with a Newcastle loss to jump to ninth place on the final day, marking their best-ever Premier League finish.
The substitute weaved his way through a lackadaisical West Brom defense all by himself and gave Mark Hughes a fitting finish to a surprisingly successful season.
West Brom were incredibly close early on, hitting the bar with a header off a corner in just the second minute. The ball bounced straight down but goalline technology showed the ball did not fully cross the line.
That was all the Baggies would have for a while, as Stoke brought their quality wing play to the Hawthorns and it began to go to work.
The Potters would eventually benefit from putting the touchline under pressure, as Marko Arnautovic powered down the left-hand side and crossed into the box, but his cross never found its mark. Instead, it nicked off Gareth McAuley‘s heel and snuck into the bottom corner for an own-goal and Stoke’s lead.
West Brom had a few half chances, but the goal energized the visitors and things looked bleak for the Baggies in their last match of the season.
Stoke finished out the half in comfortable fashion, with the home attack offering little into the box and the visitors enjoying plenty of dangerous possession.
In the second half, things were the same for West Brom, finding themselves helpless in the final third and Stoke looking much more incisive. Despite this, the Baggies would find an equalizer.
With the game slowing down as the minutes ticked on, Stoke City searched for their winner and waited until the 86th minute before it came. Substitute Charlie Adam received a ball from behind the halfway line and worked his way past four sleeping defenders to slot home the winner for Stoke.
West Brom – Foster; Dawson (O’Neil 83′), McAuley, Olsson, Brunt; Dorrans, Mulumbu (Vydra 90′), Morrison, Amalfitano (Anichebe 63′), Sessegnon; Berahino.
Goals – Sessegnon 56′
Stoke City – Sorensen; Muniesa, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic (Etherington 90′), Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie (Crouch 77′); Ireland, Walters (Adam 81).
Goals – McAuley (og) 22′, Adam 86′
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