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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 17, 2011

Walters revels in semi-final rout

Stoke City striker Jon Walters paid tribute to his team-mates after a resounding 5-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.

Matthew Etherington: This day is for the fans

• Adams: Stoke turn on the style
• Bolton v Stoke Gallery Photo Gallery

Stoke will face Manchester City in the final after Walters scored twice, with the other goals coming from Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Kenwyne Jones.

Walters told ESPN: "We wanted to achieve something this year. It was a tough game but we did really well from back to front. I'm made up to be quite honest.

"It's been very hard over the years but a lot of people have helped me along the way.''

Defender Andy Wilkinson, who is Staffordshire born, added: "Words can't describe it. It's unbelievable. The fans have been great, it's like a home game for us. I'm a bit emotional, I'm going to enjoy it and then focus on the final.''

Midfielder Rory Delap said: "I'm delighted, for everyone. We've had a good couple of years. We've earned this and we've got a big game now at the end of May."

Etherington, who was voted Man of the Match, added on ESPN: "We scored some great goals today.

"We get our knockers, people say certain things about us. Today was our day to prove them wrong.

"We are used to being the underdogs. The manager said that before the game and we will be the underdogs in the final as well. Bring it on.''

Stoke manager Tony Pulis paid tribute to chairman Peter Coates and his family for the way they had turned Stoke into an established club in the Premier League.

He told ESPN: "It's fantastic for everybody connected with the football club. The Coates family have taken over a club that was really down in the dumps and they've turned it around."

Pulis also praised his players, adding: "It was a great performance. To do it on a stage like this is great.

"We know Bolton and 90% of their goals came off phases of play off Kevin Davies so we narrowed everyone in and made sure their wide players were covered. From that tight position we knew we could cause them problems on the break."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle bemoaned his side's poor defending.

"I certainly don't think anybody envisaged what happened today," he said. "From our point of view we've lost soft goals today. I think we were the architects of our own downfall.

"We were certainly way below what we are capable of. We didn't perform to the levels we have before," Coyle added on ESPN.

"As it sometimes can happen against you on the big stage it can work against you. There will be a few regrets because they know they haven't performed to their best today."

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