A Charlie Adam goal effectively secures Stoke’s survival in the Premier League.
Stoke City can begin preparing for a fifth consecutive season in the Premier League after a scrappy 1-0 win at home to Norwich City sent them eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Charlie Adam scored the decisive goal moments after half-time to give Stoke a second consecutive victory and move Tony Pulis’ side to the 40-point mark usually synonymous with top-flight survival.
Norwich are only two points and two positions worse off in 14th place, but Chris Hughton’s side will want at least another victory from their final three games to make sure of their place among the English elite.
In a poor-quality first half at the Britannia Stadium, the only real chance of note saw Stoke striker Cameron Jerome thwarted by one of his own players.
The former Birmingham City striker met Adam’s 22nd-minute corner with a well-hit half-volley, but his goal-bound effort was inadvertently blocked by midfield colleague Steven Nzonzi.
Jerome’s frustrations got the better of him minutes later when he was booked for clattering into visiting goalkeeper Mark Bunn, while Norwich striker Grant Holt and Stoke centre-forward Peter Crouch were also cautioned as the first half drew to a fractious close.
Adam broke the deadlock in the first minute of the second period with a trademark Stoke goal.
Crouch flicked on a long ball from the back and the Scotland midfielder nodded the ball away from a defender before driving a low shot past Bunn.
Crouch should have doubled Stoke’s advantage just after the hour, but he committed a dreadful miss, failing to even make contact with the ball when Adam picked him out from the byline on the right.
Nzonzi then threatened to extend Stoke’s lead when he forced a smart save from Bunn, while Crouch produced another forgettable miss, only to have his blushes spared by the assistant referee’s flag.