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STOKE City made it a Boxing Day to remember as they recorded a 3-1 win over Midlands rivals Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s.

Goals from Jordan Thompson, Lynden Gooch and André Vidigal helped the Potters to a first victory at Blues’ home in 35 years.

Steven Schumacher’s side will look to make it back-to-back wins and extend their unbeaten run to five games when they face Watford on Friday.

The visitors started brightly in the Second City and their early pressure bore fruit as they forged ahead in the 12th minute. After Vidigal picked out Gooch and the American saw his shot cleared on the line by Marc Roberts, the ball fell to Thompson and he powered in from the edge of the area thanks to a deflection off Junhino Bacuna.

City continued to play on the front foot, and moments after Vidigal had fired over following fine approach play from Wouter Burger and Ryan Mmaee, they doubled their lead.

Mmaee was at the centre of the second as he expertly flicked the ball behind the Blues defence for Gooch to race clear and coolly fire through the legs of the onrushing Ruddy.

Birmingham’s response saw Dion Sanderson force Jack Bonham into a routine save following Roberts’ long throw while Jordan James’ drive from 20 yards was deflected wide by Burger.

The Potters almost added a third before the half was out when Vidigal latched onto Bonham’s ball forward and directed a dipping effort narrowly over with Ruddy stranded.

Blues almost pulled one back minutes after the restart when Roberts ghosted into the six yard box following a reworked corner and planted a free header wide of the near post.

After suffering that rare scare, Schumacher’s men made it three when Burger put Vidigal through on goal and the Portuguese strode forward, cut inside and lifted an effort into the far corner.

The visitors didn’t let up in their pursuit of further goals and Mmaee was denied by the onrushing Ruddy while Junior Tchamadeu rattled the outside of the near post from an acute angle.

The home side managed to draw themselves back into the game midway through the second period when Emanuel Aiwu’s shot was saved by Bonham and fell kindly to Jay Stansfield who fired in.

City made sure that would be the only goal Blues scored as they comfortably saw out the game to pick up a first win at St. Andrew’s since 1988.

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