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05th May 2018

Xherdan Shaqiri scores an inch-perfect free kick for Stoke

Jack O'Toole

It’s hard to see a player of Xherdan Shaqiri’s quality playing in the Championship next season.

The Swiss international is by some distance Stoke’s best player and if they are to be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season you can imagine that Shaqiri will be one of the very first players to put in a transfer request, but maybe he won’t have to if Stoke can defeat Crystal Palace.

Shaqiri fired Stoke into the lead against Palace on Saturday with an inch-perfect free kick that left Eagles goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey at a standstill.

The former Bayern Munich winger lifted the ball up and over the Stoke wall and curled his strike towards the inside of the near post and into the back of the net.

Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross may have played some part in obstructing Hennessey’s view but it was such a well-struck free-kick it’s hard to see him saving the shot even if he had a better view.

Stoke are currently three points behind 17th placed Swansea who have a game in hand against Bournemouth later this afternoon.

The Potters manager Paul Lambert said that if his side avoid relegation it would mean as much to him as when he won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund as a player.

“I’ve been really fortunate to win the Champions League as a player and win league titles, but keeping this club up would be up there in terms of my achievements.

“The most important thing is the club stays up. For me it would be massive for us to stay up, but it would be bigger for the club”.

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