Stoke-on-Trent - Tony Pulis celebrated his return to the Britannia Stadium
as West Bromwich Albion won for the first time this season with a 1-0 victory
over nine-man Stoke on Saturday.
Pulis, who was in charge of the Potters for some 464 matches during two
spells between 2002 and 2013, received an emotional ovation from the home fans
as the 59-year-old returned to a hero's welcome.
The match was decided by a headed goal on the stroke of half-time by new
Venezuelan signing Salomon Rondon following a deft cross from former
Southampton and Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert.
Pulis, who led Stoke back into the Premier League in 2008 and also guided
the club to the 2011 FA Cup final where they were beaten by Manchester City,
paid tribute to the fans he used to entertain on the eve of the tie.
"I always loved the people of Stoke-On-Trent because I liked the way
they were so forthright, so straight and honest with no messing around."
Stoke boss Mark Hughes looked on in fury as Ibrahim Afellay was the first
man sent off on 25 minutes for a slap in the face of a West Brom player before
Charlie Adam swiftly followed him with a straight red for stamping.
Rondon, 25, has had an immediate impact for the Baggies since signing in the
close season from Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg.
West Brom now have four points from four matches and picked up a rare away
win while Stoke have just two draws from their opening quartet of fixtures.